DEC 12

Solar-Powered, Concrete Hull Boat

Written by on December 12, 2014


Carter Quillen is an engineer who bought an old, concrete hulled sail boat named the ‘Archimedes’ and, instead of refitting it with new masts, decided instead to turn it into the largest solar powered concrete hulled boat in the world.

The ‘Archimedes’ is a 50 feet (15.24 meters) long, with a displacement of 20 tons and is able to travel at up to 5 miles per hour (8 km/hour) powered solely by a 5kW solar array. Quillen is traveling along the Intercoastal Waterway as an advocate for microgrid energy production as well as using his boat as a demonstration platform for sustainable technology.

In addition to solar electric propulsion, the ‘Archimedes’ also uses solar power for its refrigeration, A/C, and water heating, and the solar panels are also being developed to be deployed in a funnel configuration for rainwater catchment.

Quillen is also campaigning for greater use of solar power in Florida, noting that “the ‘Sunshine State,’ ranks 20th nationwide in solar energy use per capita.”

Link: Ship of Imagination

video link


4 responses to “Solar-Powered, Concrete Hull Boat”

  1. Go Eco Store says:

    As the solar technology develops I can see cruise ships being powered by it and eventually cars – align that with harnessing the energy from rain in the same panel and we will have a serious energy saving answer!

  2. avraham says:

    Is there any way to make it go faster? 5 miles per hour does not seem like much.

  3. Capt. Carter says:


    Thanks for the nice article! (Even if you did use an ancient picture of the Arc).

    Lot’s of changes since that old video was made. Check out our blog at for the latest on the adventures of the Archimedes.

    Thanks again.

    Capt. Carter

  4. Solar Fan says:

    It’s high time. There is research going on to use building glasses as solar panel – pretty exciting.

    If even small boats can switch to solar, that should save millions of gallons of oil per day. Awesome!