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Solar journey around the Great Loop is halfway done - Soundings Online

Solar journey around the Great Loop is halfway done

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Jim Greer's quest to finish the Great Loop using only solar power is more than halfway complete, the cruising boater reports.

Greer’s circular navigation of the eastern half of the United States had made its way through the Oswego and Erie canals by mid-August and was headed into Lake Ontario.

The more-than-6,600-mile journey, which Greer hopes will earn him a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records, relies on a four-person crew and two Torqeedo Cruise 4.0 electric outboard motors.

He launched the undertaking Jan. 11 from Port Ritchie, Fla., after lacking the money to put gas in his boat. Greer spent six years building a 45-foot catamaran with flexible solar panels and two banks of batteries to power the electric outboards.

Named Ra, after the Egyptian god of the sun, the fossil-fuel-free craft averages about 2.5 miles an hour. Speeds of as much as 4 mph are possible when the wind and current are favorable.

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