Mission Accomplished! Ecolution reaches Aruba
ORANJESTAD, Aruba _ Wubbo Ockels arrived here Jan. 20 after an Atlantic crossing in his revolutionary 25m Ecolution. The world’s “most sustainable yacht” burned not 1 drop of fuel during the 5,000-mile crossing and generated enough power off its sails to bake 50 loaves of bread, make hundreds of cups of coffee and 1200 liters of drinking water and also feed the vessel’s lights and navigational system. “Ecolution proved to be a safe, well-sailing craft. It weathered 60-knot winds, averaged a speed of more than 7 knots and at times generated more than 5 kW of electric power,” says Ockels.
A former Dutch astronaut _ and today an outspoken advocate of “green” yachting _ Ockels took his Ecolution from the Netherlands to the Caribbean island to demystify durable yachting. He headed for Aruba to support its ambition to become a climate-neutral Caribbean island by 2020. “Ecolution is an island itself that has everything. This is now a proven concept. I’m proud,” says Ockels. He will spend 3 months in Aruba, speaking on alternative energy issues and participating in green programs. Wind power now accounts for 20% of Aruba’s electricity needs. This will rise to 50% this year when Aruba opens a 2nd wind park.
Ecolution is a sleek, silver-and-white Dutch-built schooner that generates hydroelectric power very efficiently. In a moderate climate, only a few days of sailing are required to live comfortably on board for a month. On a beam reach in a Beaufort 4, the steel-hulled Ecolution will do 9.9 knots. Its forward motion generates power through two large propellers that render 2×10 kW in power that’s stored in a battery bank in the boat’s bottom. The Ecolution shows how you can sail around the world and live permanently onboard without sacrificing comfort for the sake of durability. Its Aerorig _ 2 stand-alone masts holding 2 mains and self-tacking jibs _ require little handling.