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Sails for rockets

In our inaugural episode with our guest Andrew Willner, we discussed the state of the shipping industry and its dependency on fossil fuels.  Andrew cast doubts that regulators will force change without a strong grassroot movement.  He ended on a positive note though, and declared that proven and effective technologies to harvest the wind are now available, in addition to the innovative designs that reduce the energy required to move ships.  

This week, we interview Simon Watin, President of VPLP design, a world-renowned French naval architecture and design firm, known in the US for designing & building the BMW Oracle ship, the 2010 winner of America’s Cup. 

Simon explained the current technology transfer between two worlds that were previously distinct from one another: High-performance racing sail yachts and workhorse shipping vessels. In this exclusive interview, he reveals how VPLP won the bid to build the Canopée, the first sail-powered rocket carrier which will transport the Ariane 6 rocket from Europe to French Guiana.

Ariane Group has selected international maritime transport specialist @Alizés – joint venture between Jifmar Offshore Services and maritime company Zéphyr & Borée – for transportation of Ariane 6 rocket parts by sea from Europe to the launch site in Kourou, French Guiana. The new ship – called “Canopée” – will be equipped with a hybrid propulsion system with mechanical wingsails to provide a means of transport that is reliable, competitive, and environmentally responsible.

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