Solar Powered Mega-Yacht Breaking Records All Over The Place

Travel News — By Carlo Alcos on June 13, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Here are the numbers:

  • Cost: $16.7 million
  • Length: 31 metres
  • Width: 15 metres
  • Number of solar cells: 38,000
  • Surface area of solar cells: 537 square metres
  • Weight: 60 tonnes
  • Max sailing speed: 15 mph (15 knots)
  • Longest it can sail without direct sunlight: 3 days/3 nights


Image: Reinhard_Schuldt/Flickr

The Turanor PlanetSolar — a solar mega-yacht designed by international engineers and built by the Knierim shipyard in Kiel, Germany — is the largest of its kind in the world. As reported by, the boat has already broken two world records since departing Monaco in September last year: Fastest crossing of the Atlantic by solar boat (26 days, 19 hours, 10 minutes) and Longest distance covered by a solar electric vehicle (over 9,904 nautical miles).

Its ultimate goal, though, is to become the first solar-powered boat to circumnavigate the earth. The boat is the brainchild of eco-adventurer and Swiss engineer, Raphael Domjan. He told the Miami Herald:

We want to show what we can do with solar power. We have the technology to change the world, not tomorrow, but today.


The name of the boat, Turanor, is “elvish” for “power of the sun”; the word taken from JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. While the sailing so far has been smooth, Domjan admits that the navigation is tough, because no one navigates like this anymore. ”What we are doing now, nobody does this sort of navigation. We have to find the sun to go as fast as possible, ” he’s quoted as saying.

Incredible new technology and old school sailing? Sounds pretty awesome to us.

Tags: boat, electric, sailing, solar power, sun, turanor planetsolar

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