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May the gale force be with you; Star Wars boat has X factor.

Byline: By Karen Bale

STAR Wars fans can now snap up a boat that looks just like an X-Wing fighter from the movie blockbusters.

The futuristic Volitan, meaning flying fish, harnesses both solar and wind power.

The vessel is designed with four rigid "wings" - the top two acting as sails and fitted with double-layered solar panels.

This means an owner can choose between sailing using wind power or turning to the twin 220hp electric motors powered by batteries. The other two wings, which are under the boat, are used for stability.

In extreme weather conditions the top wings fold up allowing the vessel to operate in gales of up to 60knots.

All four wings, which are computer controlled, also follow the sun and wind for optimum performance.

When the boat docks, the wings retract and fold away neatly. The 105 foot boat has six bedrooms, a lounge, a bar and a special TV room.

A spokesman for designer Designnobis said: "The objective was to create an alternative sailing vessel that would achieve a lightweight system, high sail performance and all-weather navigation capacity with near zero emissions.

"A requirement was also to use innovative materials and construction techniques to minimise weight and hydrodynamic resistance while maximising performance and durability."

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NEW WAVE: The X-Wing fighter, inset, and the Volitan boat, main picture SOLENT NEWS AND PHOTOS
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Dec 3, 2007
Words:226
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