This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

February 14, 2007

Solar-Powered Boat Successfully Crosses the Atlantic

Photo of a catamaran with a roof made of solar panels, on a calm ocean and approaching a shoreline.

The sun21, featuring 10 kilowatts of solar power, a battery pack, and two 8-kilowatt motors, arrived at the Caribbean island of Martinique on February 2nd.
Credit: Transatlantic21 Association

A solar-powered catamaran arrived in the harbor of Le Marin, Martinique, on February 2nd, making it the first motorized vessel to cross the Atlantic without using any fuel. Called the "sun21," the boat left the Canary Islands 30 days before, managing to travel as much as 107 nautical miles per day, which rivals the speed of a similar-sized sailing boat. Developed and sponsored by the Swiss Transatlantic21 Association, the sun21 was originally scheduled to stop in Cape Verde, but after making good headway on their departure from the Canary Islands, the crew decided to head directly to Martinique. The boat will next hit several ports of call in the Caribbean islands before heading to Miami, Florida, and then proceeding to New York City in May. See the Transatlantic 21 press releases on the change of plans (PDF 36 KB) and the arrival in Martinique (PDF 107 KB). Download Adobe Reader.