For her new voyage starting in 2013 the most significant optimization of Turanor Planetsolar was a change to the propulsion system, you guessed it:
The surface propellers were replaced by a completely immersed system!!!

Below is a truly stunning photo of Turanor in Cartagena Colombia by Claudia Londono Agre, click the photo for high res image and click again to zoom.

Immo Stroher, business man. who had the vision to make Raphael Domjan's dream of Turanor PlanetSolar become a reality.
If others climb on board and follow Immo's example the Earth will become a beautiful home for the life it supports.

THE BOYZ ... PATRICK and CHRISTIAN, have flown home, JENS is still aboard ...

Erwann Le Rouzic the new captain of Turanor PlanetSolar on the bridge as they set out from Noumea, New Caledonia.

Above Erwann Le Rouzic the new captain of Turanor PlanetSolar on the way to Brisbane from Noumea.

Below, with the stern square sail hydraulically hoisted (making it difficult to steer) Turanor bowls along at a blistering 4.4 knots in the trade winds.

By travelling broadside on or at an angle to the wind waves they can keep Turanor's props in the water, but the waves then break on the windward side of the hull and floats.

Raphael Domjan, the driving force behind PlanetSolar, chills out to his favourite iTunes in perfect sailing weather on the Pacific ocean.
But Raphael writes: "To find myself in these ugly conditions in the middle of this South Pacific where no other solar boat has ever dared to rule the waves ...." .
I think Raphael has been reading too much Jules Gabriel Verne? oooo! those waves look really fearsome Raphael, don't embarrass captain Le Rouzic. ;)
And while you are lucky enough to have those stiff south easterlies, ride them up to the Torres Strait ... OK don't then.

Turanor PlanetSolar LOGBOOK - 20.05.2011
Weather: Sunny day. Strong wind from the South East. Heavy sea.
Distance covered during the last 24 hours (2000 hrs. to 2000 hrs): 118 sea miles (219 km).
The wind turns more to the east and permits us to set the course now to Brisbane and to our antipodal route. We have decided to fulfill the english conditions which are the severest for vaidating our tour around the globe. This means that departure and arrival have to happen in the same harbour, that all the longitudinal lines have to be crossed, that we have to pass across the equator twice and at least once across our antipodal route.
Jens is well again, and Mike is better as well. The sea remains heavy but less than during the last 24 hours. We could recharge our batteries completely before nightfall, and the next two days should be mostly sunny.
We are looking forward to arriving in Australia, to sleep in a bed that doesn't move and without the constant noise caused by the waves when they crash against our hull.
Have a nice weekend everybody! . . . Raphael and the crew
Time to Karcher the panels again Raphael, is it better to use some power to run the Karcher to clean the salt off the solar panels to gain more power from the sun?

Building a solar aircraft is orders of magnitude more complicated than building a solar boat. An inefficient propulsion system on a solar powered aircraft is not an option, or it will not fly. The power to weight ratio is critical and every component making up the plane has to be as light as possible but strong enough to perform it's task.
Whereas a solar powered boat can be built like a brick shit house and still float and be propelled along at a speed greater than zero knots providing the head wind and sea is not too strong.
It is good to see the Deutsche Bank getting behind the Solar Impulse aircraft project.
The Solar Impulse team is truly inspirational. website


link to Turanor PlanetSolar logbook HERE . . . Open this file: in Google Earth to see Turanor's track.

One of my sons suffered kidney failure. The GP he saw failed to pick up the very obvious symptoms and a couple of weeks later he presented himself to emergency at a large teaching hospital. His condition was stabalized and he is now on peritoneal dialysis. The cause of the demise of his kidneys is as yet unknown. He lives a healthy lifestyle.
So planetsea has been suffering from my inattention while I flew south to support him.

Turanor PlanetSolar team soak up luxury at Subic Bay Yacht Club ... next destination Hong Kong ... sensibly they abandoned their stop in Shanghai.

Turanor PlanetSolar has left Manila returning to Paradise Island as you see below ...

Erwann, captain; Tobias, logistics; Thomas, bosun; Christian, engineer. Passing throught the Torres strait into the Arafura sea.
Turanor is hoping to call in at Manila, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Mumbai, Abu Dhabi ...

The guys on Turanor PlanetSolar are heading to the China sea to play Russian Roulette with deadly typhoons,

Perhaps you should forget about the China sea and motor direct to Singapore in a boat that only does about 120 nautical miles per day in perfect conditions?
You can't run and you can't hide but you can be a sitting duck!

Surface propellers only work at extreme speed as on the Itama 60 below (40 knots no problem), but not on Turanor PlanetSolar (5 knots is fast).

Guest Oliver, the new boyz on Turanor and Jens show off their solar cooking skills (fresh baked bread and fresh caught fish)

*** Sorry guys above is the best photo I could get at 20km away from PlanetSolar, Holbourne island conservation park zone in background ***

Unless you've got a reef boat forget about seeing PlanetSolar, the replacement minder and captain seem to be mindlessly heading for Cairns Marinas slipway.
Well if they want to miss the best part of the coast, which would have generated mega publicity and photo opportunities, that's not just their loss.
The PlanetSolar project needs a new management team!!!
Oh and Tobias (the minder) you said:
"When Mike took over the watch he suddenly discovered a cargo ship on the radar, which was coming directly from behind us at a decent speed of 20 knots. A little alarmed by this situation, he asked captain Erwann for help, but first he had to wake him up! As the Saudi-Arabic ship was still coming toward us, Erwann made contact with the freighter over the emergency radio channel 16. In order to communicate further, both sides switched to channel 67. After Erwann explained our limited speed, the ship passed us on the port side."
Perhaps you were sitting like a stationary object in the right side of the navigation lane for large ships, so the ship overtook you on your left because it was his only option as he had to stay within the navigable channel. (and give us the name and call sign of the ship so we can check it out)
Tobias said: "As the Saudi-Arabic ship" "passed us on the port side" which to me comes across as "the ignorant rag heads didn't even know which side to overtake on".
(If you are overtaking a boat, you can do so to either side of the boat you wish to pass.)
You should not have been in a shipping lane, and if you needed to cross one you should have crossed it at right angles to the lane when it was safe to do so without hindering the flow of traffic in the lane.
Turanor PlanetSolar draws very little water and at around 3.5 knots you should have been well away from the shipping lane, perhaps you were the ignorant camel jockeys?

Whale celebrates encounter with solar powered boat? Inside Great Barrier Reef, Australia.
Raphael Domjan leaves Tobias Wulser in charge of his duties aboard Turanor PlanetSolar as he flies out of Lady Elliot island on his way to Switzerland.

"Tobias Wulser comes aboard. He is the new crew member and will step in for me during my absence. As a matter of fact, I have to get back to Switzerland for an operation. Tobias will handle the blog and all other aspects of communication on board of PlanetSolar until my return. Thanks, Tobias, and welcome to our team and the PlanetSolar experiment!" ... Raphael.
Photo of the Glasshouse Mountains from Turanor PlanetSolar:

Photo of the Glasshouse Mountains from the land, Glass House Mountains National Park was named by Captain Cook as he mapped the Queensland coast in May 1770. The 'Glass Houses' are distinctive volcanic plugs which rise abruptly out of a patchwork of farms and forests. The Glass House Mountains are spiritually significant to the local Aboriginal people (click photos)
It is only 3 eighty year lifetimes and one year ago since the HMS Endeavour sailed up the Queensland coast with captain James Cook and his crew aboard.

Replica of HMS Endeavour

NASA astronaut Mark Kelly on the space shuttle Endeavour wrote to the captain of the Endeavour sailing ship replica,
"We are proud that our Space Shuttle shares its name with your sailing vessel and all that it represents."
Perhaps he meant he was proud that it represents the endeavours of a disfunctional European society to dump their criminals on other peoples lands and use their fortuitous technical superiority to steal the indigenous inhabitants resources and replace their cultures with one of violence and avarice?
(Cook and his men made numerous forays into the bush to gather food and explore. Cordial relations between the Endeavour crew and the local Aborigines - the Guugu-Yimidhirr people - were probably fostered by intense mutual curiosity. Cook, unusually for a European of his day, described the Guugu-Yimidhirr as having "...features far from disagreeable, the Voices soft and tunable..." From these people the Europeans learned that " animal something less than a greyhound...of a Mouse Colour very slender made and swift of foot," was a "Kanguru".) link

TURANOR PLANETSOLAR ARRIVES IN AUSTRALIA . . . from Monaco, over 16,000 nautical miles on free solar fuel . . . check her out in Cairns (arriving Sat 11 June).

Sailing ships tapped into free wind fuel, but they needed to employ a few sailors to keep their wind engines running. The fuel cost to bring the convicts to Australia was zero.

( Facebook )

Turanor was at the Riverside Centre pontoon:

I don't understand the significance of the painting above, at first glance I thought it was NATO forces killing innocent Libyan civilians, but it's too green to be Libya?

LOGBOOK - 25.05.2011
Weather: Stormy wind from the West, with squalls of 40 knots. Very scarce sunlight and rough sea (troughs of 4 to 5 meters).

Distance covered during the last 24 hours (2000 hrs. to 2000 hrs): 20 sea miles (37 km).
Last night when I was on the phone with Pascal Goulpie, co-founder and operational director of PlanetSolar in Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland, the wind picked up brutally, up to an average of 35 knots and squalls of 40 knots (80 km/h). We sarted to retract...

First I thought of a local phenomenon. But a look at the Australian forecasts confirmed the current situation. Even with our forecasters from Meteo France we never saw it coming. Our simulations presented us with a very different version.

Considering the conditions and the level of our batteries, we have to flee, although we are almost at the shores of the Australian continent. We have to be patient and wait until the weather will permit us to take up our course for Brisbane again. Our situation being at least precarious, we have to apply the precedures to safeguard our energy. All systems which are not vital have been shut down.
This ist he first time that we face such difficulties: Storm, unfavourable winds, and lack of sunshine. On board, we have to switch to manual navigation which requires permanent concentration at all times. Together with PlanetSolar, we take every hit of the unchained ocean against our superstructure. The roar of the wind against our hull is deafening. One could have the impression of being in a cabin perched in the high mountains.
But PlanetSolar is behaving great and guides us bravely in total safety to our next destination. It is unbelievable – winds with more than 25 knots blow against the bow, and still we advance by 1,5 knots (3 km/h) with 4 kW (5 HP). I had acquired the habit of saying that we will surround the globe with the energy of a scooter. Now we had to switch over to a moped...
After more than 7500 miles in the Pacific Ocean which we covered in relative tranquillity, I believe that the greatest of all oceans has decided to show us how powerful it can be.
Till tomorrow! Raphael and the crew

I'll try to put this gently, but perhaps both your forecasting service and your routing simulation software are ######?

PlanetSolar's gate keepers must have whipped Raphael Domjan into line, he is now saying:

The support of our forecasters, the efficiency of our software, the qualities of our solar ship, the team spirit of the crew and our tenacity helped us through the extreme conditions of these last days and nights.

Which if you've been keeping a keen eye on the voyage you will know is far from the truth.
This is a proving voyage Raphael and the PlanetSolar team, you may be in denial but your observers are not, man needs truth to advance.

Save electric power by installing a solar hot water panel, eat freeze dried food like ocean rowers do for months at sea, shower and wash with seawater, use desalinated water for drinking and reconstituting freeze dried food. Use a very well insulated top loading fridge to store fresh food you pick up at ports of call.
See my piece down the page on redesigning your propulsion system, and see if you can redesign your steering and autopilot to be more responsive and use less power, like the system Ellen McArthur used in her single handed record breaking round the World voyage below, and the guys in the Vendee Globe:

QE2 diesel electric, Turanor PlanetSolar solar electric. As the weight of a ship increases by the cube of it's length, and the space for solar panels increases by the square of it's length it is apparent that it would be impossible to power the QE2 using solar panels.

1 - Oasis of the Seas 220,000 tons 50 x 300 = 15,000 square metres of solar panels 220,000 / 15,000 = 14.7 tons per square metre (9 watts per ton (13% efficient cells))
Potential speed 40 knots, but she only does about half this with 60 million watts diesel power.(272 watts per ton)

2 - Turanor 95 tons 537 square metres of solar panels 95000 / 537 = 177 kilos per square metre (751 watts per ton (13% efficient cells))
Potential speed 12.5 knots, but she only averages about 4.5 knots.

3 - OC6 outrigger 600 kg loaded 20 square metres of solar panels 600 / 20 = 30 kilos per square metre (4433 watts per ton (13% efficient cells))
Potential speed 7.5 knots, they are paddled at 8 knots average in distance races. (long thin hull)

4 - Itama 60, 26 tons 2.28 million watts diesel power (87692 watts per ton)
Max speed 48 knots.

Trust me, a 45 foot overall 36 feet on the waterline OC6 outrigger converted to an ocean going solar boat could run rings around Turanor ...
If you've got some spare cash build one, or donate to me to build one!
If Turanor goes to the Philippines and China you could still be the first solar boat around the world!
So we need to save our remaining oil deposits for sea and air transport, that require a very energy dense fuel, and for plastics and pharmaceuticals.


The 220,000-ton Oasis of the Seas, Costing in the region of $1.2 Billion to build, has accomodation for up to 5400 paying passengers, is 1,181 ft (360 m) long, towers 213 ft (65 m) above water line and has 16 passenger decks.
2 of the ship's 3 main propulsion units, called Azipods, can swivel 360 degrees on independent bearings, and all 3 are driven by 20 MW variable speed electric motors.
The ship's onboard power station produces enough power to satisfy the ships electrical needs and to power the electric propulsion units.

Click on one of the "Azipod Propulsion" download links below for more info:


Patrick, the beauty of Bora Bora is it's remoteness, if you choose to navigate a boat to Bora Bora whose propulsion system was designed to fail that is your problem. As captain of the vessel you must be in total denial if everyone else can see the problem but yourself.
Remember you had to fix the propulsion system in the Galapagos.
Remember the abismal speeds you have been making in the trade winds because the props are out of the water half the time.
Remember how you have been seeking out calm seas so you don't stress your propulsion system.
Wake up Patrick, mount the waterproof to 60 metres GoPro HD camera solidly on a pole off the stern of the boat and capture a few hours of video in seas greater than 1 metre and see how much work those props are not doing. Put strain guages on the shafts so you can see when the props are sucking air.
With the data you gather sue the crap out of your propulsion system designers for providing you with a system that was "not fit for use" and install a proper propulsion system in the main hull leaving the batteries where they are.
The 102 feet hulls of Turanor PlanetSolar should be easily pushed along at 10, even 12 knots. But they are only achieving 4 or 5 on average.
(Greg Kolodziejzyk even pedaled a propeller driven Kayak at just over 5.5 knots for 24 hours! 132.3 nm)

It seems like a lot of the solar energy being collected is wasted by Turanor's inefficient propulsion system:

Surface propellers only display their benefits at extreme speeds, as on the Itama 60 below ...
Above: surface propellers + MAN 1550 MHP engines + fossil fuel + 48 knots + 60ft = decadent luxury ... yum ... hot chocolate

Below, help arrives from Germany, sophisticated German style engineering at work on Turanor PlanetSolar's ###### propulsion system???

In any kind of a sea the props would be out of the water half the time, probably why they are going so slowly on their voyage? Ever passed an unloaded cargo ship in a bit of a sea, the propellers thresh uselessly out of the water when the stern is in the air. Having the props at the extremity of the hulls doesn't help, as anyone with an outboard on a cruising tri/cat will know. So much for experts at testing tank facilities in Europe. They probably did it to stop the props getting fouled by trash in the ocean, and make them easy to clean and replace blades. Also a shaft straight out of the stern with the exit on the waterline is less likely to leak, and the boat can sit on the bottom without damaging the props.
Earthrace, also designed by Craig Loomes, hit a submerged object while leaving Palau and had to limp to Singapore on one engine to have major repairs.
So Craig was probably super cautious about prop damage when designing Turanor PlanetSolar, at the expense of not converting all the power from the electric motors into thrust except on a flat calm ocean.

Good thing the guy below is not powered by propellers on the sterns of his rowing cat like Turanor PlanetSolar above!
If you were converting the rowing cat to a pedal cat would you put the props on the sterns?
A cross section of friends I asked thought that would be an incredibly stupid place to put the propellers.
The general consensus was that only a certifiable moron would put a propeller on the transom of an ocean going displacement boat.

For her new voyage starting in 2013 the most significant optimization of Turanor Planetsolar was a change to the propulsion system, you guessed it:
The surface propellers were replaced by a completely immersed system!!!

So what's the solution "smart ass" I hear you say?
Keep the batteries in the surface piercing hulls, but move the motors to the center hull.
The prop needs to be well submerged and about 1/3 of a hull length from the stern, leave the rudder where it is.
The prop and shaft needs to be easily raised out of the water.
(To try out the new propulsion system leave the existing motors and props where they are and use the spare motor to build the new system.)
Below are some super simple but highly effective (even on mud) longtails from Thailand: