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The Green Life: A Sun-Powered Boat Goes 'Round the World

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November 30, 2010

A Sun-Powered Boat Goes 'Round the World

Solar-powered boat The name Turanor may be derived from the Lord of the Rings, but the world’s largest solar-powered boat (and the crew’s vision) is no fantasy. It cruised into the Miami Beach Marina Saturday morning on its way to proving that a pollution-free, around-the-world journey is possible with a bit of sunshine.  

“It was stunning and magnificent,” said spokesman Tarcisio Costa of the futuristic catamaran’s arrival into port. The solar-panel-covered boat left Monaco on Sept. 27; its crew hopes to finish the journey within 10 months. If successful, the PlanetSolar team will be the first to circumnavigate the globe using nothing more than solar power.

One of the goals for the Turanor (made of carbon fiber, foam core, and resin) is to demonstrate that we have the technology required for sustainability. “It’s about show and tell,” said Costa. “The boat is proof that it can be done.”

The vessel also demonstrates that solar energy doesn't have to be stationary: "We want to show that solar energy can also provide solar mobilty," said Imme Stroher, the boat's owner. "In this way, we can use sustainable energy technology to make a decisive contribution to climate protection in the sphere of transport."

The boat's next port of call? Cancun, Mexico. It'll be hard for those climate-change delegates to miss such an eye-catching, sun-splashed beauty of an idea.

--Molly Oleson

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