Solar boat picks the right time to shine
DOMINIC de Vries was in a minority of one at the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show, but the man behind one of the world’s first fully solar-powered cruiser catamaran’s believes that will change in years to come.
‘‘As you can see, 99 per cent of the boats here have conventional engines but each year more and more people are interested in what we’re doing,’’ the All4Solar project manager said.
‘‘When we started in Australia four years ago, a lot of people would say, ‘Oh, it’s not going to work’ but we haven’t had one person say that at this year’s boat show. Everyone knows resources are limited and we have to do something.
‘‘Petrol is getting so expensive that we have to think of alternatives because people will always want to go have fun in their boats.’’
Despite many prototypes around the world, the Solar Pacific Cruiser is the first of its kind to make it to production.
The hull of the 10m x 4.5m catamaran is under construction near Hervey Bay and will then be trans-
Petrol is getting so expensive that we have to think of alternatives
ported to Cairns for its final fit-out.
It is expected to make its maiden voyage in December and will be on show at next year’s Sanctuary Cove boat show.
‘‘We want to create a purely solar-powered boat that can sleep six people and go out to the reef comfortably.
‘‘You’ll still have your fridge and airconditioning, your toilet and shower. ‘‘We all know solar power works. ‘‘This is just the next step.’’ The Solar Pacific Cruiser, which will have a cruising speed of 18 knots, is a joint project with Aquawatt, SYAS Performance, Streamline Catamarans and ATL Composites.