Two American men, father and son, shared a dream about an electric boat that runs virtually endlessly on solar power. For over 15 years they have been working to fulfil their vision, building several custom, patented, solar-electric boats under the brand name of Solar Sal.
This summer, the two of them completed what they believe to be the first-ever solar-electric boat voyage from Bellingham, Washington, to Juneau, Alaska.
They departed on Tuesday, 25 May, in their 27-ft wooden hull solar boat Wayward Sun and made landfall at Ketchikan, Alaska, 13 June, then continued up the coast at a more leisurely pace to Glacier Bay and Juneau, concluding the voyage on 8 July.
The electric boat is powered 100 per cent by solar energy with no fossil-fuel combustion engine at all on board. “People always ask us if we have any gas or diesel back up,” said Alex Borton, “but the sun rises every day. If our batteries get too low, we just wait.”