World's largest solar boat

(AP photo by Heribert Proepper)

Forget the sails and the petroleum.  The catamaran yacht that Raphael Domjan plans to skipper has 5,382 square feet of solar panels.  The boat -- named PlanetSolar -- was unveiled Thursday at the Knierim Yachtbau shipyard in Kiel, Germany.

It took 13 months to build this sleek and snazzy ship, which has a flat deck totally filled by panels. The boat is nearly 102 feet long and 50 feet wide -- lots of surface area for those panels.

A formal launching which is planned for April. Then Domjan plans to start an around-the-world journey in 2011.  The goal is to navigate at a speed of 8 knots.

The boat was designed by PlanetSolar SA of Switzerland.

More photos and a video are here.