Travel, a solar offshore fishing vessel developed and designed by Kochi-based Electric Boats and NavAlt Solar, has reportedly bagged the Gustave Trouve Award and is the first-ever sea-going solar fishing vessel in the world. The prestigious awards were rewarded in memory of the French inventor, physicist, electrical engineer, and polymath Gustave Trouve. The Electric Boat Award belonged to the category of Commercial ferry and was dominated by nominations from some of the greatest boat builders from 30 nations.
Four vessels had contested from the country, of which three were NavAlt’s. Srav also secured the ‘Best Electric Work Boat” title in the world, a press release mentioned. This is the second time NavAlt bragged about the global award. Previously, NavAlt’s 75-seater solar-powered ferry, Aditya, which operates in the Vaikom-Thavanakadavu channel, had secured the Gustave award in 2020. Sandith Thandassery, the CEO and founder of NavAlt, mentioned that Srav is part of the firm’s iconic seagoing vessel series, which will encompass large and small fishing vessels powered by the Sun.
The tale of electric Srav began with NavAlt’s wish to have quieter and cleaner oceans. Beginning with Aditya, a design and technological wonder, Sandith mentioned how they went into building ROROs, military boats, and luxury vessels. While the firm was striving to place diverse green vessels across the country, the Shell Foundation, one of the largest cleantech advocates today, came with unconditional support, he said.
The Shell discovered that solar fishing boats could significantly impact the country’s fishing communities. Surveys revealed that about 250,000 fishing vessels operate on kerosene and petrol. Millions of individuals who depend on the sea and its produce count on the boats for offshore fishing – in its physical structure and unit economics.
The increasing cost of fossil fuel is a major concern for the larger community as they operate on a low margin from the catch they receive minus the cost of fuels. Srav is fascinating to ride on. It can easily host six fishermen. It has a range of 50km and is most appropriate for small fishers. The energy bill is likely less than Rs 10,000, while fossil fuels reportedly cost about Rs 3 lakh. Wear and tear will be lesser, Sandith mentioned.
Even more, the Srav is extremely stable and super quiet, he further added. The Shell Foundation is continuously backing NavAlt to launch the sun-powered beasts into the fishermen’s community, ridding them of the cost of fuel burden and introducing them to the unique form of fishing. NavAlt will also deploy several Sravs across India’s west coast, enabling the fishing community to significantly benefit from such a “cut down” in operational expenditure.