In February 2007, Sun21 arrived in Le Marin, Martinique, having crossed the Atlantic from Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, in 29 days. This may seem slow, but when you bear in mind the journey was completely powered by the sun, it's very impressive. In fact, it gained the boat a Guinness World Record for the fastest transatlantic crossing made completely under solar power.
The catamaran was created by Transatlantic21 and powered by photovoltaic cells on its roof. Half of the energy it produces is stored in batteries, allowing the boat to keep moving at night.
Its creators suggest that no other vehicle is better suited to convert photovoltaic energy into movement than a boat, especially ones that don't have to be anywhere in any great hurry. Hopefully, as a result, we'll be seeing many more solar-powered water vessels in the future.
In the meantime, the Sun21 has been donated to the WWF Adena/Madrid, who will be using it as a scientific research vessel. RM
Images: Ecos – Dylan Cross; Rafael Dietschy