I’d have love to title this post “Fatamaran”, but unfortunately this wonderful boat is, technically, a trimaran. This amazing bio-diesel boat, called The Earth Race, was developed by a former oil industry engineer and now dedicated environmentalist, and its crew plan to circumnavigate the globe in it. Its beautiful and eco-friendly design isn’t the most remarkable thing about it though – the crew have already made physical sacrifices to help to boat on its way.

Skipper Pete Bethune and two other crew members underwent liposuction, and the gathered fat was used to make around 2 gallons of human bio-diesel. Using this in the motor will power it, Bethune says, for around nine miles. Okay, so that doesn’t get you far round the globe, and the newly slim crew are unlikely to be much of a source for the entire journey. The point really was to illustrate the many ways of producing bio-diesel that we may not yet have considered, and to demonstrate a proof of principle.

Although Earth Race is capable of up to 40 knots, the aim during circumnavigation will be to travel as efficiently as possible, which will mean only about twenty or so knots. The innovative design and sharp nose to the prow should make the craft stable in even very rough seas, as it is able to carve straight through waves rather than riding over them.

The project has a really excellent website which is well worth a visit. As well as route details, it has a great deal of background information on the entire project, and opportunities to sponsor a part of the journey, or even become personally involved as a film-maker or even as a crew member. Perhaps this is the one athletic job to apply for where obesity might be an advantage!!! The zero-carbon circumnavigation live attempt starts on 1st March, 2008, from Valencia, Spain. Start eating now.




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