SEair: “one day, all boats will fly.”

This episode of Hoisting the Sail begins with the wish of a sail racer who yearned to pilot a flying sailboat above the water and win every race. 

In 1987, legendary sailor Éric Tabarly famously proclaimed that “one day, all boats will fly.” Today’s guest, Richard Forest, CEO and co-founder of SEair, diligently leads a team of engineers to prove Tabarly was right! 

Founded in 2016 and based in Lorient, France, SEair rose above the competition to become the global specialist for hydrofoil vessels.  If wind propulsion can drastically reduce CO2 emissions from cargo ships, foiling is a proven solution to reduce fuel consumption for smaller boats, from commuter ferries to pleasure craft. In addition, foils are transforming gray boats (military vessels) into green ones. To wit, SEair was awarded EU grants to develop fast intervention boats for several European navies.

Richard spoke passionately about his work as an innovator and entrepreneur. Changing the way we travel on water is a big issue, and adopting foils presents its own difficulties.
Thankfully, SEair’s expertise and dedication to designing and building better ships will lead us closer to a faster and cleaner future for maritime transport. 

If that’s not enough to celebrate, foiling above the water reduces seasickness!


This new episode of Hoisting the Sail is taking you to Barcelona!

Our guest is David Ferrer Desclaux, co-founder & CTO of bound4blue.

A trained aerospace engineer, he switched to the vast horizon of our blue planet in 2015 and started, along with a group of classmates, bound4blue, “to power the world with wind”.

Bound4Blue is developing an automated wind-assisted propulsion system, the eSAIL.

If you grew up watching Commandant Jacques Cousteau adventures on TV, you may remember his 2nd boat, the Alcyone. Commandant Cousteau’s team included two bright engineers, Professor Lucien Malavard and Doctor Bertrand Charrier. 

Together, they revived and improved the Flettner Rotor,  developing the a Suction Sail named the Turbosail™ – the ancestor of the eSAIL was born!

Doctor Bertrand Charrier is now an associate at Bound4Blue! With the young and dedicated team of the Spanish start-up, they keep improving the Suction Sail technology & design, gaining an impressive 20% boost in fuel saving performance. 

Bound4Blue has become a major player in the growing wind propulsion technology. The eSAIL has been harnessing the wind since 2021, bringing live data to confirm the savings predicted by modelisations. 

For our aerospace engineer and his team, the sky’s the limit!

Trade Winds, by Christiaan De Beukelaer


Our guest today is Christiaan De Beukelaer, a sailor, traveller, and a researcher at the University of Melbourne. 


Christiaan and Kat discuss his book Trade Winds, A voyage to a sustainable shipping.

In 2020, Christiaan De Beukelaer spent 150 days covering 14,000 nautical miles aboard the schooner Avontuur, a hundred-year-old sailing vessel that transports cargo across the Atlantic Ocean. Embarking in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, he wanted to understand the realities of a little-known alternative to the shipping industry on which our global economy relies, and which contributes more carbon emissions than aviation.

What started as a three-week stint of fieldwork aboard the ship turned into a five-month journey, as the COVID-19 pandemic forced all borders shut while crossing the ocean, preventing the crew from stepping ashore for months on end.

Trade winds engagingly recounts De Beukelaer’s life-changing personal odyssey and the complex journey the shipping industry is on to cut its carbon emissions. The Avontuur’s mission remains crucial as ever: the shipping industry urgently needs to stop using fossil fuels, starting today. If we can’t swiftly decarbonise shipping, we can’t solve the climate crisis.


Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature describes Christiaan’s 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.”


Deborah Cowen, author of The Deadly Life of Logistics, in turn says that “This is a book that should change the world.”

It should indeed!

Trade Winds 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.