Seatrade Maritime is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

LR lands deal to assure all-electric hydrofoiling seagliders

REGENT REGENT-Viceroy-render.jpg
Rhode Island-based REGENT Craft Inc has engaged Lloyd’s Register to provide certification and advisory services for its ‘wing-in-ground-effect’ seaglider vessels.

REGENT Chief Executive and Co-founder, Billy Thalmeier, reveals that the company already has an orderbook of 600 seagliders, worth $9bn, from clients all over the world. They include ferry companies including Brittany Ferries, which would like to deploy them on the English Channel, and Germany’s FRS, which runs ferry services between Germany and Sweden. 

The company has also attracted interest from  regional airlines, logistics operators, and defence corporations. Late last year, it signed a strategic partnership deal with energy major TotalEnergies to explore the use of seagliders for the transport of personnel to and from offshore wind farms and oil platforms.

The ‘wing-in-ground’ seagliders operate within one wingspan of the water surface and are classed by the IMO as WIG ‘Type A’ craft. They are therefore subject to maritime regulations and will be operated by specially trained mariners, not pilots.

REGENT, an acronym for Regional Electric Ground Effect Nautical Transport, expects to have the first commercial ‘Viceroy’ seagliders, with capacity for 12 persons, in operation by ‘mid-decade’. Larger 100-person Monarch units are expected to be operating by the end of the decade.

The REGENT technology has attracted a wide range of investors. Led by 8090 Industries and Founders Fund, they include Japan Airlines, Mesa Air Group, Lockheed Martin, Yamato Holdings, Thiel Capital, JAM Fund, Mark Cuban, Y Combinator, Caffeinated Capital, and Fitbit founder, James Park. Earlier this month, the company announced a $300m deal with asset leasing company, Monte Maritime. 

Middle East investors, who see major opportunities for seaglider deployment in the waters of the Arabian Gulf, and potentially in the Red Sea, are also engaged. They include the Abu Dhabi Strategic Development Fund, the Abu Dhabi Investment Office, the Emirate’s Department of Municipalities and Transportation, and Saudi Arabia’s NEOM Investment Fund.

Commenting on the classification society’s involvement, Lloyd’s Register COO, Mark Darley, said: “REGENT’s dedication to safe and sustainable solutions is providing the maritime industry with innovative zero-emissions passenger vessel seagliders that could transform the future of coastal travel. LR is excited to join with REGENT to proactively set international certification standards for new maritime transportation as the industry evolves.”

Ted Lester, REGENT Vice President, Certification, commented: “LR’s certification marks significant progress in REGENT’s compliance pathway toward maritime operations. LR’s expertise in classification and compliance services, as well as its commitment to safety and advancing the path to net-zero emissions, make it an ideal partner for ensuring seagliders meet required global standards now and in the future.”