Japanese Man to “Hang 10” in Pacific Journey with Wave-Powered Boat

 

boat, wave power, alternative energy There are various ways to travel the sea in style. One of the most environmentally friendly ones would certainly be using sails alone. I mean, wind is free, right?

Well, a Japanese man named Kenichi Horie is attempting to be just as environmentally friendly but without the sails.

How does he do it? With a wave-powered boat. Wave power has been discussed quite a bit recently, with a lot of applications including traditional grid energy generation. However, Kenichi is taking things to the next level by powering his ocean going vehicle with the very thing it bobs atop.





As you can see in the photo (click for larger view), the boat is powered by two fins that raise and lower with the tide, which drive the propellers. On board energy is provided by solar panels and the boat is primarily made out of recycled aluminum.

By sailing from Japan to Hawai’i, Kenichi and his Suntory Mermaid II hope to set a Guinness World Record for the longest distance traveled in this type of wave-powered ocean goer. To be sure, this boat doesn’t go very fast (it’s got about half of the speed potential of a diesel powered craft), but this type of innovation is certainly interesting to see. As long as recreational sailing exists, why not try to minimize environmental impact as much as possible, right?

In fact, if you visit the sailor’s page you can track his progress as he crosses the wide Pacific. As of writing he looks to be almost there!

Source: EcoFuss and Kenichi Horie’s page

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About the Author

Benjamin Jones is a student of Dartmouth College and co-founder of EcoModder.com and writer at CollegeVegan.com. He is double majoring in Japanese and Linguistics, and is most interested in Sociolinguistics and Anthropology in Japan.

  • stereotypical korean

    KOREA NUMBER 1!! JAPANESE NEVER SAY SORRY!!

  • stereotypical korean

    KOREA NUMBER 1!! JAPANESE NEVER SAY SORRY!!

  • gilltots

    actually it looks like he’s just starting his journey – he’s going from hawaii to japan.

  • gilltots

    actually it looks like he’s just starting his journey – he’s going from hawaii to japan.

  • Zot

    Hmmm, you said sailing from Japan to Hawaii? Don’t you mean Hawaii to Japan? Looking at his previous posts it shows he departed from Hawaii. Which I guess means that he’s not almost there quite yet. 🙂

  • Zot

    Hmmm, you said sailing from Japan to Hawaii? Don’t you mean Hawaii to Japan? Looking at his previous posts it shows he departed from Hawaii. Which I guess means that he’s not almost there quite yet. 🙂

  • Tom

    Obviously, it is moved by the waves, not the tide as stated.

  • Tom

    Obviously, it is moved by the waves, not the tide as stated.

  • p.j. milne

    “the boat is powered by two fins that raise and lower with the tide” Are you sure you don’t mean “waves” here?

  • p.j. milne

    “the boat is powered by two fins that raise and lower with the tide” Are you sure you don’t mean “waves” here?

  • Keith

    Hmmm, Benjamin Jones, your credibility is slipping!

    He is not going from Japan to Hawaii, so is not nearly finished. He is going from Hawaii to Japan, so has only just started.

    The boat is not powered by fins that ‘raise and lower with the tide’. It is powered by the energy of the waves, not the tide.

  • Keith

    Hmmm, Benjamin Jones, your credibility is slipping!

    He is not going from Japan to Hawaii, so is not nearly finished. He is going from Hawaii to Japan, so has only just started.

    The boat is not powered by fins that ‘raise and lower with the tide’. It is powered by the energy of the waves, not the tide.

  • TheEngineer

    “half of the speed potential of a diesel powered craft” – can you be any more vague?

    Do you mean with a 1 bhp diesel or a 100 bhp diesel?

  • TheEngineer

    “half of the speed potential of a diesel powered craft” – can you be any more vague?

    Do you mean with a 1 bhp diesel or a 100 bhp diesel?

  • That’s a big trial to go green, he really needs a pat on the back

  • That’s a big trial to go green, he really needs a pat on the back

  • Amazing… it’s always great to see applied innovation, when can I get one? 🙂

  • Amazing… it’s always great to see applied innovation, when can I get one? 🙂

  • Yes, because we all know sails produce too much pollution.

  • Yes, because we all know sails produce too much pollution.

  • Poster

    Does Benjamin Jones proofread? Anyways, I think this technology is the same that driftwood uses to reach a shore … 😛

  • Poster

    Does Benjamin Jones proofread? Anyways, I think this technology is the same that driftwood uses to reach a shore … 😛

  • Dave

    To top off all the other problems with the article already mentioned:

    “the boat is powered by two fins that raise and lower with the tide, which drive the propellers”

    Actually, there are no propellers. If you read the articles on his website, he says he uses hydrofoils which move the boat forward, similar to how a dolphin moves.

    So it’s not going to Hawaii, it’s moved by waves not tides, and it does not have propellers.

    Plus, “it’s got about half of the speed potential of a diesel powered craft”, is silly as someone mentioned, because diesel all depends on the size of the engine. I see “2 knot potential” mentioned all over his website, so I’m thinking that 2 knots speed potential is a lot more accurate of a statement.

  • Dave

    To top off all the other problems with the article already mentioned:

    “the boat is powered by two fins that raise and lower with the tide, which drive the propellers”

    Actually, there are no propellers. If you read the articles on his website, he says he uses hydrofoils which move the boat forward, similar to how a dolphin moves.

    So it’s not going to Hawaii, it’s moved by waves not tides, and it does not have propellers.

    Plus, “it’s got about half of the speed potential of a diesel powered craft”, is silly as someone mentioned, because diesel all depends on the size of the engine. I see “2 knot potential” mentioned all over his website, so I’m thinking that 2 knots speed potential is a lot more accurate of a statement.

  • This guy is way cool. What a neat idea for a boat.

    You can follow his story at the wave powered boat and Kenichi Horie fan page: http://yachtpals.com/wave-boat

    Looks like the boat is moving at about 2.2 knots, and is doing well. Another month or two and he’ll be in Japan.

  • This guy is way cool. What a neat idea for a boat.

    You can follow his story at the wave powered boat and Kenichi Horie fan page: http://yachtpals.com/wave-boat

    Looks like the boat is moving at about 2.2 knots, and is doing well. Another month or two and he’ll be in Japan.

  • I read about this recently in a yachting magazine. What the author of this article above does not mention is the antique age of the guy involved, or that he’s got a bit of an obsession with this kind of trip.

    There’s my penny’s worth

    Chris

    ps

    writing a sailing maintenance site help me sharpen it, by leaving comments or subscribe for the ezine

    http://www.boatpride.com

  • I read about this recently in a yachting magazine. What the author of this article above does not mention is the antique age of the guy involved, or that he’s got a bit of an obsession with this kind of trip.

    There’s my penny’s worth

    Chris

    ps

    writing a sailing maintenance site help me sharpen it, by leaving comments or subscribe for the ezine

    http://www.boatpride.com

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  • Quick, hide the moon!

  • Quick, hide the moon!

  • r mac donald

    Well the Inventor should get a pat on back……….. The author ,it seems, needs a dope slap……… Can’t tell the start of a journey from the finish ….. And I too am stilll wondering just what the diesel comparison was about…… And writing about the sea and not knowing tides from waves…….. Are we sure this isn’t an automobile running on goose farts ???

  • r mac donald

    Well the Inventor should get a pat on back……….. The author ,it seems, needs a dope slap……… Can’t tell the start of a journey from the finish ….. And I too am stilll wondering just what the diesel comparison was about…… And writing about the sea and not knowing tides from waves…….. Are we sure this isn’t an automobile running on goose farts ???