Sailing is already pretty economical, I think. Engines are used, but only when necessary, and engines aren’t the idea, really. So why do we need solar-powered sailing to reduce our carbon footprint?
I guess the reason for this competition is that we can do more. We use battery electricity and burn fossil fuels in our sailing, so we could reduce that use if we had the means to do so.
These designers, Marco Ferrari and Alberto Franchi won a prize for this solar-powered sailing yacht. They called it “Helios.” It’s a 180.5 foot modern yacht that is designed to accommodate 10 guests and 8 other crew.
How it works is, as you probably guessed, it has sails made out of flexible solar cells (silicon is the material). The surface of the sails makes for 2,500 panels which can generate approximately 355 kWh of power.
Also included in the design are yacht comforts: an infinity pool, cinema, garages for jet skis, canoes, 23-foot limo tender, sunbathing areas, etc.