Beyond the Sea

This week we are delighted to receive our guest Yves Parlier, a legendary sailor and an individual with a passion for innovation. Parlier has always challenged the sea and been a master of disaster throughout his years of competing. During the Vendee Globe 2000-2001, Parlier spent 10 days sheltered in the bay of a small island off the coast of New Zealand completing an ingenious repair to fix a wing mast that fell onto the deck. He went on to finish 13th in the race. This achievement, among his many wins, has placed him in the public eye as an extraordinary sailor who can reach finish lines even when seemingly impossible. He has since then switched careers from a professional offshore racing sailor to an entrepreneur and is now the CEO of Beyond the Sea. 

Beyond the Sea designs, manufactures, tests, sells, and maintains kites used to propel boats. The original idea behind the project was to design a backup kite sail in case of engine failure or demasting. In 2017, they launched the first towing sail for pleasure boats: the LibertyKite. However, they did not stop there; in 2020, The LibertyKite Second Generation was launched: a kite sail steered by an automatic pilot that will also send and recover the sail. This is an exciting technology and for this episode, Yves joins us with Marine Rialan, a project manager at Beyond the Sea, to discuss the development and potential of kite power.

But what makes the LibertyKite so innovative? And why would one opt to use kites instead of regular sails? Using kite sails is one of the easiest ways to retrofit cargo ships to utilize wind power. While kites are adaptable to all ships and can be easily attached, retrofitting cargo ships to use sails is a more expensive and complicated process. In addition, when kites are not in use there is no drag from the wind or adverse effect to ship performance which cannot be said about sails. 

Beyond the Sea is also working on a new project called “SeaLab ” where they will rebuild the “Médiatis Région Aquitaine,” an 18 m x 15 m catamaran that will be self-sufficient in energy with zero emissions. They hope to transform the ship into what Parlier calls a “laboratory of the sea,” where it will be used to develop new innovative technologies oriented towards the maritime market. It comes as no surprise that Beyond the Sea was selected as one of the 3 innovative companies to receive 1 million Euros in funding from Time for the Planet, a citizen movement dedicated to global action against greenhouse gasses that finances innovations on a large scale.

The wind has been used for ship propulsion for thousands of years and despite our transition to bunker fuel in the 19th century, Parlier believes the future of maritime shipping lies with the wind. Join us in our conversation about marine decarbonization and ocean governance and get a glimpse into Beyond the Seas’ role in innovating the green maritime shipping industry. 

Cargo Owners make the first move

Our guest this week, Geraud Pellat de Villedon, Head of CSR for the supply chain at Michelin, joins us to bring a new perspective on the shipping industry. Michelin, the French  tire manufacturer,  is one of the largest shippers worldwide, transporting 240,000 TEUs per year. This company has been a leader in innovating ways to be greener since they introduced their green tire technology in the early 90s. Now, they are delving even deeper and making their supply chain environmentally friendly as well. 

Michelin is part of Cargo Owners for Zero Emission Vessels (coZEV), which is a coalition of companies that seeks to accelerate maritime shipping decarbonization. However, unlike other companies within the coalition, Michelin refuses to wait for shipping companies to propose a solution and has instead sought out low carbon transportation for their cargo. 

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%. The selected shipping company would fulfill these requirements under the most optimal combination of lead times, carbon dioxide emissions reductions, and cost. 

Yet a key question remains: why have they chosen to harness the wind instead of opting for low carbon fuels? 

Tune in for this episode as we discuss Michelin’s motive for taking such an initiative and how corporate social responsibility fits into the supply chain.


Sustainable shipping, a European view

This week we welcome Dr Harilaos Psaraftis, a professor at the Technical University of Denmark. 

He completed his undergraduate studies in Greece and received a diploma from the National Technical University of Athens. He later received two M.Sc. degrees from MIT, the first in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering and the second in Shipping and Shipbuilding Management. Shortly after, he acquired his Ph.D. in Ocean Systems Operations Research from MIT and went on to work as an Associate Professor at the institution for a decade.                                                                

Psaraftis also served as CEO of the Piraeus Port Authority in the late ’90s to early 2000s. During this period, ports faced new challenges as international regulations for shipping were shifting. Psaraftis shares his experiences with us and provides commentary on changes he thinks we can expect to see in the way ports operate in the future. 

His latest European Union project is AEGIS, which stands for Advanced, Efficient, and Green Intermodal Systems. It is a three-year project, and its objective is to design autonomous ships that will aid mainly intra-European maritime transport and short sea shipping. It will also design Europe’s new sustainable and highly competitive waterborne logistics system. Not only does this initiative help Europe to move shipping from the roads to freight but it also serves as a model for other countries to follow suit and mobilize towards clean shipping. 

In this episode, we discuss a variety of topics ranging from climate change to the role carbon taxes have in internalizing environmental externalities. Join us and get an insider on what a maritime shipping expert believes it will take to achieve a zero-carbon fueled shipping industry. 

Blue Observer

On today’s episode we welcome Amadeus Beaujolin, director of development for Blue Observer.

This low-carbon, maritime science research organization was created in Brest, France in 2021 and aims to better understand and preserve the ocean by collecting data on marine resources and collect specimens for microbiology.

Iris, the boat used by Blue Observer relies on sail propulsion so their research expeditions are 100% emission-free. 

Blue Observer is also on a mission for an international program called Argo where they sail to collect data on the temperature and salinity in the ocean.

Before the Argo program was started in 2000 then deployed at a global scale, scientists had only tracked oceanic changes along main maritime roads, which Beaujolin estimates to be only 1% of our oceans. 

Partnering with Woods Hole Institution and Ifremer, Blue Observer’s recent mission on the Atlantic has deployed 97 Argo floats. Argo collects now data on more than 50% of our oceans, a massive step for bettering our understanding of the relationship between oceans and climate change.

In addition, there is a sustainable message behind their work: using a sailboat, which is clean and silent, is the most appropriate and ideal tool for studying our oceans and climate change. 

Blue Observer is also participating in the One Ocean Summit. For a brief moment, Brest, France will be the center of the oceanographic world, where experts will gather at the summit to attempt to heighten global ambitions on solving maritime issues and come up with plans for efficient ocean governance.

Statsraad Lehmkuhl

The most beautiful ship sailed majestically into ONE°15 Brooklyn Marina at Brooklyn Bridge Park a few weeks ago, but what makes this ship so extraordinary and why should you pay attention to its ventures?

We welcome Captain Marcus Seidl who shares the story behind the ship and its prospects for the future. Norway’s 107-year-old three-masted tall ship,  278-foot sailing vessel was built in Germany in 1914 and then gifted to England as a war prize shortly after World War One.

It is now embarking on an exciting voyage called the One Ocean Expedition. This expedition will cover 55,000 nautical miles and visit 36 countries around the world over the span of 20 months. 

It has  been tasked to measure water and air quality throughout the journey. The goal is to create awareness and share knowledge about the important role of the ocean for a sustainable future. In addition, the Lehmkuhl is a training ship and will be a training site for maritime officers. Here, officers will undergo intensive instruction as a part of their education and learn good seamanship. 

Join us as we discuss topics ranging from dangerous voyages through Cape Horn to sail assist technologies, and learn about some of the challenges and innovations within the maritime sector.


This week, New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced a plan to invest $500 Million in Critical Offshore Wind Infrastructure. This investment is proof that society recognizes offshore wind turbines have little in common with the historic windmills of The Netherlands. 

However, a vast majority of maritime supply chain professionals still believe wind propulsion is an obsolete and unreliable technology, completely uncompetitive in today’s shipping framework. 

This week’s guest, Guillaume Le Grand, is challenging this sentiment though. Le Grand is the CEO and co-founder of TransOceanic Wind Transport and has announced that TOWT is constructing its first modern cargo ship. 

The wind-powered ship will have a 1,100-ton goods capacity and will be designed to spend 320 days at sea per year, reducing emissions by more than 90%, i.e. save 3,000 tons of CO2 per year.

Le Grand is an innovator that is proving that we can modernize old technology to satisfy our shipping demands, not to mention reaping the benefits of decreased emissions. 

 It is important to note that these innovations are being supported by government programs  recognizing the shipping industry is changing. NYC DOT has announced the Blue Highways Program, a commitment to encouraging the use of NYC’s waterways to move goods sustainably into and around the City. This new dependency on marine facilities for freight transport is a window of opportunity for maritime professionals to be a part of the green shipping movement. 

Schooner Apollonia

To end our inaugural season, we are back in the Hudson Valley, speaking with Sam Merrett, the captain of the Schooner Apollonia and his supercargo, Brad Vogel. 

Sam and his team have successfully transformed a yacht they bought off craigslist into a cargo sailboat that is turning heads in ports throughout New York State. This vessel is completely powered by the wind and has transported all sorts of cargo up and down the Hudson River. 

This is not a project that idolizes shipping vessels of the past but instead aims to inspire others to be a part of a growing movement that is committed to lowering the carbon footprint of the shipping industry. Sam argues that not only does the Schooner Apollonia sustainably move cargo but she also delivers products with a story.

Join us as we discuss this story to learn more about the green maritime transportation of the future and the role sailboats have to play in it.

Marine decarbonization takes on Wall Street

This week we take a step back from our usual focus on wind propulsion to delve into another important aspect of marine decarbonization: financing.

Our guest Harold Malone joins us to talk about a project he co-founded, the Marine Money Decarbonization Index (MMDI).

This index tracks the performance of the equity securities of 50 global companies that are committed to decarbonizing the maritime sector. Malone envisions that the MMDI will raise awareness of the challenges the maritime sector is facing, attracting investment and technological solutions into the industry.

Since you cannot invest directly in an index, Malone has partnered with ETFMG to create the ETFMG Breakwave Sea Decarbonization Tech ETF, which is designed to replicate the returns of the MMDI.

What had started out as a tool for the industry, is now a platform that is providing an opportunity for anyone who wants to participate in maritime decarbonization via the ETF.

Join us to explore an effort that is marking a key transition to a maritime sector that is becoming more accessible to the public.

Carbon Credits for Wind Propulsion?

We receive this week Hauke Kite-Powell, research specialist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and senior analyst at Marsoft Inc,  an independent maritime consultancy providing expert, objective and timely support for investment, chartering and financing decisions.

Industrial projects including solar and wind power issued more than $126 million in carbon credits in 2019. But so far, shipping has not taken advantage of the carbon credits funding opportunities.

Marsoft’s GreenScreen™ is a retrofit evaluation platform, developed in collaboration with the MIT, providing an extremely accurate assessment of the benefits of the retrofit.

GreenScreen™ was recently accepted by the Gold Standard – the preeminent global carbon registry – as the basis for issuing carbon credits for investments that reduce CO2 emissions from ships.

Will carbon credits bridge the gap and bring the missing incentive necessary to boost the adoption of wind assist technologies?


We receive on the podcast this week Stephanie Lesage,  the General Counsel & Corporate Secretary of Airseas.  

Airseas, founded in 2016 by Airbus engineers, is developing one of the most promising technologies to harness the wind: the Seawing combines kite-technology with an automated flight control system developed by the aerospace industry. 

The timing could not be better:  the first Seawing is currently being installed on the Airbus vessel that will sail to Mobile, Alabama later this year for the first flight in live conditions.