Kenichi Horie And "Suntory Mermaid II" Prepared For a Cross-Pacific Eco-voyage

by Dr. Sunil Shroff on  March 7, 2008 at 2:08 PM Environmental Health   - G J E 4
Japanese master sailor and environmentalist Kenichi Horie and his boat "Suntory Mermaid II" is all set to go for a trans-Pacific voyage.
Kenichi Horie And
Kenichi Horie And "Suntory Mermaid II" Prepared For a Cross-Pacific Eco-voyage

The 69-year-old solo yachtsman and his boat made from recycled materials will embark on the 7,000-kilometre (3,780 nautical mile) trip from Honolulu on March 16 bound for Japan, the agent said in a statement.

His double-hull boat, named "Suntory Mermaid II," is equipped with two special fins at the front that can move like a dolphin's tail each time the boat rises or falls with the rhythm of the waves.

The theory is that a vertical motion can drive it forward at a speed of three knots.

"Throughout history, mankind has used wind for power, but no one has appeared to be serious about wave power," Horie said in an interview with AFP late last year.

"I think I'm a lucky boy as this wave power system has remained virtually untouched."

The 9.5-metre (31-foot) boat -- which is made partially of recycled aluminium and has the slogan "Earth Partnership" painted on both sides -- is expected to arrive in the Kii Channel in western Japan in May.

Horie made international headlines in 1962 when he became the first person to sail solo across the Pacific to San Francisco at the age of 23.

He went on the three-month voyage despite breaking Japanese law, which at the time did not allow its citizens to sail on their own out of the country.

Since then, he has made 10 sailing trips across the Pacific and around the world.

His projects have included sailing boats that rely on a single solar battery or are made from recycled materials.

Source: AFP

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