Scout makes Independence Day try for Spain


Scout, the solar-powered unmanned boat built by a Tiverton team, may be off to Spain again — this time with less fanfare. A first attempt failed off Martha's Vineyard when clouds kept batteries from charging and the boat was adrift too close to shore.

At 8 am, five hours into the voyage, Scout had travelled 16 miles on correct course, averaging over 3 knots.

This message was sent out yesterday ...

----------- The day has come (again!) to launch Scout off to Spain.  This time the crew has made a few changes to fully leverage both the batteries and daylight to

our advantage.  Given the previous launch exceeded power budget due to cloudy skies, we have been analyzing weather patterns and predictions as

well as re-assessing our launch site.

Scout will be launched between 1 and 2 AM on July 4, 2013 from the West side of Sakonnet Point.

The original launch site of Fogland beach required Scout to motor through the Sakonnet River for ~4 hours against the wind and current burning through battery

reserves.  Due to the lack of sun on Launch day, we found that Scout was unable to replenish the power used on the River motoring went into a normal

"drift" mode at about 11pm.  This left scout at the mercy of the wind and currents for 8 hours until it was able to gain some sunlight and sprang to

life again at 7am.  Unfortunately this overnight drift left Scout far too close to the No Man's Land Island and required rescue.  See the First

Launch Tracklog including the rescue here:

We fully understand that a 1-2 AM launch is an abnormal time, but we'd still like to welcome any spectators willing to come out at such an hour to

view this hopefully historic event.

Our live tracking website (now mobile friendly) will start tracking as soon as Scout departs the beach.  You can view that site here:

Thanks again for you continued support!


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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.