Please select your home edition
Edition
Sailing Raceboats 2016/17 RS Quest 728x90

He did it! Horie has crossed Pacific by Wave Power

by Nancy Knudsen on 7 Jul 2008
Kenichi Horie on his waveboat SW
He's done it! As reported in Sail-World in March, Japanese master sailor and environmentalist Kenichi Horie set off on March 16 this year, on a first-of-a-kind trans-Pacific voyage powered only by waves.

The 69-year-old solo yachtsman and his boat made from recycled materials embarked on the 3800nm trip from Honolulu bound for Japan, expecting to arrive 'sometime in May'. Well it took longer than he thought, but on July 04, he did it, arriving at the port of Wakayama in the channel between Honshu and Shikoku Islands, just before midnight, thus becoming the first person in history to cross and ocean powered by wave power.


His 9.5m double-hull boat, made partly of recycled aluminium, named Suntory Mermaid II, was equipped with two special fins at the front that move like a dolphin's tail each time the boat rises or falls with the rhythm of the waves.

The theory said that that a vertical motion could drive the boat forward at a speed of three knots. In the event, he averaged 1.5 knots, not the fastest way to travel, but it could spell the dawning of yet another innovative green way of transiting oceans.

'Throughout history, mankind has used wind for power, but no one has appeared to be serious about wave power,' Mr Horie said late last year.

'I think I'm a lucky boy as this wave power system has remained virtually untouched.'

About Kenichi Horie:

Mr Horie made international headlines in 1962 when he became the first person to sail solo across the Pacific to San Francisco at the age of 23. on arrival in San Francisco without a visa, he was first arrested, but when the Mayor found out what he had just done, he pardoned him, gave him not only a visa, but the Keys of the City.

He had left on the three-month voyage despite also breaking Japanese law, which at the time did not allow its citizens to sail on their own out of the country.

Since then, he has made 10 sailing trips across the Pacific and around the world, many of them in extraordinary vesseld.

In the seventies, he did two 'fairly normal' solo circumnavigations, the first from east to west , then from north to south.

However, long before it was fashionable, he started favouring natural ways of transportation:






In the eighties he sailed a solar boat from Hawaii to Chichijima. In the nineties he sailed from Hawaii to Okinawa in a pedal powered boat, and then from Ecuador to Tokyo in a solar boat made of recycled aluminum. This crossing covered 10,000 miles in 148 days which earned the Guinness World Record for the fastest ever crossing of the Pacific in a solar-powered boat.

Then, in 1999 he sailed from San Francisco to Japan aboard a boat made primarily from recycled materials. The boat, Malt's Mermaid II, was a 32ft catamaran constructed from 500 beer kegs. The rigging consisted of two side-by-side masts with junk rig sails made from recycled plastic bottles. This boat is on display Okura Beach, Akashi.

In 2002 he sailed from Nishinomiya to San Francisco aboard the Mermaid III, which was a replica of the original Mermaid constructed from a variety of recycled materials, including whiskey barrels for the hull, aluminum cans for the mast and plastic soda bottles for the sails.

Gul 2020 FOOTERSail Exchange FOOTER Used SailsNorth Sails 2019 - NSVictoryList - Footer

Related Articles

IRC Race Management resources updated
These updates include ideas for reducing crew numbers and highlighting the benefits for club racing. Clubs running yacht racing using the International Rating Certificate (IRC) rating rule can find a myriad of useful resources on the IRC website.
Posted today at 7:44 am
Meet the Vendée Globe skippers: Yannick Bestaven
"There is a lot of pressure in what we do" In his 2014 built Maitre Coq IV Yannick Bestaven has a well proven boat he knows well. He feels he is pitching for a top five, top six. We caught up with him on his boat...
Posted today at 7:37 am
Lincoln Week Regatta set to bounce back
Entries opened for 2021 Teakle Classic Adelaide to Port Lincoln Yacht Race and Lincoln Week Entries have opened for the 2021 Teakle Classic Adelaide to Port Lincoln Yacht Race and Lincoln Week Regatta, which is shaping up to be a huge return to offshore yachting in South Australia as the sport bounces back from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Posted today at 6:37 am
iQFoil International Games at Lake Garda day 4
No racing today, final series tomorrow Day four ended up being a forced rest day for the almost 200 riders coming from 29 nations for the first big, global event of the Paris 2024 Olympic sail board, organised on lake Garda, by Univela Sailing, Società Velica Garda Salò and the iQ Foil Class.
Posted on 23 Oct
SailGP diversity, equity and inclusion initiative
Launched as part of Race for the Future Following the announcement of its Race for the Future purpose-led agenda aimed at accelerating change to a cleaner and more inclusive future, SailGP today rolled out its first major diversity, equity and inclusion initiative.
Posted on 23 Oct
Rolex Middle Sea Race 2020: The results are in
Only one boat is left at sea The 41st Rolex Middle Sea Race is virtually done and dusted. Only one boat is left at sea, her crew clearly set on completing the course despite the likelihood that they will finish outside the race time limit.
Posted on 23 Oct
Final day to get your nomination in!
For the YJA MS Amlin International Sailor of the Decade Today is the final day to get your nomination in for the YJA MS Amlin 'International Sailor of the Decade' award. Nominations close at midnight on Friday 23rd November.
Posted on 23 Oct
David Barnes, triple 470 world champion dies at 62
Barnes won three 470 world titles and went on to be involved in six America's Cup campaigns Sailing lost a revolutionary figure Friday morning with the passing of David Barnes. He was 62. Barnes won three 470 world titles and went on to be involved in six America's Cup campaigns, including skippering Team NZ's 'Big Boat' challenge of 1988
Posted on 23 Oct
RGYC named Australian Yacht Club of the Year
Following the biggest sailing season in the Club's 161-year history Royal Geelong Yacht Club (RGYC) was today announced as 2020 Yacht Club of the Year at the Australian Sailing Awards, following the biggest sailing season in the Club's 161-year history.
Posted on 23 Oct
MHYC announces Super Group Spring Regatta
A new regatta to promote competition in Sydney for a range of sports yachts Middle Harbour Yacht Club has announced a new regatta to promote competition in Sydney for a range of sports yachts with asymmetric gennakers.
Posted on 23 Oct