marin 2014 group photo

Greenheart @ Marin Natural Propulsion Seminar (March 17-18)

marin 2014 group photo

Cheers to the most excellent people of the Marin Seminar! (Gavin’s 4th from the right for the curious.)

Greenheart was please to enjoy the opportunity to speak at the Marin Natural Propulsion Seminar in mid-March.

(For any yanks like me out there, that’s the MAritime Research Institute of the Netherlands — no relation to the Marin County of San Francisco Bay Area.) 

Representative-and-presenter Gavin reports that it was wonderful and enlightening to be surrounded by specialists in maritime renewable energy propulsion. He is (and we are) thankful for the interest showed in Greenheart’s target audience, our design criteria and choices, and how far the project has gotten so far.

The folks at Marin do amazing work, and it was our honor to have the chance to speak at this most interesting conference. If you have as much interest in renewable propulsion as we do, so please check out past conferences summaries here (2013) and here (2012)!

new dag van de

Greenheart runner up in Royal Dutch Engineering Association Prize!

Greenheart represents at Vernuftling Prize award ceremony

Greenheart represents at Vernuftling Prize award ceremony

We at Greenheart have been filled with enthusiastic anticipation over the past few weeks. The famous Vernuftling Prize was awarded just a few days ago in Holland by the Royal Dutch Engineering Association, and we were flush with excitement promoting it, asking the public and our supporters to go to the website and scan through the other marvelous ideas, and possibly vote for…US!

A portion of the judging was achieved through public Internet voting, and weight was also given to the choice of a panel of judges. This annual prize is for innovative engineering, and this year, our friend Gert Schouwstra at AAPlanadvies arranged our entry into the competition. Greenheart was auspiciously selected to be among the ten finalists, which was an honor in itself. Gert stayed out front on the publicity effort as he handled all the Dutch press, outreach and translation.

Gert interviewed on Greenheart nomination

Gert interviewed on Greenheart nomination

Evidently, the judges were favorably impressed by the ‘open-source’ collaborative design, which is not protected by patents in order to encourage speedy dissemination of the Greenheart concept, and expedite shipbuilding. The distinction of getting into the finals has been a good opportunity to congratulate the many contributors, collaborators and advisers who have helped shape the ship through the design process.

Let’s name our engineers again here to keep the kudos flowing!

Kunikata Seiichi of Greenheart has to go first. He has been pivotal in the design from the start. His skills and training as an engineer, heart of an artist, and agile hand of an experienced illustrator, have guided the evolution from raw idea through to the present design. Prof. Takeshi Kinoshita of Tokyo University has been our Technical Adviser from early on, and his intuition and expertise have been invaluable. He introduced Haruhiko Kaku to the project, and the key plan and basic naval architecture came from Kaku’s desk and his sailor’s sea sense. Electrical schematics and advice came from Don Claudio Fonsatti, Prof. Leo Setti, Freddy Toia and others at EngineeerAid. Preben Kristensen of the Dragon Project (Dragon Project PDF) has also been very generous with advice and practical expertise since he is building a concept super yacht along similar principles. The technical department at Upsolor and Sovello, our PV sponsors were also very helpful. In house (on board?) engineers include Florent Violain of Nantes, France who has also helped recruit even more fine assistance to the project. Tristan False (his true name) has been working on the water and waste systems, the peeps from Greenflow2358, Vincent Jacob and Thomas Carriot did the fluid dynamics calculations and are working on propeller design, and Bruno Lemunier is the talent behind the latest simplified A-frame rig design.

Peter Schenzle of Hamburg has been generous with his deep experience and wisdom in the sailing ship field. His encouragement and advice has been critical. Jan Heise of Poland was helpful with rig ideas, too. I should mention Freddy Toia again, since he is actively serving as engineer on a working vessel, El Esperanza, and has found time to contribute ideas and important data. Finally we owe gratitude and praise to Md. Badrul Alam of Western Marine Shipyards in Chittagong, who is doing the lion’s share of the ongoing engineering, and detailed design of the General Arrangement* plan of the ship, construction drawings. He is also our liaison to the shipyard where all of these plans will soon be transformed into steel and PV glass.

These people, and the many who have sent comments and advice via the website and especially through our Open Design Forum, also have our appreciation and deserve a share of the recognition, credit, and thanks. This has truly been a team effort, and not only our Greenheart team, but a sampling of clever minds and generous dispositions from around the world. We are truly grateful and hope to have all of our team on board before too long to enjoy the realization of their concepts and calculations.

In the end, we didn’t win, but we didn’t lose either. The way I understand it, our ship came in second place in the public voting, and received honorable mention from the expert panel of judges. Here is the report from the jury:

Greenheart receives second place in the public vote and honorable mention for Vernuftling Prize

Greenheart receives second place in the public vote and honorable mention for Vernuftling Prize

The first project that the jury would bring under attention is Greenheart, by AA-Planavies. It involves the design of a small cargo boat, propelled by sail and solarpower, thanks to the shallow draft it is appropriate to more or beach anywhere. The ship is designed for providing shuttle services between islands in the Pacific Ocean, wherethe population is generally not strong enough to exploit conventional transport. The jury considers it a heartwarming project that can actually contribute to improving the standard of living on the islands. What makes this project extra special is that it is has been developed open source, precisely aimed to achieve a cheap, and well suitable for the purpose, design All this is for the jury reason this project to grant an honorable judges acknowledgement.

Gavin Allwright, our commercial director, was present at the awards ceremony to receive our bouquet of flowers and give a short speech.

We are happy and delighted to have had this opportunity to showcase our work in the Netherlands, and look forward to splashing through Dutch waters and tying up on a canal or two.

Gert and Gavin at Vernuftling Prize Ceremony

Gert and Gavin at Vernuftling Prize Ceremony

* “The general arrangement of a ship can be defined as the assignment of spaces for all the required functions and equipments, properly coordinated for location and access. The requirements that must be met are, a) Volume requirements; b) Adequate trim and stability; c) Structural integrity; d) Watertight subdivision and integrity; and e) Adequate access to spaces. The volume below deck is subdivided into: a) Machinery space; b) Cargo spaces; c) Ballast spaces; d) Pump room; and e) Slop Tank.” “Chapter 5” of Department of Ship technology, CUSAT, B.Tech (NA&SB, Batch – XXIX) p. 86

Europort flyer

Greenheart in Rotterdam

We had a big four days of events, presentations and meetings in Rotterdam last week.

Greenheart was invited by Maritime in Holland and the Holland Shipbuilding Association onto their ‘Future Pioneers’ pavilion at the Europort 2013 show. We were sharing the pavilion with students from across the Netherlands and other ship designs, including a very interesting appropriate technology inland barge, student designed solar boat and even a man-propulsion submarine.


Sebastian brought along the new Greenheart scaled model, which was an instant draw and big thanks to him for all of the hard work on that, also thanks go out to Gert for his great help on the stand and Dutch language support and to Bert for the invitation from HSA.


On Friday, we had the chance to present the project at Euroports, and we appreciate everyone who came along to that and who stopped by our stand.


I was also invited along to the SAIL conference nearby for two days of presentations and work group meetings for the EU Intereg IV project. It was a great chance to meet up with our friends there, to be in meetings with so many like-minded people, search, researching and building plans for a sail cargo future. We were able to make some contributions to the work groups and to spread the news of the project progress etc.

We are looking forward to announcing our new website launch in the near future along with progress updates on the keel-laying, the start of filming of our documentary series and a whole raft of further developments in the coming weeks – exciting times!


Ecomobiel – Sustainable Mobility – Rotterdam, Netherlands

Greenheart is joining the Ecomobiel event at the Ahoy Centre in Rotterdam, 08-09 October

Celebrating it’s fifth anniversary,  Ecomobiel has grown to become the biggest platform for sustainable mobility and mobility management and as such we are delighted to have a booth at the event. We are looking forward to attending an exhibition where ‘real business deals are made and the vehicle for industry parties to come together in new relationships’. This year a new trade show will be introduced parallel to ecomobiel: ecologistiek, the platform for sustainable innovation in transport and logistics.

If you can make it to Rotterdam on those days, we will be happy to welcome you to our booth, C112, – talking Greenheart ships, our pilot projects, ways to work with us, sustainable shipping, renewable energy and marine infrastructure.

See you there!

Rotterdam TOC

Rotterdam TOC Conference – Greenheart Booth A96

We will be at the annual TOC (Container Ship Conference) at the Rotterdam Ahoy Centre from 25-27 June.

Our booth is A96, right next to the press centre and we will have Greenheart video, short presentations, model display and our friendly faces on show. We will be talking about the small shipping sector developments, how will the smallest, blue ocean, container ship in the world  be able to plug into the existing network and how the Greenheart ships will spur innovation at the lower end of the trading web.

If you have the chance to join us, please take advantage of our complimentary invitation, that can be downloaded from here.

Complimentary TOC event invitations –

We look forward to seeing you there.

New Energy Docks

Amsterdam – Greenheart Event — 28th June

The Greenheart team is coming to Amsterdam on Friday, 28th June.

The event is kindly being hosted for us from 1700-2100 at the New Energy Docks, Distelweg 113, 1031 HD Amsterdam in central Amsterdam.

We will be outlining the developments in the Greenheart project, discussing developments in the small and large wind-ships sector and introducing ways NGO’s, Fair traders, companies and local government can get involved with our pilot projects in the South Pacific and Caribbean, port of call activities in Europe, the maiden voyage and business/investment opportunities.

1700-1800 Welcome / Drinks
1800-1845 The Greenheart Story – vision / project update / programs
1845-1900 Break/Networking
1900-1930 Ways to get Involved
1930-2000 Q/A on Sustainable Shipping, Greenheart programs, direct Fair trade, Windships, etc.
2000-2100 Further discussions / Networking / Drinks / Food

we have seating from between 30-50 people, so please let us know if you can make it:

We hope that you can join us and we look forward to seeing you there.

Event flyer


Hamburg – Greenheart Event – 02 July [Fairtraders, Sailors…]

The Greenheart team is coming to Hamburg on Tuesday, 02 July.

The event is kindly being hosted for us from 1800 until late at the Amphore Cafe, St Pauli

This event is for all those passionate about Fair trade, cooperatively owned ship, the marine environment, sailing folk  and small local businesses and groups who want to get involved in the city and beyond.
[There is a shipping industry, port and government event on Thursday 04 July]

It will be a relaxed evening talking about the Greenheart sail/solar ships, the wider sustainable shipping project, introducing ways that NGO’s, Fair traders and small companies can get involved with our pilot projects in the South Pacific and Caribbean, port of call activities in Europe and coming on board the maiden voyage next year.

1800-1900 Welcome / Drinks
1900-1945 The Greenheart Story – vision / project update / programs
2000-2030 Ways to get Involved
2030-2100 Q/A on Sustainable Shipping, Greenheart programs, direct Fair trade, Windships, etc.
2100 – Further discussions / Networking / Drinks / Food

We have seating from between 30-50 people, so please let us know if you can make it:

We hope that you can join us and we look forward to seeing you there.


Hamburg – Greenheart Event – 04 July [Shipping, Ports….]

Greenheart is holding it’s second event in Hamburg on Tuesday, 04 July. along with our co-organisers, BWE Hamburg

We have had a lot of interest in attending the events in the city, so we decided to arrange this one to cater to our friends in the shipping industry, local government, the region’s ports and maritime media. [We would like to thank the continued support of the Hamburg Senate, Hamburg Port Authority and Germanischer Lloyd in helping us to bring our first ship to the city next year.]

Date: 04 July (Thursday)
Time: 1800-2100
Location: Ecos Office Center Hamburg (nr Hamburg Bhf)
[Alsterblick Räume], Glockengießerwall 17 20095 Hamburg

We will present a Greenheart sail/solar ship project update, the wider sustainable shipping projects we are involved with, the development of the International Windships Association and introducing ways that the ports, shipping industry and local companies can get involved with Greenheart, our pilot projects in the South Pacific and Caribbean, Hamburg port of call activities and elsewhere in Europe and investment opportunities in the future of zero-emissions shipping.

1800-1830 Welcome / Drinks
1830-1915 The Greenheart Story – vision / project update / programs
1915-1930 Break/Networking
1930-2000 Ways to get Involved / investment opportunities
2000-2030 Q/A on Sustainable Shipping, Greenheart programs, International Windships Assoc. etc.
2030-2100 Further discussions / Networking / Drinks / Food

We have seating from between 40-60 people, so please let us know if you can make it:

We hope that you can join us and we look forward to seeing you there.

Eco Brighton

Brighton – Eco Technology Conference

A big thank you to everyone who attended the Greenheart presentation on Fairtrade and Sustainable Shipping.

The development of Fair, direct trade is something that is close to our hearts and I would like to thank Christine Gent (Brighton Fairtrade Coordination Committee) for inviting us and giving us a chance to talk about these issues.

One of the key challenges for the Fairtrade movement, and often one of the elephants in the room is the way to close the circle on ethical production, transport and consumption of goods, the use of Greenheart ships and the small but growing network of sustainable sail/hybrid cargo shipping is part of developing a solution.

The vision of hundreds, thousands of cooperatively owned and run ships, trading and returning benefits to the producer groups and communities is a powerful one. Creating regular transport links also creates additional space for farmers to invest more in producing surplus for market and will help local businesses to get involved with processing, trade and manufacturing.

The first and last mile of transporting goods is a significant obstacle in reducing the carbon footprint of traded goods, this is where the greatest kg/CO2 ratio is seen. Greenheart ships can get closer to farm or factory gate and deliver much closer to dinner plate in the hearts of our cities and micro-ports all around the world.

We will be launching a Fair trade shipping campaign soon, engaging with our two-year round the world Fair Trade education program, research on the impact of transport on Fair Trade, raising awareness of Fair trade issues internationally and helping to finance the first Greenheart ship – If you would like to be involved, please join us – contact

Thank you Brighton…. next stop Amsterdam – 28th June – 1700-2100. New Energy Docks, Distelweg 113, 1031 HD Amsterdam

Canary Wharf

MV Stubnitz Event in May

We had a great event on the MV Stubnitz moored at Canary Wharf for the last day. The crew were great, welcoming us and attending the event – thanks guys, they were incredibly helpful even when they were preparing to leave and had a survey team aboard. We are hoping to meet again when we get to Hamburg in early July.

Also a big thank you goes out to Lucy, Eleni and Alex from the New Dawn Traders who did a fantastic job of pulling everything together, we only had a short time to get things arranged, but they managed to pull everything off brilliantly and with a smile.

We kicked off the event with a shot of Tres Hombres rum, zero-carbon sail transported from the Dominican Republic, by lots of talk surrounding sustainable shipping, community ownership of vessels, ethical, fair and direct trade and what it takes for us to make this happen.

After a few short delays as the power was being checked on board, Gavin launched into the Greenheart story which went down really well. He obviously highlighted the Greenheart vessels and what they can do, but went on to talk about the real impact these ships can have on local economies, CO2 emissions, fuel saving and the employment and innovation space that they create.

After the break, Gavin focused briefly on all of the programs under way and how to the audience members could get involved:

1 – Maiden voyage – buying shares – US$100 per day to join as a crew member or moving cargo/trading or to get cargo discounts.

2 – Port-of-Call events – company booths, sponsorship etc.

3 – Pilot projects – Fiji, Haiti and beyond

4 – Financing Facility – developing a low cost financing facility for small sustainable ship building around the world.

5 – Commercial projects & Carbon credits – the early stages of developing these areas for co-financing

6 – Bigger picture – the Windships assoc. , research initiatives and education program for schools, universities.

We were running a bit late, mainly due to electrical checks by the crew, in preparation to set sail the following day, we still managed to have a short time for questions and a fair bit of time for drinks, good music and talk about the future of Greenheart and the return to sail/hybrid sea transport.

Those conversations have continued in the last couple of weeks and with the enthusiasm and excitement at the event about the progress we have made, the momentum will certainly continue in the coming months.

Canary Wharf