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- 1985 The first Tour de Sol − a race for solar-powered vehicles − aroused my interest in photovoltaics. At that time, I had already been involved in the importation and construction of sailing catamarans for ten years, so the conversion of boats to solar power followed quite naturally.At around the same time, I was fortunate to meet Theo Schmidt, an unconventional physicist with a keen sense of boats, who encouraged me and gave me the benefit of his wide knowledge and experience.
Thus, little by little, we built various different boats, which regularly took the foremost places in the competitions for solar-powered boats that were often being held at that time. However, as a non-flyer by conviction, I was more interested in long-distance trips and saw solar-powered boats as a means of transport and not merely another pleasurable pastime.
- 1987 Work starts on Basilisk 1.
- 1988 Participation in the Tour de Sol (Lake Neuchâtel).Sails successfully replaced by an efficient solar power unit.
- 1989 Two first-place finishes at races for solar-powered boats on Lake Maggiore and Lake Zug.Basle–Koblenz–Trier–Saarbrücken–Strasbourg–Basle (900 km in four weeks).
- 1990 Berlin race for solar-powered boats: 2nd place.Construction of ten pedal-powered boats with schoolchildren (10th school year).
Pioneer trip from Basle to Ibiza in October/November: 2000 km exclusively using the direct power of the sun.
- 1995 Foundation of the company Eco-Inventions Sàrl in France.Construction of the Water Witch, a solar-powered cabin boat; first solar-powered boat on the Saône and Rhône; maiden voyage over 1000 km in three weeks.
- 1996 Construction of the Vél’eau 12, pedal-powered pleasure boat for twelve passengers.
- 1997 Hirondelle, an old 11-metre-long boat with a steel hull, was converted by us into a powerful
solar-powered cabin boat.
- 1999 Basilisk 2 finishes in first place at the Le Havre–Rouen (Armada du Siècle).
- 2000 Eco-Inventions becomes Solartis Sàrl. Start of the construction of grid-connected PV systems.Voyager 780: a normal houseboat using solar power.
- 2001 Défi Solaire Port sur Saône–Rouen: three of our boats (Vél’eau 12 as solar-powered hybrid boat, Basilisk 2 and Voyager 780) occupy the first three places.
- 2003 Vél’eau 12 finishes in second place in the Caen–Le Havre–Rouen regatta.
- 2006 Start of construction of Basilisk 3 with hybrid power, i.e. solar cells and sails together.
- 2007 Artisolar GmbH, Switzerland, becomes Solartis Sàrl, France.First trials of Basilisk 3 on various lakes and on the Rhine fully confirm the expected performance.
- 2010 Basilisk 3 is the first solar-powered boat to sail from Basle to Amsterdam and back.
- 2012 Fritz, a 20-metre-long steel ship, is converted to solar power and sails from Hamburg to St-Jean de Losne.
- 2019 Current project: Déjà Vu