The World Solar Navigation Challenge W.S.N.C.

SOLAR NAVIGATOR - Team Background








The WSNC as it is presented today was proposed in 2012 by Nelson Kruschandl, our 57 year old designer. The present vessel design, owes a great deal to designs that were built and tested in large scale model form, from 1995 - 2003.


Nelson has a long history of interesting inventions starting at just 17 years old when he designed, built and piloted what would later turn out to be a forerunner to the jet ski format. 


Fifteen years later after learning how to weld, mastering CAD and teaching himself how to shape metal bodywork, he built his first car from scratch.  Nelson named this car after the family pet Borzoi - a Russian hunting dog. (0 - 60 in 3.9 seconds) and using an innovative steering system that was patented (GB2218187 using a joystick instead of a steering wheel or floor pedals).


With the taste for pioneering awakened, he began working on the next car project, during which time he built a wind tunnel in which to test his designs.  However, his interest in the environment was revived in the 1990's when the media highlighted global warming issues and the predicted fuel shortages.  


Nelson identified the major shortfall of electric cars on the market at the time... their slow refueling capacity meaning they couldn't compete with liquid fuel.  With this in mind, he incorporated an instant refueling system (patented in 1992 GB2253379)  into the new car design he was working on, giving the electric motor the practicality it had lacked for want of energy.


A car fitted with this system achieved a speed of 160 miles per hour which is significantly higher than the current British land-speed record.  Since then, in between developing more car designs he become a BSAC qualified diver which renewed his enthusiasm for marine adventure spurring more boat designs, modeling and testing.  


The latest boat design came about as a result of the realisation that wave drag could be significantly decreased through a rethink of simple hydrodynamic engineering principles, to combine this with ecologically sound propulsion.  The PlanetSolar, though an incredible boat, has shown that there is much needed development of hull and panel usage, if a practical seagoing cargo vessel with respectable speed, is to become a reality.


Nelson developed a revolutionary new trimaran concept, which may be built cost effectively using sub-contractors to produce sub-assemblies, then assembled and fitted out by an experienced boat-builder and electrical engineers.


After identifying this opportunity in the technical sporting events market for the vessel to beat the current solar circumnavigation record of 585 days, Max Energy Limited formed the WSNC. In the last 3 years the projects websites has gone from 5,000 hits a day to well over 150,000 (seasonally adjusted), achieving high rankings in most search engines under the headings "Solar Boat," "Catamaran" and "Trimaran" in images searches, especially in Google and Yahoo. Our sister sites rank well under Solar Cars.


Following testing of several hull designs in 1/10 and 1/20th scale, the Swath, Catamaran and Trimaran designs were discarded and the current hybrid hull was developed.  Nelson backed up theoretical calculations from a feasibility study that an ocean-going vessel could harness enough consistent solar energy to drive an electric boat around the globe at speeds of 8-10 knots. This is only possible with an advanced hull format and high power to weight ratio from innovative solar panel operation. The Turanor PlanetSolar averaged just 2.85 knots on its epic voyage ending in May of 2012, and the Sun21 team achieved much the same when crossing the Atlantic in 2007. Clearly, if the new SolarNavigator concept can raise the average cruising speed of an ocean going vessel, that will be another major advance for maknind.





At the moment Max Energy Limited have a vacancy for a Marketing Manager. If this is of interest to you, please email us for the attention of Blueplanet Productions.





Andy Fox, 39, has been our named boat-builder and fitter from the beginning of the project. His interest in the environment led Andy to build the EcoCat range of ecologically friendly Catamarans after several years of construction of vessels particularly in aluminium and carbon fibre.  He also has significant experience in installing electrical systems and helped develop the latest Port of London Authority launches.


Lloyd Stebbings has provided fiberglass moulding services for the Solarnavigator SWATH hulls and many more projects. Lloyd is also a boat builder with considerable experience of Offshore racing hulls, such as the Honda team which he worked for, and fast electric boats.





Alex Martin, 28, has several years experience designing electronic equipment, from missile guidance systems to Ferrari engine management systems. He also designs robots in his spare time. Alex has developed the tracking system and battery monitoring and charging circuits, used to track, direct and maximize the energy collected from the sun.


The WSNC headquarters is located in Sussex, England. The project currently employs 4 persons, including the project leader.  Arrangements are being put in place with subcontractors to complete the assembly and build of the vessel. 




A small step for man, yes, but the ramifications of a true robot ship are incalculable. This is on a par with the Spirit of St Louis, and the Moon landing. The question is, will there be sufficient interest in this aspect of the project to attract funding. We would very much like to include autonomy - and if any Navy is interested, the Scorpion laser weapon, designed to eliminate pirate threats. We cannot at this stage reveal the identity of the team members (or civilian contractors) who will be develop these systems. Roboboats are popular with University Degree students, for their diverse operating requirements.








In order to view the Appendices and other confidential information, investors will need to complete a Non Disclosure Agreement, which is available on request.




Electric solar powered wave piercing trimaran world circumnavigation

Solarnavigator is a battery electric trimaran with an extremely efficient active hull 

that runs on solar power = energy from nature. This hull form has never been

attempted before, nor has the use of wind energy been used in such manner for crew comfort.





Email:  Email 21st Century Caves  or phone UK:


+ 44 (0) 1323 831727    +44 (0) 7842 607865


Blueplanet Netdirect Productions, Solar House, BN27 1RF, United Kingdom



European Commission star circle logo 


Project Objectives

Galley | Paints | Screens | Diving

Project Estimates | Record Attempt | PR Events

Batteries | Alloys | Timber | Composites | Navigation | Hydraulics

Motors | Electronics | Solar Panels | Propeller | Transmission | Tooling | Life Support

Tank Testing (Model Construction)& Results



Nine Sigma logo. Accelerating the Innovation Cycle




 Kulo Luna, a John Storm adventure featuring the Solarnavigator, by Jameson Hunter  Cyber Wars, an adventure story (book) featuring John Storm and the Solar Navigator by Jameson Hunter


The design of the Solar Navigator boat has been licensed for use in

the John Storm series of books by Jameson Hunter - Filming, etc



This website is copyright © 1991- 2013 Electrick Publications. All rights reserved. The blue bird logo and names Solar Navigator and Blueplanet Ecostar are trademarks ™.  The Blueplanet BE3 vehicle configuration is registered ®.  All other trademarks hereby acknowledged and please note that this project should not be confused with the Australian: 'World Solar Challenge'™which is a superb road vehicle endurance race from Darwin to Adelaide.  Utopia Tristar is a trademark for sustainable zero carbon housing. Max Energy Limited is an educational charity working for world peace.