World's Greenest Boat Also Aims To Be The Fastest
Shaped like an alien from outer space, Earthrace has been built to break the official 'Round the World Speed Record by a Powerboat'. The current record is about 75 days, Earthrace is hoping to do it in 65 days. However, unlike the other speedboat, Earthrace will do it using only 100% Biodiesel fuel.
Earthrace, which cost $3mm USD to build, is a not-for-profit project, whose main aim is to raise awareness of the environment and the use of resources that are either renewable (like wind and solar energy) or less harmful to the environment.
The people behind the project are New Zealand residents, Pete Bethune (the skipper) and his wife, who mortgaged their home and sold everything else they owned to raise the first $650,000 US Dollars. A similar amount was raised from friends and family and rest came from sponsorships mostly in the form of donated goods and services.
The boat, built from environmentally friendly products, goes through waves instead of over them, making for a cool and smoother riding experience, and can travel at speeds of up to 40 knots. The boat is currently touring the world, to try give people a glimpse of what could be the future and also to get ready for its race in March 2008, to try be the fastest powerboat in the world.
While touring, Earthrace is open to everyone to visit. Just show up at any of the ports it is visiting and you can get a fully guided tour for about seven US Dollars. Sixty US Dollars will get you a ride on the boat, while ten thousand US Dollars will earn you the right to join the four-person crew when the race begins in March.
Being a part of the crew is not going to be an easy job. While the outside of the boat looks really cool, inside it is all barebones. There are six simple bunk beds, four for the crew, one for a guest and the other containing an emergency life raft. The crew works in pairs, spending two hours at the controls and two hours off. They try and sleep whenever they get a chance. Once the engines are turned on the noise is so deafening that the crew wear earplugs. Additionally, while the boat will not sink if it flips over, there is also no way for the crew to get out. They therefore carry an axe with which they intend to break open a hole, in case this happens. One more thing - there are no showers either!
Having said this people who have been on a ride are simply amazed by the speed and the way the boat flies through waves instead of over them.
We'll keep our fingers crossed that this boat does break the world record and paves the way for future "cleaner" boats. Stay tuned for updates in future issues of DOGONews and make sure you check out the video below to experience what a ride would feel like in this amazing and supercool boat.