Wave Powered !!
First wave-powered boat makes history
Japanese master sailor and environmentalist Kenichi Horie finally arrived back in Japan after setting off back in March of this year, on a first-of-a-kind trans-Pacific voyage powered only by waves.
The 69-year-old solo yachtsman and his boat made from recycled materials embarked on the 3800nm trip from Honolulu bound for Japan, expecting to arrive 'sometime in May'. Well it took longer than he thought, but on July 4th, he did it, arriving at the port of Wakayama in the channel between Honshu and Shikoku Islands, just before midnight, thus becoming the first person in history to cross and ocean powered by wave power.
His 9.5m double-hull boat, made partly of recycled aluminum, named Suntory Mermaid II, was equipped with two special fins at the front that move like a dolphin's tail each time the boat rises or falls with the rhythm of the waves.
The theory said that that a vertical motion could drive the boat forward at a speed of three knots. In reality, he only averaged 1.5 knots, not the fastest way to travel, but it could spell the dawning of yet another innovative green way of transiting oceans.
"Throughout history, mankind has used wind for power, but no one has appeared to be serious about wave power," Mr. Horie said late last year.
"I think I'm a lucky boy as this wave power system has remained virtually untouched."
The 4,800-mile voyage, which began in Honolulu in March, ended when Kenichi Horie's three-ton yacht docked in Wakayama in western Japan last night.
"The sea was so calm, and the weather was so great throughout my journey. That's why it took me so long," he said
I had a dream, I was sailing, I was happy, I was even smiling. Then I looked down and saw that I was on a multi-hull and woke up suddenly in a cold sweat.
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