From nearly flying to fully flying
Published on January 18th, 2022
With the America’s Cup now raced in boats that nearly fly, one U.S. marine manufacturer has taken the next step to build crafts that fully fly.
Moore Brothers Co., a maker of composite boat components, is working with research and development company Regent Craft Inc. to build vehicles that combine elements of boats and aircraft. According to Boston-based Regent, these seagliders will cruise at 180 mph for distances up to 180 miles, and as far as 500 miles as battery technology advances.
The companies say they expect the electric-powered vehicles, which resemble seaplanes, to operate over water routes connecting coastal cities such as New York and Boston. Regent says they will generate a fraction of the noise and emissions of the ferries and airlines that currently serve these regional routes.
Moore Brothers, based in Bristol, Rhode Island, has been part of the New England boat-building community for generations, says its president, Samuel Moore. The company designs, develops, and manufactures rudders, steering systems, keels, and structural parts for a range of vessels including America’s Cup racing yachts.
Working on the seaglider “is a logical next step for us,” according to Moore, who added that the company will expand its plant by 5,000 square feet and add 10 workers as it prepares to ramp up seaglider production.
Moore says the companies are almost finished assembling a quarter-scale, radio-controlled prototype of the vehicle that they expect to test in Tampa, Florida, by the end of January, with Regent planning to bring seagliders to market within five years.