The Hudson River Maritime Museum is excited to announce the name of its 100% solar-powered 44-foot tour boat, the latest version of the Solar Sal series. After overwhelming community participation in a naming campaign and input from schools up and down the Hudson River, the museum’s naming committee, comprised of local elected officials, environmental groups, and partner organizations voted unanimously for Solaris.
Built by the Hudson River Maritime Museum’s restoration crew under the direction of Jim Kricker, this vessel is the only solar powered boat in operation on the Hudson River and does not require fossil fuels to operate. Names considered were two words or less, did not exclude or perpetuate harmful stereotypes, were not offensive, and were inspired by local history or environmentalism.
The new tour boat will allow the museum to expand its popular Rondout Lighthouse Tours, as well new history tours, trips to the Esopus Lighthouse, bird-watching trips, sunset cruises, and field trips to its on-the-water programming. The Solaris can accommodate up to 25 passengers and will be available for private charters and can be added on to any rental of the museum’s facilities.
Designed by marine architect Dave Gerr from a concept developed by David Borton, owner of Sustainable Energy, the Solar Sal-44 is commercial in design, meeting all U.S. Coast Guard regulations for commercial passenger-carrying vessels. In late 2018, the vessel passed her speed/range endurance test under the watchful eye of Coast Guard inspectors, using only reserve battery power. In early 2019, the vessel passed her stability test and received United States Coast Guard Certification. The Solaris can travel up to 50 miles at night without the use of her solar panels. Even on cloudy days, the solar panels are so efficient that they continue to power the batteries.
Support for this vessel comes from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Scenic Hudson, and Sustainable Energy Corp. If you have questions, or wish to support this unique vessel and its programming, please contact Executive Director Lisa Cline at 845-338-0071 ext. 20. More information on the tour boat and naming campaign can be found at www.hrmm.org/solar-boat-tours.html
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Hudson River Maritime Museum
50 Rondout Landing
Kingston, NY 12401
The Hudson River Maritime Museum is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of the maritime history of the Hudson River, its tributaries, and related industries.
Become a member and receive benefits like unlimited free museum admission, discounts on classes, programs, and in the museum store, plus invitations to members-only events.
The Hudson River Maritime Museum receives no federal, state, or municipal funding except through competitive, project-based grants. Your donation helps support our mission of education and preservation.