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Solar-powered boat will be a speedster

Dec 3, 2009
 
Sailors like to think they have the ultimate in self-sufficient vehicles. Put up the sails and travel across oceans without any worry about fuel. But now there’s a solar powered-boat that may give sailing voyagers a run for their money. Currently being built in Kiel, Germany, Planet Solar will be a 90-foot vessel solely powered by solar panels. Unlike some earlier solar-powered vessels, however, this boat will be fast. According to its developer, Swiss engineer Raphael Domjan, Solar Planet will be capable of up to 14 knots on its catamaran hulls. This speed would reportedly make the vessel capable of crossing the Atlantic in two weeks. Solar Planet will do this using 470 square meters of solar panels â€" the equivalent of two tennis courts in area. One thing sailors have going for them, however â€" the wind still blows when it’s cloudy.