Playing with a Little Bee

Testing the Foilborne AD25H "Little Bee"
Testing the Foilborne AD25H Little Bee

Back in January 2015, I wrote about my impulse buy of the Kv23H FoilStream power boat, designed and built by Ape Piaggio under her Foilborne Industries brand. At the time, I wasn’t sure how well it would grow on me – although I can now say it is one of my firm favourites.

That review lead to Ape and I making contact in-world, and we’ve discussed boats and vehicles extensively since then (I’ve also had a lot of fun with her tried-out her autogyro). So when she invited me to help beta test her upcoming new release, I leapt at the chance. Ape has been working on the design for at least five months, and it will still be a while before it reaches production status. However, she’s given me permission to preview it here, and I’ll be reviewing it in full once it is available on the market.

The AD25H “Little Bee” is actually a release I’ve been looking forward to for some time – and trying the beta version has only increased my desire to grab one once it is officially released. A tender style speedboat a good deal smaller that the mighty FoilStream, it is no less packed with features.

Fancy taking friends parasailing? The Little Bee will let you!
Fancy taking friends parasailing? The Little Bee will let you!

And when I say packed, I mean packed. Single and couple poses; working instruments; mouselook driving, deployment mooring fenders; canvas weather cover – even a coffee percolator should you need warming-up on a cold morning’s outing! All these and more are included in the boat’s features. You’ll even be able to take friends parasailing or wake boarding on the finished model (no wake boarding on the beta I’ve been testing).

If that’s not enough, Ape has also include her “auto-mooring” system, multiple camera options, a voice messaging system, her fuelling system (complete with a neat animation), ACSS system to assist with region crossings, a racing mode, repainting capability – and more. And for those, like me, like the hydrofoil aspect of the FoilSteam, Little Bee includes its own deployable hydrofoils and an optional camera positioning control which allows you to see them being deployed / retracted.

The Little Bee has working cockpit instrument and is a superb drive in mouselook mode
The Little Bee has working cockpit instrument and is a superb drive in mouselook mode

There’s no time frame on availability (other than “coming soon” 🙂 ), nor is there a price-point. However, testing so far has revealed the Little Bee to be very stable and agile, and it handles region crossings with as much ease as can be expected with one or two passengers – and even with one of them dangling behind the boat in the parasail!

If this is enough to whet your appetite and you’d like to try a basic pre-release version of the boat (options like the hydrofoils, parasail, etc are not enabled on it), you can do so via the Little Bee’s pre-release demo area.

As noted, I’ll be reviewing the boat in full once it is available on the market. In the meantime I’ll leave you with a short video (best played at 720p, if you can) I put together when testing the beta version.

4 thoughts on “Playing with a Little Bee

    1. Thanks 🙂 First attempt trying to do a “vehicle” video, and do it solo. The Little Bee is a huge amount of fun if you enjoy being out on the water 🙂

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  1. I’ve been watching Ape’s posts about this boat on the forums at virtualworldsailing.com very closely. It’s a must-have for sure!! Waiting patiently (ok, who am I kidding?) for release. 😀

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    1. You’ll have to get in line behind me :). I loved the pre-release demo version when I saw it, and am loving the beta version 🙂 .

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