Aboard the Earthrace Yacht
I first wrote about the Earthrace biodiesel boat last year and ever since I have been following the project so when I found out that the boat was making a United States tour I had to check her out. The Earthrace boat is a wavepiercing trimaran that runs on biodiesel fuel. The plan is to have the Earthrace break the world record for circumnavigating the globe in a powerboat, and using only renewable fuels. They are currently involved in an 18-month tour raising awareness about sustainable use of resources before the attempting to break the 75-day record next March. The Earthrace crew is hoping to complete the journey in less than 65 days. The Earthrace boat hits a top speed of 40 knots and the unique design lets her smash through the waves (up to 24 feet high according to one crew member I talked with).
At the Lido Yacht Expo in Newport Beach, California the Earthrace was definitely attracting attention even among the gleaming white luxury yachts on display (more on those later in the day). Unlike other boats at the show where you just take off your shoes and climb aboard, the Earthrace crew was charging $5 a pop (to help fund the project). And unlike other boats, this one wasn't for sale. As I checked out the boat I heard one little girl say to her mother, "Mommy, this boat smells. No one is going to buy this boat." It definitely did have a college-dorm funk to it but the New Zealand-based crew seemed to be in high spirits. After the jump, some more shots of the Earthrace including the tight quarters of the interior.
As I was boarding the boat one woman got a minor cause of claustrophobia when faced with the small crew quarters. It's a brave group that will be spending over two months non-stop in this cramped space. The crew quarters are tight and personal possessions are clearly kept to a minimum. Most of of the expense has been lavished on the exterior, the interior is quite rough.
The view from the interior on the left hand side
The captain explains the boat's features
Advertising is one of the ways the Earthrace team is funding the expedition. Corporate logos decorate the sides of the boat.
My favorite feature, the Earthrace Dunny, for $50 you too can write something on the head in the Earthrace ship so that the crew will see your message every time they visit the facilities.
Tight quarters upfront, but at least the chairs are comfortable
The view from the driver's seat