by Michael dEstries
Categories: Animals, Causes, People
Tags: .


When you think of Sea Shepherd’s vessels, the classic “giant” variety comes to mind — something Captain Paul Watson has bemoaned limits their efforts to quickly intercept whaling vessels. Now imagine a sleek, biodiesel-fueled powerboat sporting the Sea Shepherd black and slicing through the water at over 40 knots. Such is the vision owner/skipper Pete Bethune has for his Earthrace 78 foot trimaran. After completing a round-the-world journey with a volunteer crew in 2008 in 60 days, 23 hours and 49 minutes (slashing the previous record for a powerboat by two weeks!) he’s now putting the boat up for sale — but would love to see it in the hands of the Sea Shepherd defending whales around Antarctica. From the article,

Earthrace could have a new future as a secret strike weapon against Japanese whalers in the Southern Oceans if the Kiwi skipper has his way. Bethune says he is negotiating with anti-whaling campaigner Sea Shepherd Conservation Society to use Earthrace as a ‘strike vessel’ based around its sturdy but slow ship Steve Irwin. ‘The Steve Irwin can only do 16 knots [30kmh], so they can hassle the whalers for a while, and then they move on. If you had Earthrace, you could hassle them all the time.’

Bethune has listed the Earthrace for $1.5 million — but we imagine there might be some wiggle room for a group like Sea Shepherd. Either way, you’ve got to imagine the Japanese are less than thrilled. You can check out more on the sleek boat here.

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

View all posts by Michael dEstries →
  • beforewisdom

    If the Sea Shepherd Society put up a web site about trying to buy that ship I would send in a contribution.

  • Whoever…

    Hey, why not contact Hayden Panettiere and Ellen Degeneres?

    Hayden loves whales and could participate in the clothes auction Ellen is doing on Ebay. She is donating the money to HSUS…

    Or they could come up with something else.

    Can anyone do something about this?

  • Ted

    I admit that the boat is pretty cool looking, but I’m more than a bit uneasy about placing someone in that boat in Antarctic waters, which are full of ice chunks. Speedboats are made to be as light as possible, so I seriously doubt that it could survive a an ice impact at 40 knots.

    The Steve Irwin, even solid as it is, can’t handle a lot of ice damage, either. That’s what had the crew on pins and needles this season when they navigated the ice flow. You certainly don’t want the prettiest ship in the fleet to get scuttled on ice and sink while the whalers laugh from the railing.

    If the SSCS picks it up, it would be better to assign it to the Caribbean sector to catch shark poachers. Reefs don’t move, and the flatter water is perfect for this boat.

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  • ryan

    this boat would be torn up by ice. it is light weight, and i dont know how it would handle the kind of waves that you can get in those areas.

    overall not the best for the Antartic. maybe those terorists can start patroling Somalia with the rest of the pirates

  • Nate

    THIS IS TRUE & CONFIRMED!!! Sea Shepherd has posted information on their next campaign and they said they have 2 ships for next season, one being the upgraded & re-furbished Steve Irwin, and the other is the newly purchased Earthrace as an intercept vehicle. WOOHOO!

  • Pingback: Confirmed: Earthrace Superboat Joining Sea Shepherd Fleet // Archives // :: the latest in green gossip()

  • Ares

    Sweet, now they can contribute to rainforest deforestation to fuel their lavish soybean powered “eco” boat.

    Thanks guys! I can’t wait to see how many more hectares of pristine get mowed down to plant more soybeans for biodiesel.

  • jason

    Ares: Shut up, fool. You know nothing.

  • Sharon

    This will be Fantastic, and undoubtedly the boat will be equipped for the type of climate it will be facing. I hope and pray for other large vessels (perhaps one of the many docked militiary ships) to be donated or made available to the SSCS. I just can’t fathom how so many atrocities are still ‘allowed’ to be taking place. Thankfully Paul Watson and his brave, caring crews are on this planet, and doing something about it. Bless them and all who continue to help our planet and it’s wonderful creatures.

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