"This month, 69-year-old Japanese sailor Ken-ichi Horie will attempt
to captain the world’s most advanced wave-powered boat 4,350 miles from
Hawaii to Japan. If all goes as planned, he’ll set the first Guinness
world record for the longest distance traveled by a wave-powered boat
and, along the way, show off the greenest nautical propulsion system
since the sail."
Ken-ichi's boat, the Suntory Mermaid II, uses a recycled-aluminum catamaran that converts the waves in forward motion. "Two fins mounted side by side beneath the bow move
up and down with the incoming waves and generate dolphin-like kicks
that propel the boat forward. 'Waves are a negative factor for a
ship—they slow it down,' says Yutaka Terao, an engineering professor at
Tokai University in Japan who designed the boat’s propulsion system. 'But the Suntory can transform wave energy into propulsive power regardless of where the wave comes from.' "