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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Solar Powered Live-aboard Catamaran

Business Proposal
Seeking Investors

Jonathan R. Cole, MBA
Light On The Earth Systems
Honokaa, Hawaii 96727
Tel. 808 775-9145 Cell/Mobile: 808 640-0127

In 1982, Jonathan Cole founded Light On The Earth Systems to develop products that integrate many renewable energy and electronic technologies to provide a high standard of living with a low impact way of life. “Light on the earth” means little or no pollution and durable products that minimize resource depletion, and at the same time maintain user-friendliness, affordable costs and profitability. These are the kind of products necessary for a healthy society and economy.

In 1996, Mr. Cole began a process of development of a new product category, the Solar Powered Live-aboard Catamaran, which integrates the high technologies of solar energy, electronics, and multi-hull luxury boats. At that time it was becoming clear that the combination of these technologies would enable the creation of products that were never before possible. Our live-aboard boat will be capable of generating all of its energy needs including power for propelling the vessel. This new crossover category of pleasure craft is designed for utilization as a waterfront apartment, as a resort unit, and as a vessel for recreationally exploring the marine environment, safely and without noise, fumes or any pollution, whatsoever. Mr. Cole, having 29 years experience with solar energy technology, has lived in solar powered homes of his own design for many years and has been developing solar products and product concepts since 1984.

Since 1996, Mr. Cole has committed hundreds of thousands of dollars of resources for research and with the assistance of other experts from around the world has developed the engineering proof-of-concept. Now with the outcomes of global warming, and the rapid growth of solar energy products getting increasing attention, the time is right for the manufacture and marketing of this product.

All technical aspects have already been demonstrated so there is no new technology involved. (In 2007 a solar powered catamaran of similar size to our design, successfully crossed the Atlantic at speeds rivaling sailing yachts. and a solar powered catamaran designed by a New Zealander is now circumnavigating the world. ) Our product integrates leading edge, currently existing, mass-produced technology in ways that will yield intellectual property and a successful, durable product. Manufacture of the hulls and cabin components can take place anywhere in the world where the manufacturing expertise and cost factors yield the best value. These components can then be shipped via containers to assembly points world-wide. Local boat-building firms will be contracted to assemble these craft for the end-user.

Requiring a careful engineering analysis, and a business strategy to allow the opening of world-wide markets, a concept has been developed which now has the necessary engineering and manufacturing personnel identified to begin to carry out the business plan. An investment commitment of $10 million is sought. Yielding as much as ten-fold return on investment over five years and up to fifty-fold return over ten years, this business venture will profit from what will likely be the largest product category of the twenty-first century – renewable energy products.

Interested investors may contact Mr. Cole directly.

Executive Summary

The Concept:
A Solar Powered Live-aboard Catamaran

• The ultimate luxurious live-aboard boat designed for low maintenance, total reliability and minimal operating costs.
• Utilizing the most efficient hull-forms to conserve energy allows 50-100 mile daily range at 10 miles per hour.
• Completely powered by renewable energy utilizing photovoltaics, wind, regenerative braking and water current generators
• 16 meters (52.5 feet) long, 7.5 meters (24.6 feet) wide
• 100 square meters (1000 square feet) of living space
• Power system is comprised of a 15 kW Photovoltaic (solar-electric) array, 1500 watts of wind generation, with 30 KwHr of battery storage and two 9.2 kW electric drives.
• Solar hot water, water collection and solar distillation.
• Air-conditioned; all electronics including large screen entertainment system; 5 screen CCTV for total vision of exterior allowing the boat to be piloted by one person; all modern appliances showcasing energy efficiency and conservation; waterless toilets; hydrogen on demand for cooking.
• Designed to be shipped in parts by container and assembled at local boatyards.
• The ultimate houseboat for use in shoreline cruises, inland waterways and short blue water crossings.

Financial objectives
• Estimated sales: 10,000 boats over ten years
• Estimated manufacturing cost per boat: $250,000
• Estimated shipping and assembly cost per boat: $40,000
• Estimated sales price: $500,000
• Estimated reinvestment from earnings over 10 years: $100,000,000
• Estimated 10 year profit before taxes: $2,000,000,000
• Estimated 5 year return of initial $10 million investment


  1. I think this is a great idea! Can this design be scaled up to accommodate 25-40 people? Is there a conventional engine for backup? What happens on cloudy/windless days?

  2. This can be scaled up to and including floating solar powered cities.

    There can be a conventional generator for backup, although it will be rarely used, because this all electric boat can charge up with grid power when at the dock or utilizing on board solar charging with its 15 Kw array. Its 60Kw/Hr battery allows for lots of running time even on a cloudy/windless day. In any case, photovoltaics will put out up to 50 percent of their rated output in cloudy weather.

    Since this is a boat that is meant for recreational purposes, if you are short on power you can always wait a day or two. If you use such a craft like a vacation home, you will always be charged up when you are ready to party.

  3. Thanks for your very prompt response. I'm interested in potential commercial uses where waiting a day or two is not an option hence my concern over power. The vessel I'm envisioning will need to be continuously habitable (20-30 people including crew) for extended periods (say 2-3 weeks at a time at sea) and need to be equipped accordingly.

    Also, would you care to compare and contrast the acquisition and operational costs of such a vessel with conventional sailing catamarans equipped with electric motors which already derive their propulsion from wind and presumably have a pretty small carbon footprint. For example sailing catamarans outfitted with electric motors from Solomon Technologies or similar devices.

  4. A boat to take 30 people to sea for 2 weeks would be much bigger than the design we have been working on. More like 100 meters than our 16 meter catamaran.

    In our design work we have noted that the solar equipment that powers our all electric boat is in the same range of cost as a sailboat's masts, booms, sails, rigging, winches and internal combustion engines. That would most likely hold true on scaling up.

    I am familiar with the Solomon Technologies system that charges batteries through the props while underway using sail power. All good so long as the wind is sufficient to propel the boat at speed with surplus to generate electricity. Of course, nature does not operate on a firm schedule, so there are certainly times when this system would not provide sufficient energy, particularly if you are envisioning such a large group. So you would still need backup such as solar or a fueled generator.

  5. I just want too take time too thank the posters for doing what you do and making the community what it is im a long time reader and first time poster so i just wanted to say thanks.

  6. Hello,
    Currently an engineering student. Love the idea of your company. Is it a publicly traded? I would by stock if that option exists.

  7. Thanks for sharing such informative post. It was really worth reading the post.