May 28, 2024

What is a seaglider? A high-speed, all-electric maritime vessel

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  • Seagliders are a novel type of maritime vessel that offer high-speed transportation to connect coastal communities.
  • Seagliders are more efficient, convenient, comfortable, and affordable than existing means of transportation.  
  • REGENT Craft (Regional Electric Ground Effect Nautical Transport) is the developer and manufacturer of all-electric seagliders.  

There hasn’t been a novel form of transportation in the past 100 years. Today, regional travel is too often slow, inconvenient, uncomfortable, and expensive. With about 40% of the world’s population living near the coast, there’s a pressing need for solutions to quickly and efficiently connect coastal hubs.      

Seagliders are novel high-speed, convenient, all-electric maritime vessels, coming to market mid-decade. Seagliders aim to drastically reduce the time and cost of transporting passengers and goods between coastal destinations.

At REGENT Craft, which stands for Regional Electric Ground Effect Nautical Transport, we are developing and manufacturing seagliders to improve the coastal transportation experience, increase operational efficiency at lower costs, and advance innovation in transportation.  

“We started with a vision to fix the headache of regional transportation. Seagliders promise to do that and more – offering efficient, cost-effective options for operators; providing safe, fast, comfortable, and affordable trips for passengers; and building sustainable human connections for communities.” — Billy Thalheimer, Co-founder and CEO, REGENT

Read more about REGENT’s mission here.

Seagliders are a novel type of maritime vessel

Seagliders are all-electric maritime vessels that operate in three modes – float, foil, and fly.

“Float”: Seagliders float on their hull at docks or while maneuvering at low speeds, using existing dock infrastructure to pick up and drop off passengers and goods.  

“Foil”: Seagliders rise onto hydrofoils — wings that operate underwater to lift the hull out of the water to reduce drag and avoid waves — to navigate harbors and channels and reach low takeoff speeds.    

“Fly”: Seagliders fly over open water at speeds up to 180mph (300kph) on a cushion of air using a phenomenon called “ground effect,” always flying within one wingspan of the water’s surface.

“REGENT leverages technologies from both the maritime and aviation industries to increase the range, efficiency, and comfort of regional coastal travel. Seagliders’ unique structure and operations represent the latest innovations in high-speed maritime crafts and focus on clean transportation.” — Bryan Baker, Lead Designer, REGENT 

Learn more about REGENT’s seagliders here.

Seagliders are safe

Captains operate seagliders like boats with highly automated controls. © REGENT

Safety considerations for both occupants and vessels underline every decision in seaglider design, development, testing, manufacturing, and operations. Seagliders will be certified and regulated as maritime vessels, adhering to the highest relevant maritime and aviation safety standards in every market in which they operate.

“REGENT’s number one priority is human safety. The entire seaglider development and manufacturing process – from design and testing to operations and the passenger experience – focuses on ensuring passenger, crew, and vessel safety.” — Ted Lester, VP of Certification, REGENT  

Seagliders are convenient

Seagliders are faster than a ferry and reduce door-to-door time compared to air transportation, where passengers must add travel time to and from the airport and through security.  With this increased efficiency, seagliders can augment existing transportation systems and meet an underserviced need for fast coastal regional mobility.  

Seagliders are comfortable

Seaglider technology provides a more comfortable passenger experience than other forms of transportation. While foiling, seagliders have five to six feet of wave tolerance, and while flying, the ground effect provides a smoother experience.  

The interior of the cabin is designed with the passenger experience in mind – with more legroom than traditional aircraft, big windows, and flexible configurations for seats and storage. Seagliders are also quieter than other forms of transportation, which benefit passengers and communities.

Seagliders are affordable

Not only do seagliders increase the accessibility and comfort of regional transportation options, but they also deliver on price. Low operations and maintenance costs – including simple design, fewer moving parts, and materials designed to operate in salt-water environments – translate to more affordable ticket prices for passengers.  

"Transportation is not only about getting from point A to point B, but also about the possibilities we unlock along the way. Whether it’s connecting with friends and family, accessing new job opportunities, or exploring new places, mobility plays a crucial role in our daily lives." — Lauren Rugani, VP of Marketing and Communications, REGENT

Seagliders are sustainable

Seagliders are all-electric, zero-emission vessels that could offset up to 110 megatons of CO2 globally per year if they were to replace other forms of transportation that service regional coastal routes. This is equivalent of removing about 26 million cars from the road every year.  

“Seagliders were invented to change the way people move. REGENT offers operators an alternative transportation option that makes business sense but also helps them reach their net-zero goals. Our vision is for seagliders to be a key part of a broader transportation ecosystem that puts community first.” — Adam Triolo, VP of Commercial Business Development

Seagliders leverage existing technology to create something new

Seagliders combine modern maritime technologies like carbon fiber composites, cutting-edge hydrofoils, and advanced automated vehicle controls. The unique design and functionality of seagliders enable them to be the first type of vessel to make ground-effect transportation an affordable, comfortable, and efficient reality.

“Seagliders leverage key learnings and technologies from multiple industries, and REGENT’s talented team brings decades of experience, boundless energy, and focused drive to reimagine what’s possible in transportation." — Mike Klinker, Co-founder and CTO, REGENT  

Learn more about how to join the REGENT team here.