Steven Shidler
taking a quick spin around the globe

Water Ways
Honolulu Star Bulletin (3/14/98)
By Ray Pendleton

The name Steven Shidler should ring a bell.

He was the one who was setting speed records aboard his 48-foot catamaran Wind Warrior back in the 1980s, and from '87 to '91, followed that up by setting several time and distance records in the Pacific with a diesel-powered 40-foot catamaran named Endeavour.

In fact, you might even remember Shidler sailing for the University of Hawaii's sailing team in the '70s.

Today, a successful businessman in San Francisco, Shidler hasn't given up his love of the sea, or for taking on challenges. His current project should bring him through our islands - with a brief stop on O`ahu - very soon.

With a philosophy of "maximize movement, minimize energy," Shidler and his crew are attempting to circumnavigate the globe in less than three months aboard his 60-foot, diesel-powered trimaran, Revolution, and set some records along the way.

His original press releases spoke of besting the nuclear submarine USS Triton's totally submerged record circumnavigation in 1960 of "83 days and 10 hours." But, a quick call to Charles Hinman at the Bowfin Submarine Museum at Pearl Harbor, established the Triton's actual record was 60 days and 21 hours - a time that is only likely to fall to another nuclear sub.

Anyway, comparing the challenges Revolution's crew will face aboard a 11,000-pound, waterbug-like craft, skipping across the surface of the ocean with power from just one 225-horsepower engine, to those aboard a 450-foot, 6,000-ton behemoth gliding quietly in the deep is silly at best. Revolution will set her own records.

One interesting difference between the two circumnavigations is in public awareness. The Triton made her voyage in total secrecy, whereas I, and anyone with access to the Internet's worldwide web, can follow Revolution's progress at

Revolution's voyage started in Miami at 8:30 a.m. on March 3 and headed south for the Panama Canal.

With her 1,000-gallon fuel tank and an engine that pushes her along at 20 knots, it was an easy nonstop passage to the Caribbean side of the canal at Colon.

Revolution's transit through the canal on March 9 became more of a challenge than the open sea. Due to prop wash from a freighter that was sharing her lock, a mooring line cleat let loose and Revolution subsequently received damage to her starboard float arm and her port float.

As this column is being written, repairs are being made in Panama City, on the Pacific side of the canal, and Shidler will soon set out for Puerta Vallarta, Mexico.

Once Revolution's fuel tank is topped off in Mexico, Shidler will turn her bows west and head for Hawai`i, nearly 3,000 nautical miles away.

That passage should take about six days, so you may see an odd looking craft tied up at the Waikiki Yacht Club dock in the next couple of weeks. You'll have to look fast though, because Shidler's planning on just an eight-hour stop and then he will be off on his next leg to the small island nation of Kiribati.

From there, his itinerary reads like an exotic world cruise: Palau, Singapore, India, Saudi Arabia, the Suez Canal, the Mediterranean, Gibraltar, Bermuda, and finally back to Miami. Except he will be trying not to spend any longer than eight hours in any of those wonderful places.

Last week's Column -|- More Water Ways

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