Pacific Ocean crossing aboard the solar-powered catamaran “NOVA”


Russian explorer and adventurer Fyodor Konyukhov intends to become the first in the world to sail across the Pacific Ocean aboard a catamaran equipped with solar batteries produced in Russia, the adventurer’s press service reported Wednesday.

The expedition is scheduled to begin in December 2021 from Chile’s Valparaiso and end in Brisbane, Australia. Konyukhov will have to cover 9,000 nautical miles (more than 16,500 kilometers), the solo journey will take more than 100 days. “The Roaring Forties of the Southern Pacific Ocean require careful examination of weather forecasts and thorough selection of the window to begin [the expedition],” the press service quotes Konyukhov as saying. “We need to wait for a broad anticyclone with sunny weather and moderate wind. Such conditions will make it possible to set sail from the South American coast.”

The explorer acknowledged that his expedition is being prepared at a tough time. “We are waiting for borders to open to leave for the United Kingdom where the catamaran is being built and take part in the works. I hope we will be able to do it as soon as the situation stabilizes,” he said, admitting that he misses the vast of the ocean.

Fyodor Konyukhov is a Russian survivalist, voyager, aerial and marine explorer who has so far completed five solo circumnavigations. He crossed the Atlantic Ocean 17 times and became the first Russian to complete the Explorers Grand Slam: he climbed the highest mountains on all seven continents and visited the North Pole and the South Pole. Between 1992 and 1997, Konyukhov conquered Mount Elbrus, Mount Everest, Aconcagua, Kilimanjaro, Vinson Massif as well as Mount Kosciuszko and Denali (also known as Mount McKinley, its former official name). In 2007, Konyukhov circumnavigated the Southern Hemisphere aboard a sailing yacht dubbed the Scarlet Sails when he crossed the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans.

The 100% solar powered catamaran will be put to the test on a 9,000 nautical mile expedition from Chile to Australia starting in December 2021.

Designed by the English engineer Phil Morrison, the NOVA catamaran is 11 meters long, 7 meters wide and is capable of reaching speeds of between 5 and 7 knots.

His helmet is made of carbon fiber composites. It is equipped with an 11 kW photovoltaic system built with modules supplied by the Russian manufacturer Hevel Solar.

The solar complex will cover an area of ​​66 m2, and the sides of the hull will also have panels, which will mean an additional 12 m2 per side.

Solar energy is used to maintain the ship and ensure fresh water supply, as the ship is equipped with a desalination system powered by solar-generated electricity.

The ship will be piloted by Russian adventurer Fedor Konyukhov on the first solo transpacific voyage with a solar electric catamaran. The adventurer will spend about 100 days alone in the ocean, traveling about 3,000 nautical miles a month. During the voyage, Konuykhov will lead a video blog and monitor the plastic pollution of the Pacific Ocean. The collected data will be analyzed by the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Length 11.25 m
Width 7.25 m
Weight 2.2t

Battery weight 528 kg (24 batteries, weighing 22 kg each) Victron Lithium
Hull material Carbon fibre
Solar Panels 66 m2