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Dutch claim world's first solar speedboat

Ten-meter craft tops out at 30 knots.


Boats that run on solar power have been around for awhile, but they're usually reserved for touring watercraft and other conveyances designed for a leisurely pace. And that's precisely what makes the Czeers MK1 stand apart from the aquatic crowd.

This Dutch-made prototype is billed as "the world's first solar speedboat," which has reached speeds of up to 30 knots. The 10-meter boat was built by the Delft Technical University Solarboat Team, which rode it to first place in the 2006 Nuon Frisian Solar challenge, according to Gizmag.

Its success was attributed in no small part to its lightweight carbon fiber shell, as well as 14 square meters of solar panels that power an 80-kilowatt motor. But the MK1's design is anything but utilitarian, featuring a touch-screen LCD control system and full leather trim--in bright orange, no less. (It is Dutch, after all.)