Sailor completes 4,800-mile voyage in wave-powered boat

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The Independent Online

A Japanese adventurer has completed a three-month journey from Hawaii to Japan in a boat powered by the energy of ocean waves. The 4,800-mile voyage, which began in Honolulu in March, ended as Kenichi Horie's three-ton yacht docked in Wakayama in western Japan late Friday night.

His boat, which relies on wave energy to move two fins at its bow and propel it forward, sailed at an average speed of 1.5 knots – slower than humans walk.

The trip – which Mr Horie, 69, claims was the world's longest solo voyage in a wave-powered boat – is his latest journey using green technology. In 1992, he pedalled a boat from Hawaii to Okinawa in southern Japan. In 1996, he sailed nearly 10,000 miles from Ecuador to Tokyo aboard a solar-powered boat made from recycled aluminium beer cans.

Mr Horie's latest trip would have taken 10 days in a regular diesel-powered boat. But he said he is raising environmental awareness. "The sea was so calm, and the weather was so great throughout my journey. That's why it took me so long," he said.