Mobility Planet Care

259: Zero emission racing yacht


Since the 1890s, sailing yachts nearly always had an auxiliary fossil fuel engine on board or outboard for moving when the sails were lowered and for generating electricity in the cabin.


In 2017, 29 sailing boats set off on the November 6, each of them with just one person aboard. They embarked on the Vendee Globe Challenge, a non-stop solo three month journey around the world. All of them had diesel generators on board, with one exception: Conrad Colman’s boat Foresight Natural Energy used solely hydro, solar and wind energy.

Solar panels integrated on the mainsail and on the cockpit roof – provided by French company SolarClothSystem produced up to 350 watts, boosting a hydro generator which generated power from the boat’s motion through the water – provided by Finnish company Oceanvolt.

The power was stored in li-ion batteries, provided by Dutch Company SuperB with storage capacity the equivalent of half a Tesla In this way all onboard electrical equipment was sustainable. Colman completed the circumnavigation.

Soon after, IMOCA (International Monohull Open Class Association) which manages the class of 60-foot (18.28 m.) monohulls, required members to support the No Plastic Challenge , a national campaign aims to fight against plastic pollution, encouraging everyone to cut the production and consumption of this non-biodegradable product.

Belonging to the IMOCA class, Malizia II is equipped with a one-design keel and mast (identical materials, forms and suppliers). With the Monaco Yacht Club, the Malizia team launched a project entitled “My Ocean Challenge”, aimed at “promoting the protection of the oceans, the training of young people and the scientific study of the seabed during navigations.”

Malizia II is equipped with solar panels and underwater turbines to generate the electricity that feeds the instruments. navigation, the autopilot, watermakers and a laboratory to test the CO₂ level of the waters.

It seemed appropriate that when the world famous Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg chose to cross the Atlantic in a yacht rather than an airplane and attend the UN climate summit in New York, Malizia II was chosen.

Also on board were the skipper Boris Hermann, Pierre Casiraghi, second son of Her Royal Highness the Princess of Hanover, vice-president of the Monaco Yacht Club, Svante Thunberg, the father of Greta Thunberg and the documentary film maker director Nathan Grossman.

A small gas stove to heat the water needed for freeze-dried vegan food was the only consumer of fossil energy. The toilet was a blue plastic bucket with degradable bio bag that can be thrown overboard. The boat cast off on August 15 and arrived in New York.

After the summit, accompanied by her father, Greta travelled by train and bus to the annual UN climate conference in Chile with stops in Canada, Mexico and other countries. (

During the 2020, Vendée Globe round the world race, Hermann sailed Malizia II he carried an ocean sensor onboard to monitor water temperature, carbon dioxide and pH levels in the Southern Ocean to gather data for scientists examining climate change.

Another initiative has been by the The Zer°emission team sailing a modern TP52-class sailing boat in major racing events during 2019 and 2020. Together, industrial technology company Wärtsilä and the Zer°emission team are working to inspire sailors, race fans, other organisations, and race host cities to join the quest for cleaner oceans. The joint goal was to raise awareness about sea pollution and offer a platform for discussion.

From prototypes, zero emission yachts should become the norm.

Discover Solution 260: Saltwater lamp

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