Father-Son Team Completes First Solar-Powered Voyage to Alaska
After more than 15 years of planning and experimentation, Captain Alex Borton and his father David completed a 44-day trip from Bellingham, WA, to Southeast Alaska in a vessel powered entirely by the sun.
The trip began on May 25, covering 1,216 nautical miles (1,400 statute miles) through the Inside Passage, stopping at Ketchikan and Glacier Bay, Alaska, before finally docking in Juneau on July 8. Near the end of the trip, Alex Borton was able to meet up with his son, Kai, making the journey a three-generation endeavor. This feat is thought to be the only voyage on that route made entirely without wind, fossil fuel, or human power.
The modest cabin cruiser, named Wayward Sun, is equipped with 10 flexible Solbian solar panels on its roof, which covers most of the boat’s 27-foot length. The 1,700-watt array produces enough energy to run a Torqeedo Cruise 4.0 electric pod drive, as well as a separate 12-volt system for lights and navigation equipment. Being solar-powered, the boat maintains a stately pace of 2 to 5 knots and produces no carbon emissions, exhaust fumes, and engine noise. During the voyage’s duration, it did not require maintenance.
Wayward Sun was custom-made by Olympia-based Devlin Designing Boat Builders, using a stitch-and-glue process that produced a smooth, “slippery” hull, the company said, to ensure as little friction as possible for the lightly powered vessel. Alex and David Borton are also the founders of Solar Sal Boats, which is working on the release of its first production line of sun-powered commercial vessels. Now that Devlin’s prototype for the Alaska trip has proven successful, Solar Sal hopes to debut its own fiberglass-hulled Solar Sal 24 model before the end of 2021.
For more on Wayward Sun’s journey, visit the Bortons’ blog: solarsaljourney.squarespace.com; information on Solar Sal Boats can be found at: solarsal.solar. (Also check out NWY’s earlier reportingon the company in the June and September issues of 2019, available at: issuu.com/nwyachting.)
Seattle Terminal 46 to Be New Site for Longshore Training Facility
At a time when increased cargo volume has created serious traffic congestion at the Port of Seattle, the Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) announced this summer that it would approve the final lease for a new Terminal 46 training facility for longshore workers. The new maritime labor training center, to be located just west of the SoDo stadiums on Seattle’s waterfront, will be run by the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA).
NWSA, which manages the various bulk cargo terminals in Seattle and Tacoma, said longshore workers in the region annually move millions of tons of container and breakbulk cargo, which requires highly skilled training. The 10-year facility lease secured by PMA will ensure that new maritime workers will be well-versed in efficient and safe movement of goods in this vital Puget Sound industry, said Seattle Port Commissioner and NWSA Managing Member Stephanie Bowman.
Currently, PMA operates a training facility at Terminal 5 on the Duwamish Waterway, which is nearing the end of Phase One of its modernization project. As the Terminal 5 project construction continues, PMA will need to move its training center across Elliott Bay to Terminal 46, where the existing Crane 80 will be used for instructional purposes.
“This facility and its dedicated crane will help ensure that we maintain a skilled workforce to keep our port terminals thriving and accommodate the historic cargo surge that is impacting our entire supply chain,” said Nairobi Russ, the PMA’s Northwest Area Director. Year-to-date volumes for 2021, NWSA added, improved 18.2% to nearly 2.17 million TEUs, with full imports seeing almost 30% growth and full exports declining by 11.5%.
For more information on the new training facility, go to: nwseaportalliance.com.
Seattle’s Buchan and Rose Inducted into Sailing Hall of Fame
Two Corinthian Yacht Club members—William “Carl” Buchan and Richard “Dick” Rose—will be among the 11 inductees in the 2021 Class at this month’s National Sailing Hall of Fame celebration.
Many times a championship sailor, Carl Buchan is an Olympic gold medal winner and a defender of the America’s Cup race with Dennis Connor’s team—one of only two sailors who have accomplished both feats—the other being fellow Sailing HOF member, Buddy Melges. The son of another HOF inductee, Carl and his father Bill Buchan each won gold in different classes (Star Class for Bill; Flying Dutchman Class for Carl) at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. After watching Bill competing in the 1974 America’s Cup defense trials, 17-year-old Carl won the U.S. Singlehanded Championship for the O’Day Trophy that same year and took home the World Singlehanded Youth Championship in 1975. Buchan also won the U.S. Nationals three times (1978, 1980, 2000) and the North American Championship in 1992.
Dick Rose, who has been a member of World Sailing’s Racing Rules of Sailing Committee for 30 years, is considered the undisputed international authority on the racing rules. For his vast knowledge, Rose was awarded the Nathanael Greene Herreshoff Trophy in 2012, considered U.S. Sailing’s highest honor. He has also served as the U.S. Olympic Sailing Team rules advisor in the 1984, 1988, and 1992 games. After sailing dinghies while growing up on Manhasset Bay, Long Island, Rose led his Princeton University team to second place in the Intercollegiate National Championship in 1960. At age 24, he won the Long Island Sound Frostbite Championship in 1963, upsetting the famed Arthur Knapp, Jr. As one of the first sailors to embrace the new Laser Class when it first appeared in 1971, Rose was already a standout in several other classes including Penguins, Lightnings, Snipes, and International 14s.
On Oct. 16, the new members will be celebrated at the Induction Ceremony in Newport, Rhode Island, representing the 11th year that such distinguished sailors have been added to the Hall. Buchan, Rose, and the other nine members of the Class of 2021 will join 90 current Hall of Famers, all of whom will be featured in the Legends of Sailing exhibition at new The Sailing Museum, which is scheduled to open in May 2022 in Newport. For more information, visit: nshof.org.
Washington State Nears Completion of Puget Sound Buoy Repair Project
Over the last three months, Washington state has been working to replace several of the region’s public mooring buoys that have been either damaged or made inoperable. In mid-July, the program began its buoy repair work on about 60 buoys in the San Juan Islands and have since worked their way south through public mooring locations in Puget Sound.
After completing an assessment of the condition of all 256 saltwater mooring buoys in the Sound, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission identified 203 that were in need of repair and another 53 that were unserviceable. The goal, the state parks commission said, is to have the entire system replaced or repaired with new anchors by the end of this fall season.
Any buoys that cannot be repaired will be included in a future effort to fully replace destroyed buoys, said the State Parks, which will explore additional efforts to improve necessary tie-up capacity for vessels, as well. Washington State Parks has the largest state-managed mooring system in the country and its staff is collaborating with groups, such as the Recreational Boating Association of Washington and First Nations tribal governments, to improve moorage opportunities in the region this year. State Parks is planning to conduct biennial inspections of its buoys as part of a new five-year contract with Jen Jay, Inc., a Puget Sound commercial diving and environmental consulting company.
Project workers are taking care to protect sensitive eelgrass habitats from anchor impact. Each buoy is designed for a single vessel up to 45 feet in length. Boaters cannot raft or tie multiple boats together when using mooring buoys.
As the last of the buoy project wraps up this fall, State Parks encouraged boaters to be cautious operating near any remaining repair divers in the South Sound area and to give the buoy locations a wide berth until the work is done. For more information on the results of the mooring buoy repair work, please visit the State Parks’ website at: parks.state.wa.us/648/Moorage.