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By Andrew Bedggood

The Jet Capsule concept was first proposed by Pierpaolo Lazzarini, a former automotive engineer, in 2010. An international patent was granted in 2012, and a working prototype developed in 2014, before the revolutionary new vessel was unveiled at the 2015 Monaco Boat Show. By 2019, Jet Capsules were being exported to countries such as China, Canada, and Spain.

The idea behind the Jet Capsule was to fill a niche in the water taxi and ferry market with a comfortable, high-quality, responsive, easily manoeuvrable, sustainable, and environmentally friendly vessel. Mr Lazzarini has likened the craft to a ‘spaceship coupe’.

Made from 70% carbon using vacuum-infusion technology, the relatively lightweight, aerodynamic Jet Capsule resembles a large sea-going mouse-shaped power sander. The speedy vessel has an overall length of 7.35 metres (24 feet) and a maximum width of 3.44 metres, and the V-shaped hull provides stability. A 180 cm tall person can comfortably walk around in the cabin.

With a single inboard 370 hp Yanmar and a Hamilton Jet waterjet propulsion system, the Jet Capsule can cruise, fully loaded, at 23 knots (42.6 km/h). The power source can be varied to include twin petrol or diesel engines, or even twin electric motors. The electric motor option, while offering lower cruising speeds, is ideal for those river systems where petrol and diesel engines have been banned.

The windshield can be raised automatically to allow a cooling airflow, however passengers can relax in air-conditioned comfort, and are protected by the capsule from windy conditions or wet weather. For additional comfort, the capsule has photochromic windows which, darken to reduce glare as sunlight becomes more intense.

Popular configurations of the fully customisable interior include 2 bench seats, or 12 forward-facing passenger chairs (like a water taxi), or 4 armchairs facing each other in pairs (like a limousine). A popular option has 2 armchairs facing each other with a coffee or work table between them down the port side, and with a sofa forward and powder room aft on the starboard flank, and separate captain’s cockpit. Pierpaolo Lazzarini quips that the vessel could be described as a ‘private-jet-on-the-water’.





Published in print April-June 2022

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