THE Southampton Boat Show will see the launch of an attempt to design and produce the fastest and most fuel efficient semi wave-slicing power boat to circumnavigate the world in a time faster than current record of 60 days, 23 hours and 49 minutes.
Team Britannia will use a boat that is a completely new design, produced by Professor Bob Cripps in the UK which is being constructed near Portsmouth out of recycled marine grade aluminium. He has designed what he believes will be a highly efficient hull, which will cut fuel consumption by up to 30 per cent, with no loss in performance.
Although it has cost millions of pounds to produce, the living conditions for the crew of 12 including five injured service personnel will be very basic as there has to be as little weight as possible but sufficient fuel to allow it to travel in seven ‘hops’ each of 3,800 miles before refuelling.
Using clean fuel and with the engines running on a 24 hour cycle, the boat will move from Southampton to the Monaco Yacht Show and then onto to Gibraltar for final sea trials. Then on October 23 the stop watch will start as it leaves Gibraltar for the first leg of the journey which will see stops in Puerto Rico, Manzanillo, Honolulu, Guam, Singapore, Oman and Malta to take on fuel.
This innovative vessel will need to pass through the Suez and Panama Canals, cross the Tropic of Cancer and the Equator and return to Gibraltar, hopefully to a hero’s welcome.