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Take a tour of the Energy Observer, a sailboat running on 100% renewable energy

This sailboat runs on 100% renewable energy, and it's now in NYC
This sailboat runs on 100% renewable energy, and it's now in NYC 02:09

NEW YORK -- A sailboat running on 100% renewable energy has made its way around the world for the last seven years and is now in New York City until Earth Day.

CBS New York's Alecia Reid got a tour of the vessel.

The Energy Observer is a decommissioned racing catamaran, now refitted with solar panels covering the entire vessel, in addition to innovative technology. It's a step towards a greener, more sustainable, low-carbon future.

"What we're trying to show to people is that a mix of renewable energies is the best option," boat swain George Conty said.

The floating lab is the first self-sufficient, zero-emission vessel. The crew of five uses renewable energy and hydrogen technology to power the boat as they sail around the world. The initial energy comes from the sun and wind.

"The excess, we store it in batteries. Then when the batteries are full and we still have some sun, instead of just losing this energy that arrives on the boat, we produce hydrogen to continue storing this energy in the form of gas," on-board system engineer Luc Bourserie said.

Engineers are constantly testing the technology to ensure it works. The hope is that any part of the prototype can be used as an inspiration to others searching for ecological sustainability.

"We have proof that the technology works," said Beatrice Cordiano, on-board scientist and climate energy expert. "The concept is quite simple, you just have to deploy a lot of renewable energy capacity."

It's definitely tight quarters living on the boat year-round, but the crew has a decent-sized kitchen that they make good use of.

"And sometimes we don't, and make salads. We adapt," Bourserie said.

People interested in touring the Observer can win a chance at the Earth Day Festival in Union Square on April 14. The vessel will remain in New York City until April 22 before heading to the Summer Olympics in Paris.

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