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The GreenBoat Adventure

Sean Seamour III

The Green Boat Adventure is an effort to monitor and analyze new and emerging technologies important to bettering our environment, and to help mariners and sailors who aspire to go green choose and implement the appropriate solutions.


It all started after the loss of our Sean Seamour II between Cape Hatteras and Bermuda last May 7th, I was in a quandary to define what Sean Seamour III should be. My wife Mayke had long insisted that we should have a silent boat (no diesel engine to smell or hear) and a catamaran because it offers a stable platform. I had long insisted that we would never have a boat that could not right itself from a 180°. After the events of May 7th Final Log, moving to a Catamaran is no longer a debate, on the other hand, silent clean propulsion remains both her desire and my curiosity.

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Sean Seamour III

The Greening of Sean Seamour III is a long term project we would like to share with a broad community, we would like our Nauticat to be a test bed for maturing technologies that would enable a future phase-out of fossil fuels. JP and his crew hopes that players from all horizons will come and join the adventure - manufacturers and inventors with innovative ideas, system integrator, yards and craftsmen - in essence mariners from around the world who seek to make the sea a greener place.

We would like to see our GreenBoat project go bi-lingual English and French - for those interested in collaborating with us and in helping to create the French language mirror please contact us.

Français: Nous souhaitons que le projet BateauVert soit bilingue Français - Anglais, si vous êtes intéressé à collaborer avec nous et contribuer à créer l'interface en Français merci de nous contacter.

Articles on emerging green or greener technologies

March 28 update on EEStor

I invite you to read the [press release] of ZENN Motor Company's Annual and Special Meeting of Shareholders (published by Marketwire)with encouraging data regarding the availability and performance of the EEStor Ultracapacitor technology -- still holding our breath just imagine a configuration build from unconfirmed data!

The unit is said to hold 15kwh which could provide a PEV with : - an autonomy of say 60 miles (100km) with a - unit weight of approximately 100lbs (45 kilos)

Now, considering Zenn's announced 250 miles (400km) of autonomy we are looking at an energy storage package designed to be racked or stacked, capable of microsecond recharging that weighs approximately 400lbs (180kg) and hold 60kwh.

Configure this on Sean Seamour III with an Oorja Protonics direct methanol fuel cell generating 10kwh with power reserve to punch through bad weather in the ultracapacitor; wind, solar and regenerative sailing feeding the storage bank with no internal resistance other than maximum capacity - why am I holding my breath?

Discussions and Objectives

a) The real paradigm shift is energy storage technology, primarily energy absorption rate secondarily energy density; it is the enabling factor that facilitates the migration to hybrid propulsion for the many, responding to broad expectations and motivations such as : - those who seek the two to four hour autonomy, in and out of harbor, troll fishing, other; - propulsion autonomy plus house comfort; - alternative energy purists complementing with wind, solar and or regenerative sailing; - a number of other motivations from diesel nuisance, energy cost, etc. By the end of this year there will be a number of products available, few with the charge absorption rates one would like to see (over 80% in less than five minutes, much of this can already be found on GreenBoat/BateauVert.

b) Will there be yet another paradigm shift in energy storage? It is looking like a major breakthrough in the field of "ultracapacitors" is imminent, we are waiting in the EEStor promise to replace the battery, but now they are not the only game in town.

c) Fuel cells are for real, but timelines for their industrialization at our required power levels is 2 to 5 years out. The technologies are still competing and development will go somewhat underground as government funding slows and know-how becomes more proprietary. I am watching high temperature SOFC (the Violet Fuel Cell Stick on the site may be a breakthrough). Not to belittle compromise, most recent US strides in reformed fuel processes (JP-8 and diesel) may surprise us shortly. I remain a believer in methanol now reaching very high performance levels, perhaps superior to a diesel ice in recreational marine applications (Oorja Protonics), methanol could become the optimal recreational marine fuel, see GreenBoat/BateauVert.

Security notice to all mariners

On this anniversary of the loss of Sean Seamour II and the traumatic experience of clinging to a life raft in seventy foot seas and eighty knot winds with the belief that no help is on the way, I call on all mariners to read and consider appropriate measures to avoid our predicament. Your EPIRB can be the only link left with the world, and as such, is a critical element of security for all mariners regardless of purpose. Ensuring their proper registration and operation is just as critical to avoid adding another entry to the long list of “lost at sea statistics”. Even then, do not take for granted third party assurance that you are fully operational, redundancy can be the best hedge against the odds. Had I not kept my old and obsolete EPIRB I would not be here to tell the tale of two EPIRBs aboard s/v Sean Seamour II. In the photo, above my head attached in its cradle the old EPIRB kept for redundancy is attached to the port side of the hard dodger. Little could I imagine the circumstances in which this unit would save our lives four and a half years later. With no hydrostatic release, the hard dodger gone after being sheared from the vessel by the rogue wave…

(Congress considers these problems of sufficient gravity to consider holding hearings in the near future, a full account of events coming soon to the GreenBoatBateauVert website. We ask all those that may have knowledge or experience of EPIRB problems to communicate with us, the lives of fellow mariners are at stake, my crew and I escaped by miracle becoming another set of "lost at sea statistics" unable to recount their story)

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We are not ususally as laid back but here resting in Mindelo after a gruelsome passage from Sardinia to Cape Verde in November 2002. On my shoulder our Sardinian stowaway. The day before leaving for our Atlantic crossing a local Sarde aware of our imminent departure comes alongside asking me if we are willing to make this young Yorkshire Terrier a little american - Mayke is down below but I already knew her answer. "Bentley" would take to sea and I back to the supermarket for a month of canned dogfood

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