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Futuristic solar yacht set for voyage around the world

The Local · 22 Feb 2010, 14:24

Published: 22 Feb 2010 14:24 GMT+01:00

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According to the boat’s manufacturer PlanetSolar, the catamaran-style yacht covered with 500 square metres of solar panels is undergoing final touches at the Knierim Yachtbau shipyard in Kiel before its official unveiling on February 25.

PlanetSolar’s website claims their boat is the largest solar vessel in the world at 30 by 16 metres, but more impressive is the ship’s futuristic aesthetic and “wave piercing” technology that allows it to travel smoothly even in bad weather.

Weather permitting, the boat’s first splash-down for tests will begin in late March, followed by a special public appearance at the Hamburg port’s 821st birthday celebration on May 7-9.

In 2011, the PlanetSolar boat will then take a 40,000-kilometre voyage for an estimated 140 days. The two-man crew will route the ship close to the equator for maximum sunlight at an average speed of eight knots, heading through the Panama Canal, across the Pacific and Indian oceans and through the Suez Canal, after which it will return to the Mediterranean.

PlanetSolar hopes to make the first solar-powered trip around the world to increase awareness about harnessing renewable energy, the company says.

There are plenty of solar-powered vessels already on the market, but PlanetSolar’s yacht has a much more powerful lithium ion battery, allowing it to keep moving for three days and nights even without any sunshine to recharge, according to weekly newspaper Die Zeit on Monday.

Story continues below…

“The ship costs an amount reaching the higher single-digit millions,” head of the shipyard project Steffen Müller told the paper.

While the paper pointed out that sailing is an obviously cheaper and even more environmentally means of water travel, it explained the main purpose of the project is to highlight that solar travel on this scale is possible - no matter the cost.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:01 February 23, 2010 by ron1amr
This is a great thing and there just isn't enough of this type of thing.
10:00 February 24, 2010 by bearded1
Canvas and Wind not Green enough, Of course they are but for the filthy rich who have so much time not fast enough.Everything has to be done by Yesterday.

Slow down you move to fast gotta ....Ohno thats a line from a song, JUST COOL IT

TAKE YOUR TIME ENJOY LIFE you are only here for a little while arent you?
23:48 February 28, 2010 by PierceArrow
Canvas and wind would by fine and dandy, for sailing at night! Especially if the sails were made of organic hemp! Maybe a combination sailboat/solar motorboat will be PlanetSolar's next boat project.

I will take "conspicuous conservation" over "conspicuous consumption" any day.

As a Christian, I support proper stewardship of the environment and natural resources.
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