by Michael dEstries
Categories: Causes, Home.

earthrace, black, sea shepherd, anti-whaling, activism

Sea Shepherd’s sleek, dark, new apprentice has arrived — and the force is strong with this one. And by force, I mean the two 540 horsepower Cummins Mercruiser biodiesel-fueled engines on-board capable of running circles around the Japanese whaling ships.

And so it begins: Earthrace, one of the fastest powerboats on the planet, has been given a full Sea Shepherd makeover. From additional kevlar skin body armor to undetectable very hard to detect broadband radar, nightvision systems, Iridium openport comms, and a new paint job that actually scatters radar signals and provides additional stealth. If Earthrace was badass before, it’s now firmly somewhere in the ninth circle of hell giving Satan a hard time.

Sea Shepherd’s Operation Waltzing Matilda against the Japanese whaling fleet begins this December. More pics of the new Earthrace below:

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 →
  • don miguelo

    …compliments of Bruce Wayne Enterprises.

    • Nate Mutch

      I was thinking the same thing because it looks like something Batman should be driving. This will definitely drive fear into the hearts of the Japanese whalers and will definitely disrupt operations, costing the whalers millions and millions.

  • Chris

    Oh wow. My only question is when do we get to see it go after the Japanese whaling ships and when will we see Batman on board?

  • VeggieTart

    LOL, Don Miguelo. An apt analogy. That thing looks kick-ass.

  • tony

    *Imperial march plays*

  • ophelia

    The boat is bad ass, but I find the Sea Shepherds themselves to be bumbling idiots. They break countless laws, are rude, crude, and have no respect for *human* life. This looks like another way for them to hurt themselves and others.

    • Dave Head

      You talk about SSCS breaking laws -what laws -can you tell us. Or are you just repeating what the Japs say?.
      In fact Japan’s continued and expanded program of scientific whaling is inconsistent with its obligations under the Law of the Sea Convention, the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling Convention, the Convention on the
      Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), and the Convention on Biological Diversity to protect and preserve the marine environment, to protect rare and fragile ecosystems and endangered species, to prepare environmental impact assessments when changes to the marine environment are likely to be caused by its activities, and to refrain from
      claiming resources under the guise of marine scientific research. This program is not legitimately “scientific” because it has not been peer-reviewed and does not have precise quantifiable goals. It is inconsistent with Japan’s obligations under the Convention on Biological Diversity because reduces the sustainability of whale species and has
      “adverse impacts on biological diversity.” It is unquestionably an abuse of right because it invokes Article VIII of the Whaling Convention in a manner that certainly was unanticipated by the framers of the Convention and has
      been repeatedly condemned by the majority of the other contracting parties to the Convention.
      Japan’s actions can be challenged by concerned states in the International Court of Justice or through the dispute resolution procedures of the Law of the SeaConvention and the conciliation procedures of the Convention on Biological
      Plus a few other ‘legalities’ that Japan ignores and no Government has the ‘balls’ to enforce.

      • charles martel

        You talk about the whalers breaking laws. Are you just repeating what the anti-whalers say?

        This post was copied from another source. See:

        You are apparently guilty of doing what you accuse Ophelia of.

        Your post is not scientific, nor has it been peer reviewed…

  • Matt Bieker

    Go Sea Shepherds!

    Japanese Whalers suck

  • Andre

    Ophelia, have you ever spoken to a Sea Shepherd member? I don’t know where your idea comes from, that they have no respect for “human life”.
    In fact, there weren’t any evidences of people/whalers getting hurt by Sea Shepherd, besides having to live on a stinking ship for a few weeks.

    I don’t agree with everything what they do (e.g. boarding the whaling ships), but I still think that they are the most effective chance we have against those murders from Japan.

    Would I risk my own Life to safe the Life of a whale? Definitely.

  • http://facebook Daenae

    I can’t wait to see what this bad boy can do for the crew of the sea shepards. I also hope that the Steve Irwin was ramped up as well. It’s obvious that the whalers are going to stay in areas of thick ice and away from the Steve Irwin. The hull needs to be reenforced for thicker ice and they need to look at a “potato gun” type of device to launch those bottles over the nets and get them to land on the deck. Throwing them by hand isn’t going to cut it anymore. Launching them through a potato gun allows the crew in the smaller boats to stay a bit further away from the cannons. I’m sure Paul and all the crew have been busy improvising and improving what they have done in the past and will be doing in the future. I just can’t wait to see how this season goes! Wish this show ran all year long!
    Best of luck to all of you Sea Shepherds. Have a very safe, sucessful trip and keep up the great work you do!!!!

  • JC

    Why Sea Shepherd crew does what it does:

  • ddpalmer

    I am interested in seeing how this boat will fair in the Antarctic, but bending the truth in the article is just bad form.

    It has a top speed of 45 knots which is fast compared to a large boat, but many powerboats can easily hit 60 knots, so it definitely is not one of the fastest powerboats in the world. Also with its fuel consumption at those speeds I don’t expect it will spend much time going above 10-15 knots.

    Kevlar body armor was not added. Kevlar is used in the construction of the hull and has always been part of the Earthrace hull. Calling it adding body armor is like saying my car has tank armor because it has steel in it’s construction.

    And finally there is no such thing as undetectable broadband radar. For radar to work you have to be able to detect the return signal and if you can detect the return signal then anybody with the proper reciever can also detect your signal.

    • Michael d’Estries


      Kevlar body armor was added — in addition to the composite in the hull. Here is a quote from the captain of the Earthrace: ““We’re adding between 8 layers and 4 layers of kevlar, depending on area, all over the underwaterline sections, as well as some areas above the waterline. Earthrace is pretty much all carbon, which is brittle, especially as it gets colder. The kevlar adds impact resistance. It does not make it iceproof, it just limits the damage when we do end up scraping some ice. Earthrace though is quite vulnerable down there, so we will need to be especially carfeul. Antarctica is very unforgiving.”

      Pics of them adding the kevlar here:

      With regards to speed, Earthrace can travel 14,000 nautical miles on a full tank at an average speed of 25 knots. I seriously doubt they’ll have much concern going above that at times. (Granted, with the extra kevlar, the weight of the boat is sure to increase.)

      Broadband radar appears to be a fairly new technology that I’m still looking into. That being said, it was the Captain who stated those words — so there’s obviously something there we’re missing.

    • ddpalmer

      I didn’t say they didn’t add Kevlar. I said they didn’t add body armor and that Kevlar was alraedy part of the original construction. Just because Kevlar is used in body armor doesn’t mean every use of Kevlar can or should be called body armor.

      And as for speed and range. The Earthrace website says 2000 nm at 25 knots and with the additional weight that range will have dropped.

      I am not trying to say that the boat isn’t impressive. But it is wrong to report it as something more than it is. If the info came from the Captain then it should have been checked, if it came from author then he needs to do better research.

      • Michael d’Estries

        It appears that their press release PDF needs updating.(

        I pulled my information from this quote, but it now appears that they’re mistaken: “It all depends on the speed. At 25 knots (29 mph), Earthrace will travel 14,000 nautical miles (16,122 miles) which is half way around the world. But at that speed you have a very uncomfortable and grumpy crew”

        They probably meant 6 knots — hence the grumpy crew sentence.

        And you’re right on the kevlar/body armor naming issue — it’s just that the two are used synonymously that it’s sometimes easy to forget that they’re not one and the same.


    that is bad ass

  • Rainbow Warrior

    Stunning boat. But from what I’ve seen of the Sea Shepherd crew – flippin inflatables, smackin helicopters and pretty much struggling to keep it together – I hope it comes with a competent skipper.

    And for the record – Kevlar will NOT survive a collision with an iceberg – or a Japanese ice-breaker class whaling ship.

    • jforth

      Damn dude are you psychic?

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