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    Friday, February 29, 2008

    Suntory Mermaid II Uses Ocean Waves to Power Green Boat

    The modern day champion of green boating Kenchich Horie has set off across the Pacific on another one of his legendary journeys to provide inspiration and scientific credence to his newest vessel's innovative design. The Suntory Mermaid II is powered by ocean waves. Fins at the front of the boat generate thrust by absorbing energy from motion of the ocean. As the fins absorb the energy they create a kicking action which increases speed and decreases the pitching of the boat.

    The 9.5 meter 3 ton Suntory Mermaid II used recycled aluminum to create the unique aluminum alloy (A5083) that makes up its only 3mm thick hull. The boat is equipped with solar panels to provide electricity, and a sail and outboard in case of emergencies.

    In 1996 Horie sailed the "MALT'S Mermaid" a solar powered boat built from recycled beer cans, from Ecuador to Tokyo.

    In 1999 he sailed across the Pacific in the "MALT'S Mermaid II" a Catamaran built from beer kegs.

    In 2002 he again crossed the pacific, this time in a boat made from recycled whiskey barrels.

    His latest mission will take him a distance of 6,000 km from Japan to Hawaii. He will depart sometime in May of 2008. It is estimated the trip will take him two and a half months. Progress of the voyage may be tracked on his website.

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