First solar-powered voyage across the Atlantic Ocean starts

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A small band of pioneers have left Basel, Switzerland, last Monday, beginning the first sun-powered Atlantic Ocean crossing. Once their voyage is complete they will surely prove an exemplary to the world showing how feasible it is to cover long distances seafaring without using a drop of gas! – or polluting the waterway.

Designed by MW-Line, the motorized catamaran is named Sun21. It has two polyester hulls, itself measuring 46 feet (14 meters) by 21 feet (6.5 meters). Its 700-square-foot (65-square-meter) roof is covered by solar panels.

Though the boats will create more power during the day, sun21 will draw on stored power to motor around the clock. On a full charge of its batteries, the boat can run 20 hours.

Sun21 motored up the Rhine River to the North Sea, and will be traveling along the coasts of the Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, and Spain. It is in the Spanish town of Seville, the voyagers will be beginning the open-ocean part of the journey in late November.