A new solar boat is available in San Diego thanks to Tad Walicki, former owner of Forget Me Not gift shop on Orange Avenue.
Walicki is the owner of Infinity Solar Boats and the only business selling the solar boat Solliner 21 on the West Coast. This new solar vessel is a catamaran featuring solar panels which charge the boat when not in use and continues to charge it even while it’s under way. The boat is sleek, stylish, quiet and there are no fumes which is especially obvious when docking, as compared to other boats. Walicki considers it the Porsche of boats.
The Solliner sits high above the water and has a different feel from other boats. “The person who designed this boat loves fast cars and is fanatical about speed,” said Walicki. The Solliner can go up to 7 knots, has a depth finder, radio and prospective buyers can chose unique features. He is the exclusive representative and manufacturer of Solliner 21 and said prospective buyers can choose features like color, flooring and more. “Every time I drive it, I like it more. How wonderful not to worry about diesel,” he said.
Walicki first saw the solar boats in 2015 on a trip to his native Poland and immediately wanted to know more. “I saw these three boats. They were quiet and when they came closer I could see the solar panels. I thought they were perfect for San Diego, Arizona and California. I called the company to establish a contact…” said Walicki.
Walicki has always been a businessman and a go getter. Once he saw the opportunity to bring the solar boats to the West Coast he couldn’t pass it up.
Before he went into solar boats, Walicki and his wife Alina owned Forget Me Not for 20 years until the new owner of the block gave them a month to move out. Forget Me Not had been selling shells, jewelry and other gift items in addition to Alina’s homemade soaps and products which she had expanded over the last few years. The couple closed the store on July 31, 2018 and the Walickis, who have 12-year-old triplets, moved to Prescott where Alina opened Allini Natural Bath and Body Boutique.
Although closing the store was hard after so many years, it was an opportunity to make a change and start new businesses for both Walicki and his wife. Walicki said many long time customers were very sad to see the store closing. Many customers had started going to the store when they were kids with their parents. “Adults cried. Someone who used to come in a stroller and is now 20 years old and in college came and asked my wife to get help with a gift for his girlfriend. We had tons of situations like that,” he said.
Walicki, who is a long time sailor and has a large number of trophies he has won over the years, is very excited about his new venture. Although he now lives in Prescott, Arizona, having moved from Del Cerro after closing his business in Coronado, Walicki goes back and forth to San Diego and Newport Beach where his boats are located.
The Solliner 21 is currently docked at Seaforth Rental by Seaport Village and attracts a lot of attention whether it’s parked or under way. On a recent Sunday many passersbys stopped to look at the Solliner and were intrigued by the boat. Walicki took me for a ride around the bay. I found the Solliner’s ride very smooth, comfortable on the inside, and stylish.
Walicki explained that the Solliner is virtually maintenance free, inexpensive to run and operate. For night time sailing, the boat features blue LED lights which reflect on the water and are very attractive.
“Why Poland?” said Walicki when asked about the place where the Solliner comes from as we were going around the bay. “France, England and Poland is where most boats are built. Poland is a huge engineering and marine architecture powerhouse,” he explained.
Walicki showed how quickly the boat can be stopped if necessary. It really stopped on a dime. “It’s perfect for people who live on the bay, you can go out and have a conversation and ideal for people who live on the water like the Cays,” he said.
The boat is perfect for cruising the bay, watching the fireworks and even fishing and trolling without noise.
The Solliner 21 meets the American Best Standards, features an aerodynamic hull and is manufactured in a vacuum infusion process using high quality epoxy resin. The boat is lightweight and can be easily trailed and stored even in a garage. It is charged by 1120 watt solar panels and has AGM 254 batteries that have enough charge to travel 18 hours. The cost is $59,900.
My ride was comfortable, stylish, environmentally friendly and I was truly pleased not to smell fumes when we docked.
Walicki will be showing the Solliner at the Newport Beach Boat Show April 25-28.
For more information log on wwww.solarboatsUSA.com or call 619-997-1288.