In our summer special, we focus on boats, ships and messing about on the water.
We look at F1 powerboats, in which Formula 1 powerboat engineering is a delicate discipline and one small misjudgement could make the difference between victory and disaster. Sailing hybrids could be the shape of ships to come, as the escalating cost of fossil fuels coupled with tightening environmental regulations are hoisting hopes for a return to the age of sail. If not sails, will solar float your boat? PlanetSolar flew the flag for photovoltaic technology with its round the world cruise, but also provided a shot in the arm for solar boats.
If the future of boats is one side of the story, the history is another. We hear about reviving passenger sea traffic to Australia, as one company plans to revive passenger sea traffic between Europe and Australia. We also catch up with Titanic II, as the replica plans go full steam ahead backed by an Australian billionaire planning to rewrite history with a happy ending.
No detail in modern shipping is left to chance and ocean-going vessels are increasingly taking on-board the benefits of ICT, as we discover looking at maritime ICT, the new wave of technology controlling real-time cargo tracking to crew and passenger management applications, Windows-based radar to floating data centres.
The environmental concerns of the shipping industry are not insignificant either and a carbon cap for shipping has been proposed. Is it workable? Certainly, capping emissions from the maritime sector is the driver behind Rolls-Royce’s Enviroship project.
With so much of the planet covered in water and the world’s population expanding every day, it would seem inevitable that people living on the water in floating cities could become the reality. We look at how, when their homeland became submerged beneath the Indian Ocean, the Maldivians happily took to living on top of the water. Is this a lifestyle choice we should all explore? In London, an innovative floating village is already aiming to breathe new life into the Royal Docks.
Finally, we interview one of the world’s most famous sailors, Dame Ellen MacArthur, as she moves now to dedicate her life to promoting the Circular Economy through the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.