Last year the solar electric boat Sun21 crossed the Atlantic Ocean in 29 days with five men aboard, a Shipbuilder, Skipper, Doctor, Historian, and Biologist. This passage set the record for the fastest ever solar-powered atlantic crossing. The fastest Atlantic crossing by any boat, set in 1998, is two days, 20 hours and nine minutes. Sun21 has a cruising speed of 5 knots. 65 square meters of solar panels provide 10 kilowatts of power for the 12 ton boat. In the keels sit 520 Amp Hours worth of 48 volt batteries that store 25 kilowatt hours of power, about 80% the average daily use of an American home. These batteries keep two 8 kW motors, one quarter the size of the electric motor in a Toyota Prius, running 24 hours a day.
The boat cost over US$600,000 (700,000 Swiss Francs) to build and was funded by “idealistic individuals.” Considering the bloated floating trophies available for view in most large ports, costing many millions of dollars each, this boat is a great example of well directed wealth!