Tûranor PlanetSolar crosses the Atlantic in record time

2010-11-22By Raphael Montigneaux

Swiss eco-adventures are omnipresent these days. Solar Impulse had its first flight in April 2010 and is preparing a round-the-world flight in 2013. And Tûranor PlanetSolar has reached an important landmark of her circumnavigation started in Monaco on September 27th, the Atlantic crossing.

She dropped anchor in Marigot Bay, St. Maarten, at 02h00 local time (UTC 06h00) on November 18th, having crossed the Atlantic in 26 days, 19 hours and 10 minutes, a new record for a solar-powered boat. Raphaël Domjan, the project's founder, commented: "When we finally sighted land ... all the crew got together and fixed our eyes on the horizon in the distance. It was an emotional moment."

At 31m, the multi-hulled Tûranor PlanetSolar is the biggest solar-powered boat ever built. She was designed by LOMOcean Design and built at the Knierim Yachtbau and HDW in Kiel, Germany over a 14 month period. 537m² of solar panels are the only source of power on board - they convert solar radiation into electricity using photovoltaic semiconductors.

She is now making her way along the coast of the Dominican Republic, en route to Miami. We will be following her progress with interest.