World’s Longest Voyage in a Wave-Powered Boat
Economically speaking, wave power would seem to be a very cheap method of travel for a boat, no? As with everything else in life, there’s yin and there’s yang, give and take, pro and con. In this case, while the cost is cheap, the speed is slow.
Kenichi Horie is a Japanese sailor that embarked on a 4000 mile voyage March 18 2008 from Hawaii to Nippon on his 3 ton boat called the Suntory Mermaid II. This boat is powered by waves which in turn cause two paddles, or fins, at the bow to propel the boat forward at a speed up to 5 knots. After about a month of travel, he’s recently reported that he’s making progress of 100km per day and the progress report from the link below shows he’s about 1/3 of the way home.
It’s expected to take this adventurer about 75 days to reach his destination, to put it into perspective a diesel powered boat would take about 10 days.
The reason he’s doing this is to promote this technology and encourage further research into wave power with a goal of one day seeing commercial ships adopting a greener method of locomotion.
Tip of the hat to Kenichi, I wish him well and will follow his progress closely.