Ady Gil, formerly Earthrace

Monday, 14 March 2011 - 11:47 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Yacht of the Month
Reading Time:  4 minutes

Ady Gil in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia © www.noodlesnacks.com

Ady Gil in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia © www.noodlesnacks.com

MY Ady Gil (formerly Earthrace) was a 78-foot (24 m), wave-piercing trimaran, which was originally created as part of a project to break the world record for circumnavigating the globe in a powerboat. The vessel was powered by biodiesel fuel, but was also capable of running on regular diesel fuel. It used other eco-friendly materials, such as vegetable oil lubricants, hemp composites, and non-toxic anti-fouling, and had features such as bilge water filters.

The first attempt at the global circumnavigation record in 2007 was ill-fated. The boat several times encountered mechanical problems, and collided with a Guatemalan fishing boat, killing one of the other boat’s crew. While the crew of the Earthrace was later absolved of any responsibility, the delay forced the restart of the record attempt, while more mechanical issues later aborted it. In 2008, the second journey proved successful—though again, numerous technical problems had to be overcome before the record was achieved, with the vessel finally making the return to Sagunto, Spain after just under 61 days on June 27, 2008.

The financial loss of the Ady Gil was estimated at about $1.5 million. A donor has reportedly offered $1 million towards the construction of the Ady Gil 2, and Sea Shepherd later announced plans to build a new Ady Gil by December, paid for by the same (naming) sponsor, who also organised a fundraising event for the group after the loss of the boat. The new version of the Ady Gil will likely be improved and cost between $3 and $10 million. However, the group also noted the option of acquiring an existing vessel instead, and renaming it Ady Gil 2.

Ady Gil in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia © www.noodlesnacks.com Speedboat Earthrace at a dock in Malmö © David Casstor Ady Gil in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia © www.noodlesnacks.com Earthrace - Bunkroom © Pam Earthrace - Cockpit wheel © Pam Earthrace in Hamburg © Tilo 2007
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Ady Gil in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia © www.noodlesnacks.com
The vessel was designed by LOMOcean Design (formerly Craig Loomes Design Group Ltd.) and built by Calibre Boats in Auckland, New Zealand. The wave-piercing trimaran design allowed for improved speed and stability. The boat was fully submersible, able to cut through 15-metre (49 ft) waves and go 7 m (23 ft) underwater. The hull was composed of a composite carbon fibre and kevlar with a non-toxic anti-fouling paint.

The vessel was powered by two 540 horsepower Cummins Mercruiser engines that ran on an animal fat and vegetable oil mix biodiesel. It could be run on diesel, biodiesel or blends. To cool and provide fresh air to the engines, intakes were located on two dramatic fins. The Ady Gil’s twin propellers were mounted under the main hull, while the rudders were mounted in the pontoons. This design provided good turning at speed, but limited maneuverability at speeds below 12 knots. Despite its design as an “eco-boat”, David MacKay calculates that it has significantly greater energy consumption per passenger-kilometre than a jet-ski or the QE2.

The $2.5 million cost was mostly funded by sponsors, and the only luxury item aboard was the $10,000 toilet. When asked, “Regrets about the cost of it all?” skipper Pete Bethune replied, “No…You know, I do have the coolest boat in the world.”

Read more on Wikipedia Earthrace. Learn more about the use of photos.


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