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.”