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Taking a Long Slow Cruise on a Solar Yacht Taking a Long Slow Cruise on a Solar Yacht

Taking a Long Slow Cruise on a Solar Yacht

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Boasting more than 3,000 square feet in solar panels, the all-electric SolarImpact yacht is said to be able to cruise without a time limit -- if the weather cooperates and operators aren't in too much of a hurry.

As it is, the yacht's onboard battery can deliver as many as 10 hours of cruising power, with more available when sunshine can be harnessed to replenish the 800-kWh cell. Given a day with abundant sunshine, the panels can collect upwards of 320 kWh.

While the boat's all-electric power systems can push it to a top speed of 22 knots, operators who are willing to cruise along at a little less than a quarter of that speed can circumnavigate the world in about six months...as long as the course doesn't include too many land interruptions.

New Atlas reports that traveling on an ordinary yacht about the same size would result in using roughly 26 gallons (100 liters) of fuel every hour traveling at a speed of 10 knots. That might not necessarily hit too hard at the wallet of someone rich enough to own an 80-foot yacht, but those interested in operating a large-scale ocean toy without polluting the environment might find that the SolarImpact possesses great appeal.

In case the sun decides to stay behind the clouds, the boat includes two 87-horsepower backup diesel engines. All of the drive systems have been automated to the extent that the craft can be controlled by just one person at the helm.

The interior accommodates 10 additional passengers, and is as well-appointed as one might expect of a large ocean-going yacht. And special stabilizing technology allows for a smooth ride in rough waters.

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Read 2903 times Last modified on Friday, 21 September 2018 07:42
Jim Lillie

Jim began writing for newspapers and designing for publishing companies at a time when both industries were just beginning to make the switch from manual to digital platforms. Jim lives in Boulder, Colorado with his teenage son.

Website: www.jimlillie.com
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