Please select your home edition
Edition
Wildwind 2016 728x90

World's largest Solar yacht in Miami

by Elisa Melendez on 5 Jun 2013
No, it’s not the USS Enterprise. It’s the PlanetSolar! PlanetSolar.org
Miami, in theory, is a perfect pit stop for any solar-powered vehicle -- hell, it's the sunniest city in the Sunshine State. But in practice, this town's been overcast and soggy for weeks now.

Luckily, the crew of the MS Tûranor PlanetSolar came with their batteries charged.

The ship -- the world's largest solar-powered vessel to sail around the world -- sailed into Sunset Harbour Yacht Club yesterday on a 16-city tour to research climate change. And Cultist had the chance to check out the 102-foot catamaran firsthand.

The PlanetSolar boasts 29,124 photovoltaic cells that capture the sun's energy and use it to fuel almost ten tons of lithium-ion batteries. With that amount of weight, the PlanetSolar isn't exactly built for speed--it travels at an average of five knots, or little more than 5.5 mph. (Still, it broke a Guinness World Record for 'completing the fastest transatlantic crossing with a solar boat, solely operated without any fuel or CO2 emissions.')

And its lowered speed is a small price to pay for sustainability. When the PlanetSolar circumnavigated the globe between September 2010 and May 2012, it didn't use a single drop of fuel, and emitted zero pollutants.

Once the PlanetSolar departs Miami on June sixth, it will begin its scientific mission, mostly measuring things like deep ocean currents. Professor Martin Beniston, the head of the Institute of Environmental Sciences at the University of Geneva, clued us in on why this particular vessel was perfect for environmental research: Because the engine is electric, it makes absolutely no sound and produces no pollution, which makes it easier to produce accurate measurements of water quality and lifeforms at the water's surface.

The most common question asked by attendees at yesterday's private showing was, 'What happens on cloudy days? How long can it run without sun?' (Not surprising, given Miami's recent weather.) The answer: If the batteries are charged at 100%, the boat can run on them for three days. We learned they have a couple of backup generators, just in case, but the crew hasn't ever needed them.

Hopefully, the clouds here in South Florida will part for them just in time for them to set sail up the Eastern seaboard this weekend.

You can find out more information about the boat at planetsolar.org, where you can track the boat's location and find out more about the science-y stuff it's doing.
Jeanneau Sunfast 660x82Pacific Sailing School 660x82 1Harken AUS HL Snatch Block 660x82

Related Articles

Eleventh Blog from on board Perie Banou II
'Perie Banou II' with me, are tracking well. Going north west to the British Island of Saint Helena Jon Sanders is well into his historic, record setting tenth circumnavigation and continues to see the wry in almost all the things he gets up to. St Helena is the next stop and the conditions are always a changing. Reason on for more of Jon's unique perspective of the world.
Posted on 25 Feb
Yachtswomen to ‘seas’ the day at Sail Port Stephens Race Week
The Women Who Sail Australia (WWSA) group will be staging their second annual Gathering on the Bay as an entrée Women are kicking sporting goals everywhere you turn these days, so it’s not surprising that the 2017 Sail Port Stephens race week in April will have its strongest ever representation of yachtswomen.
Posted on 24 Feb
See it first at the Gold Coast International Boat Show & Marine Expo
Boating enthusiasts will find everything they need to have fun on the water all in one place Boating enthusiasts will find everything they need to have fun on the water all in one place when the first major Australian boat show for 2017 gets underway on Queensland’s Gold Coast in just three weeks.
Posted on 23 Feb
New Drew Marine Signal & Safety AUS General Manager of Operations
Drew Marine Signal & Safety Australia announce the appointment of its new General Manager of Operations, Fenton Long. The world's leading supplier of marine pyrotechnic distress signals, Drew Marine Signal & Safety, announces the appointment of its new General Manager of Operations for Drew Marine Signal & Safety Australia, Fenton Long.
Posted on 22 Feb
'Row like a Girl' Atlantic record breaker joins Zhik
Olivia Bolesworth, one of Row like a Girl Atlantic crossing record-breakers joined Zhik as Corporate Activation Manager. Olivia Bolesworth, one of the Row like a Girl Atlantic crossing record-breakers, has joined Zhik as Corporate Activation Manager. Olivia, a design graduate from Bristol UWE, was one of the youngest and fastest females to row across the Atlantic, breaking two world records and finishing second overall in the event.
Posted on 22 Feb
2017 Jeanneau Rendezvous at the inaugural Sail Peninsula Regatta
Some photos taken by LaFoto at the 2017 Jeanneau Rendezvous which was part of the inaugural Sail Peninsula Regatta. The 2017 Jeanneau Rendezvous was part of the inaugural Sail Peninsula Regatta from Martha Cove on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula. It was a great regatta with a stern chaser race held on the Friday night, followed by a long distance race to Blairgowrie on Saturday in a glamorous five to ten knots, then finally an awesome medium distance race off Safety Beach in 25-35 knots...
Posted on 21 Feb
Abell Point are making quite a splash!
Abell Point Marina, has seen significant infrastructure and service upgrades since it came under new ownership in 2013. With a strong focus on continuous improvement, Abell Point Marina, the popular Queensland marina precinct, has seen significant infrastructure and service upgrades since it came under new ownership in 2013. Achieving first global 5 Gold Anchor accreditation in world in 2016 cemented Abell Point’s position in the marina industry and 2017 will see some newsworthy additions to the Abell Point offer.
Posted on 21 Feb
Hamilton Island Race Week 2017 - Accommodation options
Have you booked your accommodation for Hamilton Island Race Week 2017? Have you booked your accommodation for Hamilton Island Race Week 2017? All the best properties book out early, so make sure you book soon to secure your preferred option.
Posted on 20 Feb
Super Series Sailing Spectacular
News arrived of at least one Australian outfit going for a new build 52. Someone had to entertain Beau Geste and SMB During the week, news arrived of at least one Australian outfit going for a new build 52. Someone had to keep Beau Geste and SMB entertained at the sharp end of the 52 bracket. Two other camps were linked to other former 52 Super Series craft, Phoenix and Spookie, but the one touted as going after Phoenix has denied it, saying that Hasso (SAP) Plattner of Germany has bought her.
Posted on 20 Feb
More marina space and exciting firsts for GC Boat Show and Marine Expo
More marina space and exciting additions to an impressive Fleet of Firsts have set scene for a colossal marine showcase More marina space and even more exciting additions to an already impressive Fleet of Firsts have set the scene for a colossal marine showcase both on water and on land on Queensland’s Gold Coast from 17-19 March.
Posted on 17 Feb