‘Insects evolved wings initially as solar collectors then used them to fly. So why not evolve wings on boats as solar collectors & use them to sail?’
Dr Robert Dane, CEO

This initial inspiration has become SolarSailor, a new way to move on the water. BBC’s Tomorrow’s World described SolarSailor’s technology as “possibly the greatest revolution in boats since the advent of steam.” 

Beginnings: The SolarSailor Story

New Scientist magazine feature 13.10.06

‘Sun, sails and a sea breeze –
it’s all a modern ferry needs,’
says Tim Thwaites.

‘This surely a Hollywood movie-in-waiting. It’s a heartwarming story about a country doctor with an obsession for sailing…. And the star of this tale? A boat with wings.”

Milestones and Awards

2013 – Energy Globe Award for Sustainability

2012 – WWF Future Makers Award

2011 April - Delivery of the final vessel for HKJC – Solar Albatross

2010 October - Exhibitor HK Maritime Awareness Week, Maritime Fair Government Dockyard

2010 – October: Winner China Seatrade Award – Dalian

2010 Sept - Delivery of third HK ferry – Solar Eagle

2010 August - Delivery of second HK ferry – Solar Birdie

2010 June - Solar Sailor wins Environmental Technology Award at the Sustainable Shipping Awards 2010

2010 May - Delivery of Shanghai Vessel for World Expo – Suntech Guoshung

2010 April - Delivery of first Hong Kong Jockey Club ferry – Solar Golf

2009 May - Contract with Schneider Electric for SS HMP190/25 supply and warranty for Hong Kong boats

2009 March - Italian Well Tech Design Award

2008 - Second US Military Grant to UOV LLC

2007 - Paper selected: Australian Journal of Mechanical Engineers Vol 4 No 2. ISSN: 1448-4846

2007 - Robert Dane appointed as Intel Environment Laureate USA

2006 - HIPER Conference – presentation of paper –see Appendix Three

2005 - US Military Grant to UOV LLC

2004 - United Nations Awards finalist – Green Ferries for Blue Highways

2003 - 6 year contract with Captain Cook Cruises to manage and operate the Sydney SolarSailor

2002 - The Hon Bob Hawke appointed as Chairman of the Company

2002 - Dr Robert Dane appointed as SEDA NSW Green Ambassador

2001 - Winner Australian Design Award of the Year 2001

2000 - The Sydney SolarSailor launched

2000 - Winner International Cargo Handling Co-ordination Association Award

2000 - Winner Boating Industry Association of Australia Marine Awards

1999 - Winner Far Eastern Economic Review/Du Pont Asian Innovation Award

1997 - Winner Advanced Technology Boat Race Canberra – Marjorie K prototype.


‘SolarSailor technology can be applied to everything from unmanned ocean vehicles up to ocean liners: in fifty years time people will look back at the ships of the 20th Century and ask where are the wings?’
- Dr Robert Dane, CEO