Scout set for third Atlantic attempt


Scout, the little solar-powered boat designed and built in Tiverton to cross the Atlantic to Spain, will make a third attempt just before midnight tonight,  Friday, Aug. 23, off Sakonnet Point.

The first try earlier this summer from Fogland in Tiverton was done in by clouds and fogs that left the boat adrift too close to land.

The next try, from Sakonnet Point, started well but fizzled southeast of Noman's Land and Martha's Vineyard when the boat began to meander due to mechanical and programming problems.

The Scout crew issued this bulletin late Thursday:

…. Hello Scout supporters —

It's that time again! After mending the rudder system, polishing up some of the programming, charging the batteries, and resetting the tracking page, ( Scout is ready to go! For those of you whom have lost track, this will be Scout's third launch (the tracking pages of the previous launches are and

We have also made a number of neat improvements on our tracking page and have a few more coming! Look for enhanced smartphone support, expanded data viewing capabilities, and a neat little tool that lets you find the distance between any number of points on the tracking map. We have also added average speed and GPS course to the dataset that Scout sends to us; these metrics will be useful in helping us understand what Scout is experiencing during the attempt. The tracking page will receive a new data packet from Scout every 20 minutes.

We plan on doing our last pre-launch test tomorrow morning, and have scheduled the launch for midnight this Friday (so 11:59 pm Friday night) launching off of Sakonnet Point. (Click here to open a Google Map if you don't know where Sakonnet Point is.)

We hope you can make it to the launch, it should be a great time!

The Scout crew


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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.