Dig for treasure with our A - Z or set a course for HOME shipmates





These are some of the main components of the 1:20 scale Elizabeth Swan technology demonstrator. We applied for part funding for this project from the Dti's marine technology competition. But, they said they were concerned about cleaning of the panels of salt caking at sea, as applied to ships. We have solved that problem, and were prepared to share that information in return for helping us with development costs. We considered the automatic furling and sun tracking to be an important feature for applications like cargo ships, cruise liners and ferries - not so the UK government. But then, we suppose that most governments around the world are in a pickle. Looking for ways to power ships to meet with the IMO's zero targets for 2100 without much modification of hulls and decks. The target for 2030 is a 40% reduction in GHG emissions. The Elizabeth Swann is a clean-sheet-of-paper design. Not flavour of the month with fleet operators, as well we appreciate. But then progress is sometimes financially painful. In the commercial world it is all about profits. Now, the planet gets a look in, but still has to wait for existing ships to depreciate. We have suggested a scrappage scheme is applied to induce ship operators to change out hulls earlier, as was applied to cars some years ago.







Under their identified “levels of ambition”, the IMOs initial Green House Gas (GHG) strategy envisages, a reduction in carbon intensity of international shipping (to reduce CO2 emissions per transport work, as an average across international shipping, by at least:


40% by 2030, pursuing efforts towards 


50% by 2040, and that total annual GHG emissions from international shipping should be reduced by at least 


70% by 2050 and then


100% by 2100 ( compared to 2008 levels)


We should not be complacent about the looming 2030 target. It is very easy to put things off; oh it will be okay if we leave it another couple of years. Somebody else will come up with the solution. Really! If that was true the EU (Horizon Europe) and UK would not be pumping billions of Euros into ZEWT research. As we have amply demonstrated over more than three years joining consortiums and making applications for RI funding, SMEs do not get a look in on the large sums of money being gifted to large corporations. Hence, the speed of clean shipping development rests on big shipping concerns and the universities, who work for those concerns.


We imagine that huge fines will be imposed, and possibly ship confiscations in ports, in the event of persistent offenders. At that point, you can imagine a mad scramble to buy clean replacements. But, why leave it that late, and why put your cargo and transport business at risk.


If we can do it on a shoestring budget, the professionals can easily change over to zero emission technology. It may even be cheaper in the long run, with reduced fuel costs. Imagine that. Goods being delivered for less. It is probable that once fossil fuels are phased out, cars, homes and factories will be cheaper to operate. It should represent a giant leap in the direction of world peace. With food security next on the list of problems to be solved. Perhaps, with ZEVs, the oceans will be less acid, and fish stocks might slowly recover.







We used a sheet of aluminium sandwich, with dense foam core, that is conveniently white on both sides. One 8' x 4' feet sheet was sufficient. The supplier was amazingly fast in delivering - should we need any more. Cutting this material takes a bit of getting used to. You'll need a large worktop or table. The aluminium is scored multiple times with a sharp steel blade, as in a Stanley, or other similar make of knife. It is better to work from one side only. Once through the first skin. apply downwards pressure to cut through the interlayer, and score the underside of the other alloy skin. Then bend, and the sheet will part cleanly. Be careful though, our tutor cut himself on the sharp alloy edges. And Stanley knives are very dangerous if misused. Wearing protective gloves is a good idea.








With the three main parts cut: 2 x wings and 1 x deck area, we laid out the solar panels and other electronic and electrical parts to simulate the position on the completed model. Most satisfying - it all fits. In fact, the design had to be modified to allow fitment of standard size 18 volt solar panels. These are mostly used on cars and mobile homes to charge laptops and power TVs. The solar panels charge two lithium batteries, via a charge controller. In this picture you can also see the motors that rotate the solar wings to face the sun, and the sensors that measure the angle of insolation (incoming solar radiation), to switch the motors on and off, as required for tracking purposes. You can also see the thrusters and speed controllers on the far right. As you may notice, we've shoehorned 8 x 18 watt solar panels onto the active deck area, for a total of 144 watts. Meaning a cruising power of roughly 65 watts 24/7.






Fortunately, our directors were able to stretch to the purchase of the above components, by way of trustees loans to the Foundation. In addition, another charitable Trust felt compelled to provide workshop space and cover the operational overheads. Lastly, a local model maker agreed to tutor home schooled students, without charge. This saved the Foundation approximately £16k. We'll still need to find funding for transport and events - as part of the ocean and climate awareness campaign.


We might be able to modify the stand used for SeaVax exhibitions - and that will save more money. Imagine the development cost if this was an MOD project.







A view of the main solar harvesting, tracking, and motor propulsion components, with the vessel cruising toward you. We have already had to modify the design, increasing the length by nearly four meters, over the full size vessel (pro rata). Hence this special effects model is around 2.4 meters long. The full size vessel is just under 48 meters. The original design is 44 meters. 






Hull. The hull of any water vessel is the most important part of the boat or ship, onto which is attached the thrusters and rudders or other directional controls. It is the most important part of any design. 


Superstructure. This frame and cabins, provides a structure to attach the solar wings, camera, lights, and other components of our model.


Thrusters. The thrusters are electrically or hydraulically powered propellers used to maneuver the vehicle. There are almost always multiple thrusters to provide movement in multiple directions.


Solar Wings. As this model is powered with free energy from nature, it is autonomous, not needing shore based charging, or fossil fuels. Moveable wings allow the solar panels to change position to face the sun while on the go, so harvesting more free energy than a ship with fixed deck panels - making it faster. In addition, having wings that fold, makes the model, and full size ship, safer in stormy conditions. Testing in winds will be one of a group of experiments, in a specially equipped test tank.


Pilot Controls. The surface controls can range from something that looks like the control room for a spaceship to something as simple as a smartphone, or an Xbox game controller. The surface controls provide a physical interface for the pilot to control the vehicle and a display of feedback from the vehicle including the camera view.

Camera. Since the vehicle travels over the water, and to be able to record performance or provide media streaming, we are including an onboard camera, which must be able to provide an image with low-latency.

Lights. The lights provide illumination for the camera (hence operator) to see in reduced light conditions.





Submercible with acrylic bubble hull


ROVs or UUVs - Are generally smaller unmanned underwater vessels, than their crewed counterparts, without life support, making them cheaper to build and operate. Much of the technology of these large submersibles is shared with the Elizabeth Swann.





Dig for treasure with our A - Z or set a course for HOME shipmates




This website is Copyright © 2023 Cleaner Ocean Foundation & Jameson Hunter. The rights of Jameson Hunter and Cleaner Ocean Foundation to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with section 77 and 78 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. This website and the associated Treasure Island artwork is Copyright © 2022 Cleaner Ocean Foundation and Jameson Hunter. This is a work of fiction. Names and characters are the product of the authors' imaginations, and any resemblance to any person, living or deceased, is entirely coincidental.