For the past few years, a La Rochelle, France-based startup has been developing a prototype sailing catamaran that folds up for transport on the back of an e-bike. IZIBoat is now ready for series production.
Designed by self-taught windsurfer and architect François Tissier to make sailing accessible to everyone, over 10 prototypes have been tested by over 1,600 novice sailors. Currently, the last pre-production craft has been built, marking the start of series production.
The IZIBoat’s catamaran hull is made of polyester resin on fiberglass with internal reinforcements and is gel-coated to protect against sand abrasion if it runs aground during sailing.
It has an overall length of 5.08 m (16.6 ft) and a width of 2.4 m (7.8 ft) when ready to sail, with an aluminum frame connecting the hull and carrying the aluminum/fiber composite mast. Removable wheels mounted on the side of each hull make it easy to push into the water.
The 8.8-square-meter (95 ft2) mainsail and 6.6-square-meter (71 ft2) genoa are made from 240 grams of polyester, and the company says it can sail up to 15 knots (17 mph). An electric motor is also being tested and is expected to be added as an option in 2024.
“Thanks to the IZIBoat’s electric motor, users can rest assured that their boat can sail upwind or return to shore without wind,” Tissier said in a press statement.
The catamaran can accommodate up to four crew members and has a maximum weight of 280 kg (617 lb), with a central joystick connected to the rudder for changing direction.
When the IZIBoat folds up for transport in about 15 minutes, it’s just 62cm (24.4in) wide and can fit on a bicycle trolley—the company reckons e-bike riders should be able to pull 156kg (344lb) empty along the way home.
The IZIBoat is available to order now, starting at €14,250 ($15,850) excluding taxes. Deliveries are expected to begin in April 2024.
source: IZI ship