Trades Wind, by Christiaan De Beukelaer

Our guest today is Dr Christiaan de Beukelaer, a senior lecturer in culture and climate at the University of Melbourne. 

Christiaan and Kat discuss in details Trade Winds, a voyage to a sustainable future for shipping,  Christiaan's first book to be released in January.

Writing this book was a journey : it started in Sydney where Christiaan learned how to sail to escape from his  desk, then continued in Santa Cruz de Tenerife where he embarked on the schooner Avontuur, operated by Timbercoast.

He was going to disembark in Guadeloupe. But it was February 2020, and while sailing the trade winds, Christiaan and his crew mates learned that our world had come to a brutal stop. 

Not only did it give Christiaan a lot of time to reflect on the challenges of  global shipping, but it also gave him an epic story of an academic stranded at sea! 

Trade Winds is an immersive work inside the little known universe of the maritime shipping industry.

The author reviews the problems faced by an industry adverse to drastic change and  presents the different bodies governing global shipping, from the IMO to the EU, the seafarers unions and the consumers at the end of this immense supply chain.

From this experience, Christiaan came back with one important message to us:  “If we can't swiftly decarbonize shipping, we can't solve the climate crisis”

Bill McKibben, author of “The End of Nature” described Christiaan book as “a truly fascinating account of a voyage, but also of an idea that is counter-intuitive in a world based on speed, but revelatory for a planet that is going to have to start taking real care of itself. There's a bit of romance here, and a lot of reality.”

Finally, let us conclude with this review from Deborah Cowen, author of “The Deadly Life of Logistics”: “'This is a book that should change the world.” Indeed!

Trades Wind is published by Manchester University Press; our listeners can order using the link below and get a 40% discount with the code GIFT40.

Ocean Conservancy, with Daniel Hubbell

In this episode,  you are in for a treat with our guest Daniel Hubbell

We first met Dan around a glass of wine and a bar of chocolate aboard Grain de Sail last spring in Brooklyn and interviewed him in October when he was the Shipping Emission Campaign Manager for Ocean Conservancy (since the interview, Dan started a new position as Policy Analyst at U.S. Department of State) 

Daniel Hubbell takes us on a tour of the International Maritime Organization where he spent a few years of his  career advocating for Ocean Conservancy.  

Thanks to Daniel insight, you will learn how the IMO is tackling GHG, what have been decided and how these new indexes (with acronyms such as EEDI and other CII) will translate in term of real solid change for an industry that has been seen as very difficult to move in the right direction to tackle the emergency of climate change. 

If you are naturally pessimistic about seeing one day governmental decision to address the pollution caused by the shipping industry, this episode will help you gain some optimism. 

For Daniel, even the mighty Jones Act represents a chance for a greener future in our ports and oceans. Just look at the Green Shipping Corridor announced by the United State and the Republic of Korea at the COP 27. Zero Emission Vessels will soon set SAIL! (one can dream, no?)

Solid Sail

In this new episode, we are thrilled to receive Nicolas Abiven.

Nicolas is a Senior Engineer at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique, the shipyard in Saint Nazaire, France. The 150 years old shipyard has launched some of the most iconic vessels, such as the Normandie, the Queen Mary 2 and the Splendor of the Sea to name a few. 

After launching a first concept ship equipped of sails, Eoseas, in 2009, les Chantiers have been developing a type of sails suitable for large cruise ships and for commercial ships. From this intensive research was born Solid Sail, a large, rigid sail made of composite rectangles assembled together, a system simple and efficient to harness wind energy. 

If you have visited Saint Nazaire or follow us on LinkedIn, you have seen their demonstrator in the middle of the busy shipyard. 

The Solid Sail setup is a mast, equipped with a balestron and a set of sails – mainsail and jib – constituted of rectangular panels made in composite. Using an electric winch, the Solid Sail can be raised and lowered in just a few minutes. When it’s raised, it uses the wind the same way any sailboat does. The mast can be tilted to allow the boat to pass under bridges when entering or leaving a harbor.

Nicolas takes the time from his busy schedule to present the concept, its applications, its market and why it’s important for the Chantiers to develop a wind assist technology for their customers. 

We recorded this interview from the Monaco Yacht Show and are sorry for some  noise in the background. 

Governors Island

We launch today Season 3 with an interview of Clare Newman, the president and CEO of  the Trust for Governors Island. Kat and Clare discuss many facets of sustainability and adaptability – New York City since Sandy, the current and future developments on Governors Island, its maritime facade and the many experiments that can be run from the Island. Governors Island, located South of Manhattan and East of the Statue of Liberty, was originally used by the Lenape as a hunting  & fishing camp, before becoming an US Army base and, from 1966 to the mid 90s, a base for 3,000 US Coast Guards. Since 2010, the Island is run by the Trust for Governors Island, a 501(c)(3) non-prof­it orga­ni­za­tion cre­at­ed by the City of New York respon­si­ble for the plan­ning, oper­a­tions and ongo­ing devel­op­ment of Gov­er­nors Island.   Credit Julienne Schaer/The Trust for Governors Island

Science ROCS

In this new episode of Hoisting the Sail, we are delighted to welcome two guests from the Woods Hole Oceanographic InstituteKerry Ann Crehan-Strøm, the Marine Operations Coordinator for WHOI and Magdalena Andres, associate scientist physical oceanography and an expert on climate variability & impacts.

Magdalena and Kerry are speaking with our host Kat about Science RoCS, i.e. Research on Commercial Ships, an initiative launched to answer the need for increased ocean monitoring.

According to NOAA, 80% of the ocean is still unmapped, unobserved, and unexplored:  Science RoCs aims to fill in some gaps with the help of the  shipping industry.

Since Science RoCS started in 2021, companies such as CMA CGM, Pangaea Logistics Solutions and Wallenius Wilhelmsen have already helped deploy equipments and collected important datas.

Today there are an estimated 100 ocean-going research vessels worldwide and more than 50,000 commercial ships on the ocean at any given time: “it will be a game changer to have sensors on more commercial vessels”, Strom said. “Imagine what we could accomplish in terms of science advancement with even just a one percent of the commercial fleet equipped.”

WISAMO by Michelin

In this new episode, our guest, Benoit Baisle Dailliez, initiative leader for WISAMO by Michelin, explains how the giant tires manufacturer came to develop a solution suitable to any vessels, and more particularly cargo ships (new or existing).

Their motto, “Engineered by Michelin, powered by the wind”, makes clear that the company is fully committed to the decarbonization of maritime transport and a decrease of greenhouse gasses emissions.

WISAMO’s team embarked in “a real adventure fully in line with Michelin’s “all sustainable” approach.”

WISAMO is a wing sail, inflatable as the parent’s company main line of products.  The prototype is still tested on a 40′ sailboat off the coast of Royan in France, under the supervision of legendary sailor Michel Desjoyeaux, In a near future, a full scale WISAMO wing sail will be installed on a freighter operating in the Bay of Biscay. 

WISAMO is an active member of the International Wind Ship Association.

BAR Technologies

This week’s episode is about performance sailing and how innovation in yacht racing can be transferred to maritime shipping, making it more efficient and cleaner.

We are delighted to receive John Cooper, who is the CEO of BAR Technologies, a company that is at the forefront of maritime innovation. 

Cooper joined BAR Technologies as CEO In October 2019, swapping automotive technology for marine technology. At the end of 2020, Cargill announced a promising partnership with BAR Technologies to combine world-class yacht racing design and technology using wind propulsion to reduce carbon emissions. 

BAR Technologies is invested in becoming a key player in cutting emissions in the marine industry and has resulted in the development of their WindWings technology. WindWings combines wind propulsion with route optimization and depending on if the installation is a retrofit or combined with a fully optimized newbuilt hull, it could increase the fuel efficiency of vessels in excess of 30%. BAR has already secured 2 signed contracts for work on new vessels using WindWings.

BAR Technologies has also patented FOSS (Foil Optimisation and Stability System), which combines hydrofoil technology with hull hydrodynamic optimization. The resulting system achieves significant hydrodynamic efficiency gains while actively improving handling and sea keeping. Join us as we discuss methods of achieving significant fuel savings and optimization for all types of vessels.

PhD on Wind Propulsion

We are back this week to welcome Martina Reche Villanova, a naval architect and maritime engineer, with a special focus on aerodynamics, green shipping, and digitalization. Though originally from Spain, she finished her Master’s degree at the Denmark University of Technology in Wind-Assisted Propulsion Systems. 

Villanova currently works at North Sails in Denmark, an international sailmaker and sailing wear company that designs, engineers and manufactures sails for racing and cruising sailboats. Here, she is developing the group strategy to get into the wind assist technology market. She is also pursuing a PhD on wind propulsion for commercial ships and details the objective of this endeavor and what she hopes to prove. Join us in our discussion with a bright and motivated young mind and listen in on what she believes is the most promising sail assist technology on the market. 

Discover Aloft

In this week’s episode, we welcome Miles Keeney-Ritchie and Satchel Douglas, the founders of ALOFT. This startup champions wind propulsion and was founded in 2021. They aim to retrofit current ships with wind propulsion and optimize operations to significantly reduce shipping supply chain emissions. 

Our guests are creators and well-experienced in the technical field. Satchel is a naval architect and professional engineer. He has built sailing yachts, crewed on oil tankers, and engineered retrofits for numerous commercial ships. He also recently led the integration of the largest battery-electric ferry in the world. 

Miles has built mobile autonomous robots and worked in industrial process automation. He is an expert at integrating technology, with a decade of experience in mechanical design, hardware development, and project management.

Their shared passion for decarbonization and solving challenging problems gave rise to Aloft where they try to make maritime shipping cleaner and more fuel-efficient. Currently, their retrofitted vessels reduce emissions per shipment by 50 percent; however, in the future, they will be emission-free.

Michelin, among a group of 12 European cargo owners, has made a call to bid for a tender to move 1,000 TEUs weekly, from Europe to the US on wind-powered vessels that reduce CO2 emissions by 50%. This is an exciting opportunity for Aloft:  Miles and Satchel will detail their bidding process with us. Tune in to hear about their proposition and future plans for making maritime shipping cleaner using wind propulsion technology. 


In today’s episode, we are delighted to host James Rhodes, the Chairman, CEO, and Co-founder of Magnuss, a maritime technology firm. Rhodes brings over 30 years of experience in maritime shipping, renewable energy, investment banking, and management consulting. Magnuss delivers onboard systems that reduce fuel consumption and emissions for today’s global shipping fleet. Rhodes joins us to talk about a technology called the Magnuss VOSS™  which stands for Vertically-variable Ocean Sail System. 

The Magnuss VOSS is a mechanical sail that converts wind into forwarding thrust thereby augmenting ship propulsion. Similarly to the  Flettner Rotor, the Magnuss VOSS relies on the Magnus Effect,  which states that a rotating cylinder in a wind stream produces a force perpendicular to the wind direction. When wind hits the rotating cylinder it sets up a high and low-pressure difference and creates thrust roughly ninety degrees to the wind direction. A vessel sailing with the wind on the beam is therefore given maximum forward thrust from the spinning VOSS. 

The idea is to have the sails act as a supplement to the ship’s installed engine power. This will increase fuel economy and reduce harmful emissions by harnessing the wind.

Join us to learn about how the VOSS addresses major issues in the shipping industry, namely energy consumption and environmental impact, and the mechanisms available to help ship owners finance the retrofit.

Magnuss is running until June 28 a funds raising campaign on Start Engine