Solar Electric Boat Makes Record Catalina Cruise

Posted: April 23, 2013  |  By: Ambrosia Brody [The Log]

NEWPORT BEACH -- A small craft advisory warning did not prevent Billy Dutton from pushing off from the Newport Boat Show docks April 19 to begin his quest to circumnavigate Catalina Island aboard his solar-powered Duffy electric boat, Riding Currents. He did just that, returning to the boat show docks April 20, after 19.5 hours on the water.

“It was like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride,” Dutton said when he reached the Newport Boat Show’s G Dock at 6:37 p.m. Saturday. “It was the craziest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life.”

To the best of Dutton’s knowledge, the 100-mile trip marks the first time a solar-powered vessel has ever completed a trip from the mainland around Catalina Island and back, all on renewable energy.      

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