"Hey baby let me take you out on my yaht...my solar powered yaht," yes someone in the world actually gets to say this. And just to add to this real-life Don Juan's bragging he also gets to stress that it's the world's largest.
All right, so the boat wasn't really built for the ladies. The PlanetSolar project was the dream of Raphael Domjam, a former ambulance driver, mountain guide, and rescue specialist, who hopes to hammer home a green message. The Turanur PlanetSolar yaht is the result of Domjam's wish to tour the world using as little energy as possible.
The 102-ft yaht was designed in New Zealand, built in Germany and sports a Swiss flag. It set sail in Monaco last September, travling to Miami, the Panama Canal, Galapagos Islands, Australia, Hong Kong and more before heading back into the Mediterranean by the Suez Canal.
Lithium batteries store energy and power the ship through the night, or during overcast, traveling up to about 15 mph. The crew has monitored the performance of the panels throughout the journey. So far, skipper Erwann Le Rouzic reports to The New York Times that everything is going smoothly.
The ship doesn't stray far from the equator to capture maximum amount of sunlight. Though this isn't viable for the shipping industry, but Domjam and his crew stress that companies don't have to go 100% solar. Le Rouzic notes that shipping fuel contains far more nitrogen and sulfur than gasoline for cars does, resulting in especially nasty emissions. He explains that companies don't have to go as extreme as they did, but encourages all to make an effort to reduce emissions by considering alternative green sources.