Matteo Miceli set sail on his world adventure aboard the ECO40 last Sunday, October 19 at noon from the port of Riva di Traiano just outside Rome. His goal, to be completely self-sufficient from any external help (food, water and energy) has begun. Over 2000 well-wishers and 200 boats turned out to wish Matteo Miceli a safe and successful journey (See video below).
Matteo is working closely together with Professor Paolo De Girolamo from the University of Rome in Sapienza on this global sailing project known as the “Rome Ocean World”. Their goal is to be the first Class 40 sail boat to travel around the world without any fossil fuel onboard and also to be completely self-sufficient.
On board the Class 40 sailboat (a very popular type of sailboat, which attracts many amateur and professional sailors because of its cost efficiency, are two hens for producing eggs and a fishing rod to catch fish. Matteo also has a vegetable garden and is able to desalinate water, which both the chickens and Matteo will drink (See video below).
The ECO40 has been equipped with tread-proof solar panels, two wind generators and two hydro-turbines. With the ability to generate electricity from three types of renewable energy, a continuous supply will be assured for Matteo’s electronic equipment as well as oven, microwave and kettle; for supplying light for the garden; for desalinating the water and for freezing fish caught by Matteo. Any excess energy not immediately used will be stored in special lithium batteries. In addition, an electric motor has also been installed, in order to manoeuvre inside harbours.
It’s the first time ever that a sailboat’s movement will be accurately measured by GNSS on a global journey and data is transmitted via satellite by Matteo every four hours. At the end of the journey, Professor Paolo di Girolamo and Mattia Crespi from the University Rome, will analyse and report on the data collected.
The first test of the ECO40’s sea worthiness is fortunately over. On the night of October 21, remnants of hurricane “Gonzalo” hit the Mediterranean Sea after battering the shores of the UK with heavy rain and gale force winds. Matteo was hoping to reach safety at the port of Minorca before the storm hit, but there was still no word from Matteo at 11 pm. It was a very expectant and tense wait for the team in Rome that Tuesday night.
Finally at 3 o’clock the next morning an automatic data transmission arrived with the ECO40’s posi-tion. The ECO40 survived 80 kms per hour winds and 5 metre high waves on autopilot and is on its way to the Gilbraltar, where weather won’t be the problem so much as marine traffic.
Unfortunately Matteo won’t be having fish for a while until the water calms down or eggs until the chickens are settled again and his vegetables suffered some difficulties from the storm as well…
In order to follow Matteo’s sailing route, please install Google Earth . After this is done, please click here to first download and save and then open the “KML” tracker file. Anytime you want to follow Matteo’s sailing route, just open the tracker file (There is no need to open Google Earth). When the tracker window is open and you see the image of the earth, type “ECO40” in the search window (upper left hand side of window) and press enter. The tracker will then move to the ECO40’s latest sailing route position. The boat’s progress are updated every 10 minutes.
Watch the video of Matteo Miceli as he sets sail on October 19, 2014 here.
Discover the inside of the ECO40 sailboat here.