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









Where the Solar Navigator team have developed the circumnavigation concept steadily since 1996, inevitably, we have inspired others to think on the challenge, and finally another team have decided they are up to the task.


Accordingly, in about 2005 a Franco/Swiss team named PlanetSolar announced they would be building a solar powered trimaran to attempt a world navigation. This revelation turned our project into a potential race, against which we suggest that our sponsors might offer an incentive to competitors with naming rights attaching.


PlanetSolar adopted a near identical route to that originally proposed at the 1996 Boat Show. Their design changed after project launch from a wave piercing trimaran design to a catamaran, we assume for reasons of practical economy.





Length: 31 meters

Length with flaps: 35m
Width: 15 meters

Width with flaps: 23m

Height: 6.10 meters

Draft: 1.55m
Weight: 95 tons
Solar panels' Surface: 537 m2
Installed Solar Power : 93.5 kW (127.0 HP)
Cruise Speed: 10 knots, or 18,5 km/h
Maximum Speed: 15 knots, or 27 km/h

Average Daily distance covered: 63.25 nautical miles

Average distance per hour: 2.64 nautical miles

Crew: 4
Capacity: 40 people
Cockpit: 6,50 meters above water line
World Tour Duration: 585 days
Stopovers : 52
Countries visited : 28
Oceans crossed : 3
Seas crossed : 11
Kilometres covered : 60’006
Nautical miles covered : 37’000
Energy yield: roughly 260’000 kWh
Solar Cells: 38’000 with 18,8% yield
Maximum engine power : 120 kW
Average engine consumption : 20 kW (26.8 HP)



Earlier this year a solar powered catamaran named Sun 21, crossed the Atlantic Ocean from Basel to New York via Miami, a distance of 7,000 sea miles in 40 days and at an average speed of 7.3 knots.





Length: 14 meters
Width: 6.6 meters
Weight: 12 tons
Solar panels' Surface: 65 m2
Installed Solar Power : 10 kW
Average Speed: 5-6 knots, or 18,5 km/h
Maximum Speed: 7.5 knots, or 27 km/h
Capacity: 6 people  



Set against this background, there are a number of high profile world class sailing events in which a potential sponsor might invest to attain a suitable sporty adventurous association but there are none so far as we are aware that embody all of the principles that we outline in this plan.


To minimise the risk to our sponsors and in turn maximise media returns we have increased the solar panel area of the Solar Navigator.  We have also reduced the build costs by using subcontractors and simplifying the design, reducing the construction to a number of basic structures, which are then assembled to create the whole.  This approach has the net effect of reducing the overall price tag of the project – which means a sponsor’s money goes further.  


Although we have made every effort to keep build costs down, rest assured we will be using state of the art motors, batteries and solar panels (please see appendices for details).

Your investment now will enable us to begin construction of the vessel and gain a valuable head start over other potential contenders.  In return for immediate funding we can offer prime billing as the main sponsor, hence you will be seen to be taking the lead risk wise, which will further enhance your corporate image.




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







This website is copyright © 1991- 2012 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.