What a trip! Sailing around the world is one thing, nothing unusual for a couple of young chaps. The more than amazing element is that their sailing boat has not used a single drop of fuel. They were running on zero emission. Including cruising the 40 nautical miles along the Panama Canal. How did they do it?
The four guys from the Eco Sailing Project first had an idea, which turned into a plan, which turned into pretty cool reality. Wanting to tour the world they decided to go for the very sporty option: sailing around the world. And not just that. The boat should be self-sufficient in power and energy supply, surviving on re-usable energy only. Brilliant.
Once they had bought a 1978 built yacht, the old motor had to go, same as the exhaust system and the diesel tanks. Old stuff out and gone, lots of new equipment came on board. LED lights, solar power, wind turbine, e-motor. One of the items I found simply great is the propeller turning to hydro generator while sailing – how cool is that? An overview of their energy supply you can find in the little picture here. I love it.
The two 10 kW electric motors can easily move the ship forward, at the same time the propeller will charge batteries while sailing. They also installed eight solar panels on deck (can be walked on), which provided enough energy to power all the on-board systems. A combined system of two solar panels, a wind generator and the hydro generator (propeller from the motor) produced enough energy to keep the motor going whenever it was needed.
And what about storing all the energy not used immediately? They had two lithium battery packs on board to save up lots of eco-produced power for later usage. The entire system worked extremely well, maintenance hours spent on all of those items was near zero. Same as the zero emission.
Fellow sailors, would you like to know another fact? All the items they have used on their yacht are available at lots of shops already. There was no specially developed item on board, it was all off the shelf. Would you be interested in transforming your sailing yacht into a zero emission boat? I’d certainly love to hear about it, what your plans are, how you would like to achieve this goal, the steps forward (and backward), anything really – am more than interested in that topic!
They killed my project!
Having read about and followed those young fellows on their tour around the world something else became very clear. My own project “baltic sea. pure energy. 2.” has been blown to pieces. It has become history before it had the chance to even properly start. There is not really any point anymore in proving that you can spend months on a sailing boat without using any fuel and being self-sufficient with energy supply. It’s been done already, not only by those four young chaps sailing around the world.
The additional thoughts I had in mind with “baltic sea. pure energy. 2.”, like checking out environmental projects along the coasts of the Baltic Sea, is something I could still have a look at. Maybe I should go hiking around the Baltic Sea instead of sailing? Not really, was just joking. Lots of folks are following up on those topics, and I currently simply don’t have the time to re-do a boat. Not to mention spending three to five months sailing around the Baltic Sea.
So, after a rather long moment of consideration, including a glass (or two) of red wine, I have decided to close my project “bspe2”. Let’s move on to other interesting topics. Am I sad about it? Initially quite a bit, yes, but now I am just glad that even sailing tours around the world can easily be done with boats using renewable energy only. That is good news indeed, and I am an optimist and usually looking forward instead of back. So there will be other projects, new ideas, be it sailing, hiking, or maybe – resting… 😉