Belfast’s Artemis builds world’s first foiling workboats

Artemis-Technologies-foiling-workboat-in-Belfast-Harbour-1

Artemis Technologies has launched the world’s first commercially viable 100 per cent electric, high-speed foiling workboat range.

Powered by the Artemis eFoiler propulsion system, the foiling workboats have a top speed of 34 knots and a range of 60 nautical miles at 25 knots cruise speed.

Artemis Technologies is an applied technologies spin-off from the Artemis Racing team that competed in the America’s Cup of which its founder, two-time Olympic champion Dr Iain Percy OBE is a four-time veteran. 

Artemis Technologies opened a new facility on Belfast Lough in January 2022 ahead of testing its new eFoiler electric propulsion system.

Developed and built in Belfast, Artemis says the zero-emission vessels are the greenest workboats on the planet and represent a £12 million investment in research and development.   

Artemis Technologies’ full workboat range includes an 11.5M multi-purpose workboat and a 12M crew transfer vessel. A 24M crew transfer vessel is also currently under development.

Percy says: “Combining our experience from the worlds of high-performance sailing, motorsports and advanced manufacturing, the electric propulsion system that we’ve designed and developed is an absolute game-changer for the industry in terms of range, costs savings and minimal wake created.

Double-Olympic-gold-medalist-Iain-Percy-launches-Artemis-foiling-electric-workboat-range
Double Olympic gold medalist Iain Percy

“With hydrofoils that lift the boats out of the water, we are dramatically reducing drag. This is coupled with a submerged electric drivetrain that is exceptionally efficient, as proven through rigorous testing with our partners, confirming what we had discovered through our own onshore digital simulations.

“The ride comfort of a hydrofoiling vessel through a large seaway has to be experienced to be believed, offering a completely smooth journey whatever the sea state.

“This will allow engineers in crew transfer vessels or port operations to get to their destination and deliver their services without discomfort. This is only the beginning. As our vessels transform the commercial workboat and city-to-city passenger ferry sectors over the coming years, Belfast and the UK will be at the forefront, creating thousands of jobs across the supply chain and heralding a green shipbuilding revolution.”

Workboat foiling in Belfast Harbour
Workboat foiling in Belfast Harbour

According to Artemis, the vessels produce incredible energy savings of up to 90 per cent compared to conventional fossil fuel workboats.

The company, which currently employs 60 people, is developing a range of green transport solutions that it anticipates will create 1,000 jobs over the next decade.

The launch comes as a new Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) report, commissioned by Maritime UK, puts the economic impact of UK maritime at £116 billion. With Northern Ireland’s maritime industry directly contributing more than £2 billion to the UK economy, a bigger impact than Wales, Yorkshire and the Humber combined. 

Maritime UK chair Sarah Kenny says: “As an island nation, maritime surrounds all of us, and its impact is felt in every community across the UK. We saw that during the pandemic, through the provision of vital supplies, and we are seeing it now as we bounce back. With maritime driving the net zero agenda and providing skilled jobs in all corners of the country.

“Artemis Technologies’ launch today shows our heritage as maritime pioneers will continue long into the future. But continued collaboration with government, and investment, will be the key to realising our full potential.”

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, The Rt Hon Brandon Lewis CBE says: “The talent and expertise at Artemis Technologies is leading the way in maritime decarbonisation and playing an important role in helping Northern Ireland and the UK reach our net zero targets. Artemis is making a positive contribution to the UK’s economy, supporting innovation and job growth through the development of zero-emission technology. 

“I am delighted that such amazing technology has been developed in Northern Ireland and to have been able to see the eFoiler technology up close during a recent showcase in Belfast.”

Leo Hambro, commercial director, at Tidal Transit, which operates a fleet of purpose-built offshore wind crew transfer vessels in waters around the UK and overseas says: “Having worked closely with Artemis Technologies, as part of the UK Government’s Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (CMDC), funded by the Department for Transport, today’s launch marks a sea-change in how workboat operators will view electric foiling boats.

“Given the remarkable range, incredible speed and comfortable ride, this workboat is truly a gamechanger for our sector as it looks to cut carbon emissions across the industry.”

Percy adds: “With the global small boat market worth $70 billion, we are immensely proud to launch our first range of zero-emission vessels for the workboat sector, from which we have already received significant pre-market interest.

“This is a hugely significant milestone not only for us but in global decarbonisation efforts with the International Maritime Organization requiring emissions to be halved by 2050.”

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This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.

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