Lausanne, France-based DECISION SA, a composite manufacturer that contributed to the creation many innovative composite creations, including the famous Solar Impulse aircraft, has signed a deal for the delivery of its first SeaBubble – a river taxi equipped with foils that will lift the vehicle and make it “fly” over the water, without generating any waves.
Alain Thébault, the famous French skipper of “L’Hydroptère,” and his business partner, windsurfing champion Anders Bringdal, have asked DECISION to develop and build the first prototypes of the watercraft. The first prototypes will be delivered in June 2017 and trials will take place on the Seine soon after.
So far, not much is publicly known about the SeaBubble’s construction except that it will have a carbon fiber-based hull. However, based on the company’s past experience and expertise, the carbon fiber will probably be prepreg, as all nine marine applications DECISION SA has on its website feature the use of prepregs.
In fact, Decision SA has referred to itself in the past as a “master” of prepregs, thin ply technology and large dimension composite sandwich structures. The L’Hydroptère incorporated prepreg carbon fiber honeycomb composites. In another recent project, the “Silver Arrow of the Seas,” the construction incorporated a combination of prepreg materials – including fiberglass, carbon fiber and epoxy.
In addition to its use of composites, the SeaBubble will also be eco-friendly. On a separate website dedicated just to the SeaBubble project, it notes that by 2050, estimations are that 10 billion people will be living on the planet, and that 75 percent of them will live in cities, causing a huge uptick in global pollution. The SeaBubble’s creators claim the materials that comprise it are biodegradable. Additionally, but not generating waves, the SeaBubble will not erode river banks.