Earthrace has been criss-crossing the globe on the lookout for illegal fishing and hunting operations since 2006. The original Earthrace boat was launched in 2006, and set a world record for round the world powerboat travel before it was destroyed in a collision with a Japanese whaling ship in 2010. Now, the team is trying to create a new trimaran capable of assisting law enforcement on long-range, open-water missions.
Earthrace 2 is based on the original Earthrace and, like its predecessor, will run on renewable fuel but sport a Skysail Kite System for auxiliary power. When (or if) it sees the light of day, the new boat will serve as an operations base for the team's missions battling wildlife crime around the world. Loaded up with a crew of 26, the larger vessel would support 28 day missions with a cruising range of 10,000 nautical miles (11,508 mi/18,520 km) at 12 knots (14 mph/22 km/h).
If it comes time to get into hot-pursuit mode, the 195-ft (60-m) boat could be pushed up to around 25 knots (29 mph/46 km/h). Alternatively, a 29-ft (9-m) Sealegs Amphibious Vessel and a Zodiac Dinghy would be hidden away within the hull, ready to be deployed if the team needs to board other boats on a mission.
"We've worked in a number of countries now targeting illegal fishing by foreign vessels, but the real work in open waters has been limited because we lacked our own long-range vessel," says Captain Pete Bethune. "This new vessel will be used in blue water patrols, mostly assisting local units to catch poachers."
The Earthrace team is currently running a Kickstarter campaign, attempting to raise US$50,000 to complete the designs for a new trimaran, which are being handled by LOMOcean design. According to the team behind it, the sandwich-composite vessel's design will make it super efficient, but also able to maintain a stable, fast pace through rough seas.
With four days remaining, the crowdfunding campaign has passed its goal by more than $3,000. Pledges range from $8, which gets your name on the side of the boat, to $9,900 for a 24-hour luxury voyage with 10 guests on board.
Should the project get off the ground, construction is expected to start in January 2017. If it's completed, Earthrace plans to use the boat for conservation missions for eight months a year, and running it on awareness tours for the rest of the time.
Earthrace's Kickstarter pitch video is below.