McHenry County Solar Canoe Taking Shape

Drawing of the CalypSol solar canoe.

Lakewood’s Ray Christe and Algonquin’s Larry Kozak are making progress on their solar canoe. They have sent out the following press release to keep people up to date:


(Crystal Lake, IL) The CalypSol Group is proud to announce its solar canoe challenge and its planned maiden voyage down the Illinois and the mighty Mississippi Rivers.

Designers and builders Germaine Tobias, Charlie Birks and Ray Christe stand behind their solar canoe-in-progress.

The Group, a team of self-motivated engineers, will navigate a high-tech solar-powered boat from Chicagoland to New Orleans next year, covering the 1,200 nautical miles without contaminating the waterway in any way.

Cities along the way that will be visited include Peoria, St. Louis, Memphis, and Baton Rouge.

The canoe, built entirely from their design, will promote the use of renewable sources of energy and advocate a clean environment.

The CalypSol Group has been founded by two longtime engineers: Raymond Christe of Crystal Lake, IL, and Larry Kozak of Algonquin. Friends for decades, these two men are realizing a long-held dream, born out in this special project.

“This is a really exciting adventure, and an important one too,” says Christe. “We believe we are the first navigators to go down the “French Corridor” in this type of canoe”. It is important to help pioneer and promote this necessary technology. Our motto is “To navigate green, navigate CalypSol.”

Pictured is the 22-foot main hull of the CalypSol trimaran under construction.

This two-month adventure looks to begin its unique journey in early summer 2011.

For sponsorship opportunities and for more information, please visit their website: or call 815-455-6797.

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