Category Archives: Marine

Solar Powered Boats Compete for the Solar 1 Monte-Carlo Cup

A first for solar powered boats

A month after the opening of its new building in June 2014, the Yacht Club de Monaco is to host what has to be the most innovative event in its nautical calendar for 2014. Speed boats from around the world powered only by the sun, including a first ever ‘one-design’ category, are set to battle it out in Monaco from 10th to 12th July 2014.

Solar1 Monte-Carlo Cup was launched at the Yacht Club de Monaco

Launched on Wednesday 11th by Sergei Dobroserdov, CEO of Solar 1, the event has already attracted 25 entrants who will compete in three contests infront of the Fairmont Hotel / Grimaldi Forum area: a fleet race round two buoys, a slalom race and finally a one-against-one drag race between two buoys.

A real spectacle is promised, as organisers have booked the impressive 31m Planet Solarvessel to be the jury boat. Armed with 537sqm of photovoltaic panels, she went round the world in 585 days powered by the sun, arriving back in Monaco in May 2012.

While this is not the first solar boat race to take place worldwide, it will be the first time many will race on the open sea. It is also the first time there will be a one-design category, with contestants competing on the same level, in the shape of the V20 from Solar 1’s technical partner the Dutch company Vripack.

At just under 20-foot in length, the V20 is designed to fit snugly into a standard container (20-foot equivalent) “with workshop” making it easy to transport. It features adjustable hydro-foils that lift it out of the water to reduce water-resistance so the solar power is used purely for speed.

According to the company’s Design Director Bart Bouwhuis, it can do 35km/h “easily” and when tested here in Monaco last August the panels generated so much power they could have “gone on racing indefinitely”.

Marnix Hoekstra, Director, added: “The sea trials in August left us in no doubt that solar boats are capable and seaworthy enough for tough races! Understanding how they work is all part of the education process which we aim to integrate into this event.”

Promoting solar energy is what the Solar1 Monte-Carlo Cup is all about. Also planned is a Solar Village of stands showcasing technology, a solar boat model race for the children and a conference.

It is interesting to note that from 1904 the world’s budding automotive industries flocked to Monaco to trial the latest developments in combustion engine technology in powerboat races on the sea (the sea being safer than trialling them on the roads) – a 100 years later and the Principality is the scene of another much greener revolution.

“The solar power industry is expanding at such a rapid pace that it was crying out for an event of equal magnitude to unite and represent its stakeholders. Not only do solar boat enthusiasts have an unrivalled opportunity to display their engineering talents but they can also compete equally well with both the vertically integrated energy companies and ambitious young students,” concludes Sergei Dobroserdov.

For the YCM’s secretary general, Bernard d’Alessandri: “It’s a very exciting project as it involves a major shift and a very practical innovation to take the yachting industry forward. I am thrilled that it will attract many young people to Monaco, as this new generation is clearly very involved and concerned about technical advances that will help safeguard our planet.”

For more information on Solar 1 please visit:

Claire Lathbury Riviera Times

Co-Star Launch Low-Profile Membrane Switch for Automotive & Marine applications


Co-Star have launched a tactile membrane switch which is discreet and very easy to install. It is designed to be used with aftermarket security and communications equipment for installation into automotive and marine applications.

The membrane switch is only 40mm (L) and 19mm (H) which means it can be easily mounted  in a convenient position on even the most congested dashboards. It is mounted using a 3M adhesive pad which is supplied and attached to the switch  (it doesn’t need to be drilled like conventional switches). The slim line low-profile ribbon is terminated with a symmetrically wired mating connector  compatible with both the Tyco & AMP module series. The cable is extremely versatile and easy to conceal making the installation discrete and simple.

The switch has two buttons and LED’s (red and green) to enable the driver to quickly and  easily identify when the switch is on or off.

The working voltage of 50V makes it suitable for most types of equipment.

Tim Cosgrove of Co-Star commented;

” Our customers love the convenience and ease  of installing the Co-star membrane switches which can be installed very quickly without having to drill into the dashboard. Once their in position they are extremely discreet and the modern designs makes them fit in perfectly with the very latest automotive and marine dashboards. They are widely used by our customers who install security and mobile communication equipment “.


  • Size: 40mm x 19mm.
  • Mounting: 3M Adhesive Pad (supplied).
  • Cable: Ribbon Cable terminated with Connector Comatible with Tyco/AMP Module Series.
  • Working Voltage: 50V max.
  • Working Current: 100mA max.
  • Contact Resistance: 0.5 – 10 Ω–2-button-led-automotivemarine.html

Source: Co-Star Press Office








Co-Star supply yacht builder with multiple Blade Fuse Holder

Co-Star have won a contract to supply a large yacht builder based in Hamburg with a multiple 10 way ATO blade fuse holder to protect the various electrical & electronic applications used in the marine industry. The Co-Star fuse holder has a one cable in-put which feeds ten circuits making it extremely compact a great advantage with the limited space on board yachts. Another great feature are the LED’s on the fuse holder that quickly identify when a fuse needs replacing and which circuit it is.  The fuse holder comes complete with a splash-proof clear secure case.

Tim Cosgrove of Co-Star commented  ” It’s great for Co-Star be involved in the manufacturing process of such a prestigious project. The fuse holder were supplying has many key features which make it perfect for marine applications ” .

For more information on the fuse holder used in the project please click on the link below.

Source: Co-Star Press Office

Satellite antenna domes to be a thing of the past?

A satellite communication technology company named by CNBC as one of the 50 most “Disruptive Technology Companies in the World” is collaborating with yacht communications systems integrator, e3. The companies are working together to commercialise a new form of metamaterials-based satellite for the superyacht industry. 

Kymeta, the spinoff from Intellectual Ventures, has developed the new technology to produce low-profile, flat panel antenna, which, as applied to the yacht industry would enable global access to high speed internet and HDTV services with minimal impact on yacht design.

Washington-based Kymeta, though yet to see its technology in commercial markets, is an exciting company appearing across several peoples’ radars and media. As well as its recognition on CNBC, Bill Gates recently chipped in for $50 million worth of second round venture cap funding, alongside other prominent investors, Liberty Global and Lux Capital.

“The technology is fascinating…it’s effectively like a glass solar panel that tracks the movement of satellites, from virtual transistors within it that are tracking beams – it’s quite extraordinary. It tracks satellites just like the stabalised antennas we have currently but it’s considerably faster, using a lot less power and no moving parts, so more maintenance free,” said managing director of e3, Roger Horner, speaking to ahead of Monaco, where he will be exhibiting the technology’s potential, if not actual demonstrations at this stage.

The receive and transmit VSAT antennas should be in production by 2015, said Horner, because delays in securing licensing mean that although the technology is ready, the first service will be receiver only for TV satellite. Unusual for the yacht sector, which usually takes on technologies tried in military or commercial environments first, Kymeta’s flat panel technology is still being developed across a range of markets. The involvement between e3 and Kymeta came about because of this, explained Horner.

“Inmarsat [who we work with as value added reseller] had already formed an agreement with Kymeta to develop this antenna for private aviation. So we looked at that, and said, “wow, what about yachting?”

Metamaterial antenna (Source: Kymeta)

The Kymeta flat panel technology will work on the new High Throughput Satellite (HTS) systems that are currently being deployed, and will provide high-speed Internet connectivity as well as HDTV reception to yachts while cruising or in port, enabling video streaming, video calling and other key activities. This high-speed connectivity is also said to open up a new range of possibilities for telematics and cloud based services for the yachts.

“Yachting is a very interesting market and a natural extension of the mobile technologies already in development at Kymeta,” said Vern Fotheringham, chairman and CEO of Kymeta. “Collaboration with e3 Systems is key in our efforts to develop a solution that surpasses expectations in the yachting industry today.”

Source: Belinda Liversedge