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Last Updated: Tuesday July 18 2006 16:41 GMT

Solar-powered boat ready to sail

A solar-powered boat on the Serpentine Lake in London
The fine weather at the moment is just what the makers of a new boat are after, as it is powered by the sun!

A passenger ferry has been built that will carry 42 people from north to south on the Serpentine lake in London.

The 14.5m long boat - called the Solarshuttle - will take a leisurely cruise across the lake at 4mph.

The Solarshuttle's two electric engines are completely powered by the sun, and its makers are sure that even on days without much sun it will still work.

When the boat isn't sailing across the lake any electricity its 27 solar panels generate will be sent to a power station for use elsewhere in the country.

The boat's builders are now planning a new ferry for use on the River Thames that could carry as many as 300 passenger, but it won't be ready to set sail until 2008.




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