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

SOLAR NAVIGATOR - Team Background








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.  The team 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 solar powered challenger concept can raise the average cruising speed of an ocean going vessel, that will be another major advance for mankind.





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.




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- 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.