ADVENTURERS CHOOSE TORQEEDO FOR LONG-DISTANCE TRIP
Now this is the kind of DOCK NEWS that makes my radar screen light up. Planning a long journey down the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers, Ray Christe and Larry Kozak are poised to start the adventure of a lifetime. The two founders of the CaylpSol Group recently completed the final stage of assembly for their high-tech, solar powered 22′ trimaran. To power this long-distance voyage, the founders chose a Torqeedo Travel 503 electric outboard.
The eco-friendly craft is due to leave May 2012, taking Christe and Kozak from Chicago to New Orleans. They will be retracing the same waterway used by Joliet and Marquette in their birch bark canoes over 300 years ago. CalypSol will be the first solar powered boat navigating this route that is still referred to today as the “French Corridor”. Their voyage is expected to last two months.
“One of the key features for selecting Torqeedo was the lithium-manganese battery which can be solar charged while running the motor,” said Christe. “It also includes GPS and charge-monitoring. On the digital throttle display you get distance covered, battery charge status and travel distance remaining at current speed. The three-blade propeller pitch has been optimized by Torqeedo, while the assembly of the electric motor and propeller shaft allows the boat to move forward, backward and make sharp turns.”
“It was very easy working with the Torqeedo staff in Crystal Lake, Illinois. They were very supportive throughout design and construction of the CalypSol,” continued Christe.
The construction of the boat required more than 1000 hours of combined design, engineering and fabrication. The selection of the material and components was carefully reviewed with professional boat builders. For safety the boat has several back-up systems, including two sets of solar panels to independently charge two batteries, which alternate running the high-performance Torqeedo Travel 503. This electric outboard model represents the latest design in a series of highly efficient motors developed by Torqeedo.
For the CalypSol, a custom designed mechanism positions the solar panels to face the sun, optimizing the charging of the batteries. Christe designed a special sundial that provides the best angle to position the solar panels. A solar-powered convection fan maintains continuous airflow to cool the twin-battery compartment.
“We’ve been looking forward to this adventure for quite a long time. We’re excited and just about ready to go,” said Kozak. “Next May can’t get here fast enough to begin our adventure of a lifetime.”
Contact Torqeedo Inc., 171 Erick Street Unit A-1, Crystal Lake, IL 60014. 815-8806; Fax: 815-444-8807.