Friday, February 27, 2009

Earthrace Visits Revas Restaurant

One of the nice aspects of living in Whangarei if you are a person like myself interested in boats and the sea is the huge number of varied and interesting craft that pass through every year. Whangarei is an internationally known stop off point for people voyaging around the world. Every year Northland is visited by hundreds of world voyagers. Many visit Whangarei - many for overhauls and refits. Studies have shown that this traffic is worth about $30 million to the local economy.

From time to time some very unusual and interesting craft visit. The 'Earthrace' is one of these. This first photograph shows Earthrace moored outside Revas Restaurant last weekend. When I went on board to take a look and take photographs some of the crew (see photo above) were sitting happily on top of Earthrace devouring a couple of huge pizzas from Revas!

If you do a Google on Earthrace you will be able to find out in detail more information. Most of the information below has been obtained from the the Earthrace Web page.

In June 2008, the amazing Earthrace vessel set a new world record for a powerboat to circle the globe, and she did this with 100% renewable bio diesel fuel, and a net zero carbon footprint. The voyage was over 24,000 nautical miles, and took 60 days, 23 hours and 49 minutes, smashing the old record by over two weeks.

Earthrace is a 24m (78ft) tri-hull wave piercer that has been designed and built specifically to get the record for a powerboat to circumnavigate the globe. She is an advanced endurance vessel, capable of submarining up to 7m (23ft) underwater as she powers across oceans. One journalist recently reported "Earthrace is like a rally car but for oceans, with her ability to handle rough seas and storm conditions at high speed."

There are a many features that stand out on Earthrace. Firstly the distinctive horns. These are actually ducts. Hot air from around the engines is expelled out the top of these, while cool air is sucked through the lower channel and funnelled under the engines. This however is not powered, it runs simply by convection. In big seas (waves over 8m (26ft)) the horns get submerged, however any water ingress is ducted out the sides automatically. Also, because Earthrace is only underwater for a few seconds at a time, the engine bay holds enough air to keep the 1080hp of Cummins Mercruiser engine roaring along.

Another feature about Earthrace is her unusual appearance, especially the extremely narrow hulls and flowing lines. She has this shape to allow her to pass easily through waves, rather than riding over the top like conventional designs.
The range of Earthrace depends on speed. At 6 knots she can go an incredible 13,000nm (24,000km) on one tank of bio diesel. That's over half way around the globe! Of course your crew gets grumpy at 6kn when you're in such a high speed vessel. At 25 knots she has a range of about 2,000nm (3,700km).

Well shipmates if you are feeling like splashing out and throwing caution to the wind in these straitened economic times and would like to buy her - you can - for she is for sale for a cool US$1.5 million - Hmmmm, tempting? - But for myself I think that sort of money would buy a house in both hemispheres complete with a small yacht moored close by so that we could live a sort of endless summer (a sort of yachtee version of that surfie movie 'Endless Summer' ) - I will leave the sophisticated Earthrace to others.


Mr. Kinder said...

Very interesting post! I never would have imagined such a craft existed. I'm with you: I'd rather have a simple house by the sea with a yacht moored nearby for my $1.5 million.

Alden said...

Yes the W.B.Yeats poem 'The Lake Isle of Innisfree comes to mind, "....And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made"

- when you think about it our needs are rather small aren't they - food, a bed under a roof that doesn't leak and someone to love. ( and of course a little sloop, mustn't forget that!)

Delwyn said...

This boat looks like a steel dolphin and from what you say can perform a little like one too.
Needs get simpler as you get older don't you think?

Alden said...

Yes needs do get simpler, mainly I think because we have lived long enought to understand the KISS principle - "Keep It Simple Stupid".
As we get older we realise that that is way we should have always have been living.
Huge complexity seems to take us away from life itself. When we are absorbed in this complexity we often forget to smell the roses, watch a sunrise or feel the sand between our toes as we walk on a beach - Henry Thoreau knew all about this stuff didn't he!

Delwyn said...

I have just watched the movie of Dan Millman's 'The Peaceful Warrior' It was good to have a refresher.