Monaco to welcome new British School in Fontvieille

A brand new and entirely British education establishment is about to open its doors to primary students this November. Monaco Life spoke to the team behind the school to find out more.

 Sapientia in Humilitate (Wisdom in Humility) is the motto of the British School of Monaco, and the motive, say co-founders Luke Sullivan and Dr.Olena Sullivan-Prykhodko, is to nurture kids to be curious, kind, courageous and capable of coping in a complicated world. The motto is designed to guide British School students to become ever-improving and lifelong learners.

The school will follow the English National Curriculum, with a strong focus on Literature and the use of English across all subjects. Significant French lessons will be offered as a first or second language on top of this. Games afternoons will be dedicated to the traditional sports of football, rugby, tennis, hockey, etc.

It adds an alternative and entirely British schooling choice to Monaco families, already served by French and International schooling systems. With an initial intake of 20 students (age five to 10 yrs), it will eventually welcome 96. Headmaster Dr. Stuart Bradley, previously Head of Primary at The Sultan’s School in Muscat, Oman, leads the teaching team.

British born and raised, Luke Sullivan grew up in London and Sheffield,and attended Birkdale School and Bristol University. He is a veteran educational entrepreneur who set up the Monaco-based private tutoring business Modelex in 2016 with his wife and business partner Olena. Olena has a background in law: In 2018 she was National President of the Jeune Chambre Économique de Monaco (JCI Monaco), and in 2021 she was international Vice President of JCI. Luke and Olena met in Monaco in 2014 and married in 2016 in Ukraine.

Luke Sullivan and Dr. Olena Sullivan-Prykhodko, co-founders of the British School of Monaco

Says Olena, “I went to school at Gymnasium 47 in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Most people say their best years were at university but for me it was school. It was definitely like a second home for me and I have very fond memories of it. I loved English and I was quite good at Maths. Unfortunately, the school was destroyed a couple of months ago because of the war. So for me, creating a wonderful, nurturing environment with the British School of Monaco is deeply personal.” 

Not only is the school entirely English speaking, it is also family run,explains Luke. “It is 100% run and owned by Olena and I,” he says. “Everything we do, we pour our hearts and souls into, and with every single member of staff we hire, we are looking for that particular individual who will fulfil the key role within this brand new school.”

Academically ambitious with a curriculum strongly focused on literature and literacy, the admissions process is designed to ensure that families are certain the school is a good ‘fit’ for them. Says Luke, “We have a straightforward conversation about the school with the family and hopefully there’s a good meeting of minds and everyone understands each other’s approach to education and values.”

The student assessment is not, says Luke, a high-bar academic entrance exam, but a way to understand the pupil. “It’s a way to get to know their level and make sure certain fundamentals are in place, because you do need those in the early years of a new school, and then making sure there is a good click between the student and the teacher.”

Along with the school values – integrity, responsibility, respect, kindness, courage, curiosity – the school aims to encourage self-reflection, resilience, adaptability and balance in its students. “In each lesson we want to focus on the ability of the student to reflect on themself as a learner and the ability to adapt success, to overcome hurdles: If they get knocked down, to get back up again stronger. We live in an increasingly polarised world with increasingly extreme views on either side of debates, and the ability to hold a balanced view seems to be getting lost in the midst of all that. We want to put this front and centre for our students as they develop their own views and opinions,” says Luke.

British School of Monaco interior design rendering

To create this nest of nurture and values-focused learning, the founders believe there are certain things they need to get right from the outset, and that starts with the dress code: the uniform. The pair believe it is important particularly in a place like Monaco with such a diverse range of cultures and nationalities.

The British-style uniform of navy and grey is emblazoned with a blue, gold and white school logo: a sword-brandishing lion rampant, an image that commonly symbolises courage, nobility and strength. The design incorporates both traditional and modern elements, reflecting the strong traditions that the school draws upon alongside its forward-thinking curriculum and approach to education.

Explains Luke, “One thing we want to be very clear about is the values of the school, who we are, what we stand for, so that all the parents understand what they are buying into and what they can expect from their kids’ education. Part of that is the uniform. If all kids wear the traditional British School uniform, it’s a way of standardising their appearance. This is important to us because it means the conversation can shift from what they are wearing and how they distinguish themselves through their clothes, to how they distinguish themselves through their character and behaviour. We want a school that focuses on human qualities and human characteristics.  Having a uniform is a way of moving the conversation onto those elements. It also helps students to feel part of a team and part of a community, with a strong identity defined by a clear set of values.

The uniform includes a British School of Monaco watch designed specifically to help pupils learn to tell the time.

Attendance in the specially designed classrooms at 8am, avenue de Fontvieille, is another non-negotiable. Students need to turn up on time and attend school 100% of the time, says Sullivan.Sloppy attendance and punctuality degrade the values of the school and set a badprecedent to other families. Once values start to degrade the institution loses its backbone, so for us we are very strict on attendance because a cornerstone of education is turning up.” There is a process in place forthose who frequently fail to make-it to the school gates on time.

The development of the school has been swift, says Luke, after years of building the foundations and refining their approach to education. “Since tutoring back in 2009, I have always just taken the most positive next step I could find. And if you always take good next steps the journey will take care of itself.”

After meeting Olena in 2014, the idea of creating a British school together began to form, and the rest of that story will now one day be part of Monégasque history.


 Photos source: Modelex


Yacht broker Splinter Fangman: “Sailing is sexy again”

A dedicated sail yacht area was an initiative that began in 2021 at the Monaco Yacht Show. Last year, eight sail yachts exhibited. This year, the figure more or less doubled, a signal that the sustainability song sheet has wafted in and around the superyacht society and its message is sinking in. A bit.

A taste for skimming the sea’s surface in sublime and simple silence is on the up, suggests sales and charter broker Splinter Fangman, of broker firm Edmiston, based in Monaco.

He explains, “Generally speaking there is more interest in sailing yachts than previously. That’s either from people who are interested in it for the sportive element, with being more integrated with the operation of the boat, with nature, with the sea.”

Or, he suggests, there are those who are interested in the PR effect of owning a sail yacht. “They  are people who are very aware of the message they are sending. Say, for example, you are anchored off St. Tropez, and people know that’s your yacht, what’s the message? If you are on a sailing yacht you are sending a more environmentally friendly message. So, we are seeing more clients who are aware of that and aware of the climatic importance.”

He adds, “We have some clients at the moment who have a foundation focused on the environment but they also want a yacht. So, they feel that the best way forward is to have a sailing yacht and have the right messaging.”

Edmiston Yacht Broker Splinter Fangman, photo supplied

Sales of super yachts powered by the wind at Edmiston have risen during each consecutive year since Covid and now make up 12%. The company has a particular flair for sales of the Italian luxury yacht builder Perini Navi boats, with the likes of S/Y Zenji, S/Y Melek, and S/Y Rosehearty passing through its books in 2021.

Edmiston presented 11 yachts at the Monaco Yacht Show (MYS) this year, three of which were sail yachts. They were S/Y Silencio, a 49.8m Perini Navi, the 56.4m S/Y Salvaje (built 2014, refit 2019) from Alloy Yachts, and 53.9m S/Y Pink Gin VI (2017, refit 2022) built by Baltic Yachts.

S/Y Silencio is priced at €14,500,00, the other two are each priced at €29,500,000. All are sumptuously luxurious and really rather different.

Master cabin of Salvaje, photo courtesy Edmiston

The original owners of two-masted ketch S/Y Salvaje didn’t ‘do’ corners, and below deck the walls ripple curvaceously in an interior that blends classic sailing styles with painterly blotches of the brightest colours. Built for extended world sailing, she can accommodate up to 11 guests across five cabins all with marble ensuite. She has a range of 6,500nm at 10 knots.

S/Y Pink Gin VI is a sloop and so has only a single mast. Explains Fangman, “For this length of yacht, the typical format is a ketch, like S/Y Salvaje, but the owner of Pink Gin just wanted a cleaner look.” SY Pink Gin VI is, says Fangman, spectacular for a number of reasons. She is the largest carbon fibre sailing sloop in the world, so she’s super light and super fast. And the carbon hull is also extremely tough. “No expense was spared on this entirely custom-built boat,” says Fangman.

Pink Gin VI, photo by Stuart Pearce

Her interiors are a mix of fun and formal with blue painted wooden floorboards hosting plush velvet sofas, and a pink baby grand piano.

Says Fangman, who is Dutch but grew up at international schools across the world, “The Pink Gin interior is quite special actually. I recently received a charter enquiry from someone who was on the boat but she is not for charter. To me at least she is very much like a New York apartment. She’s not very nautical, which sets her apart from a lot of other yachts. So, for this charter client I really wanted to suggest they rent a New York apartment instead. Especially the bathroom with the tiles in the master cabin. It’s a very old school New York style.”

S/Y Silencio, built in steel and aluminium by Italian yard Perini Navi, was delivered in 2001 as the third yacht in the yard’s 50 metres series. She sleeps 12 guests in five cabins and is finely appointed with sleek, cherry wood interiors designed by Christian Liaigre. More outdoor spaces and al fresco dining spots were added during a refit in 2012. She won both the 2013 Perini Cup and the 2015 Millennium Cup.

Silencio deck, photo courtesy Edmiston

Fangman believes there are multiple factors influencing the increased interest in sail. One of them is competitive sailing, “such as the America’s Cup”, he suggests, “which is extremely exciting, high speed, and very captivating for traditional but also new audiences. I think that has re-ignited and re-excited people about sailing; just knowing you can go 70 or 90km/h on pure sail power. I think sailing is sexy again.”

Jeff Bezos will soon rank number one as the world’s sexiest sailor when he takes delivery of his 127m sail yacht later this year. The three-masted schooner Y721, built by Oceanco, will be the largest sail yacht in the world.

Other important influencers include tennis champion Rafael Nadal and former Formula One racing driver Nico Rosberg, who both own yachts built by eco-focused yacht builders Sunreef, explains Fangman. “These public figures decided to go yachting and realised they can do it in a sustainably correct way and that rubs off on other people. It’s a bit like owning a classic car where you are really involved in its being and that’s a very different experience from a motor yacht. You’re involved in how much energy it is using, how much energy it needs: When the sails are up, engines are off, and all you have is natural energy and silence, it is quite spectacular and very majestic.”


Photo above: Jeff Brown design, courtesy Edmiston






Superyachts: the adventure playground

The new Adventure Area at the Monaco Yacht Show was a terrain set aside for superyacht toys and travel off the yacht: landside, airside, and into the hidden depths of the ocean.

Monaco Life skipped along to find out more.

The Bubble

It began on the back of a beer mat, last year at the Monaco Yacht Show (MYS), when two men went for a drink. The result of that drink was launched in September and it is known as Project Hercules – a collaboration between Espen Øino International (EOI), Dark Ocean DeepSea and Triton Submarines. It is the world’s first patent-pending elliptical advanced versatile acrylic (AVA) pressure hull submersible.

The two men were John Ramsay of Dark Ocean DeepSea Design, the worlds leading submersible design and engineering studio, and Andrea Bonini, yacht  designer and project manager at EOI.

The Hercules sub-sea craft takes a total of seven people down deep (200m) for up to 10 hours and is designed to travel at eight knots (twice that of traditional private subs). Option ideas for this very big bubble (2.35m H x 2.75 W) include twin designer chaise longues in high grade leather, an oversized daybed, or a large glass bottom floor space with scatter cushions.

John Ramsay of Dark Ocean Deepsea and Andrea Bonini of Espen Oeino Interntational, discuss the project. Photo by Monaco Life

The luxury subcraft idea bloomed from Bonini’s “what if” fantasies that Ramsay was ready to run with: What if you glided instead of dived straight down? What if the inside was as wonderful as the outside? “When I met Andrea last year it was quite obvious straight away that he was amazingly talented and also incredibly enthusiastic about submarines,” says Ramsay. “He has this ability to create beautiful things but also package them up with sensible engineering so you know it’s going to work.”

Ramsay loves the switch in focus of the project; it’s not just about the deep-sea world outside, but the experience inside too: “You go down for a few hours, in private, see what you see might see, and have a wonderful time with people. That’s never been the focus of the sub before.” It could also possibly be used as a tender, Ramsay suggests: “We are talking with some hydro dynamicists about how quickly it’s going to move along the surface, so potentially guests get in and you can have them arrive on the shore and you’d absolutely know you’re not going to get splashed!”

The Bike

Founder René Renger and co-designer Marcus Weidig have built a bike with a hole in the middle – Novus. It’s a handcrafted, limited series full carbon fibre motorbike and it launched at the MYS. Explains Renger, “When you get on a Novus bike you feel like you’re James Bond in the next James Bond movie. This is the only light bike on the market. It’s a ride into the future.” The battery powered motorbike goes from 0-50 km/hr in 1.9 seconds, weighs 103kg, has a range of 150km and a maximum speed of 125km/hr. “It’s sustainable luxury,” explains Renger. “It’s super light, weighing 50% less than a comparable performing motorbike.” The idea for Novus sprang from E bikes and electrified motor cycles, “but neither of them were very inspiring and we wanted to create  for the future using electricity.”

Novus sold two bikes at the MYS but, says Renger, “More importantly, we connected with the yacht charter companies and they are all very interested. Monaco is, anyway, a very special place for us; it is moving towards sustainable mobility and we offer the first premium electric light bike that can be the perfect tool for crowded city commute.”

CEO and Founder René Renger on the Novus bike. Photo by Monaco Life

The Beast

The limited edition (15) bonkers-big, Brabus 900 Crawler was sold out on the last day of the MYS. The off-street supercar was built to celebrate the company’s 45th anniversary – the ultimate off-road racer that is strictly not for street driving.

“If you’re looking for an exciting ride, this is it,” suggests Brabus’ Dirk Möller: “It’s a super-special professional off-road vehicle for the desert or forest, and for competition or family use,” he explains. The Brabus 900 Rocket V8 twin-turbo rockets from 0-100km in 3.4 seconds. Bumper fun for everyone.

The Brabus Crawler, photo by Monaco Life



Image above: the Hercules project







Superyachts: the kitchen brigade

When superyacht chefs got the chance to share the tricks of the trade and ‘on message’ menus at a series of master classes during the MYS, it showed that – believe it or not – the basics are back

The Monaco Yacht Show is a veritable smorgasbord for networking and new ideas, and the MYS Captains and Crew Lounge is a popular locale for industry professionals. It is here where, over the course of four days, Maison Del Gusto and Amandine Interntational Chef Placement hosted a series of masterclasses by hand-picked chefs. 

And it appears as though pricey flavours have lost a bit of favour.

Ok, so it wasn’t ‘Bye bye’ to abalone, jamón ibérico de bellota, edible gold, or white Alba truffles exactly… but it was definitely ‘Hello’ to the seriously simple.

These folk waxed away about beetroot, celeriac, pumpkins and potatoes and chose food that could speak for itself; meddling is not à la mode.

Something fishy

Rarely do superyachts end up angling for food on the aft deck, but regularly do owners and guests want a ‘little fishy on their little dishy’. And there lies the catch…

Which is why head chef onboard 80 metre yacht MY Chopi Chopi, Manoel Crisanto, had an audience of fellow chefs eating out of his hand when he recently explained how to dry age fish. This Brazilian from Rio cut his teeth in the Michelin starred restaurant Le Pré Catalan (Rio) and has over 10 years’ experience serving up sensations on board the superyachts.

Says Crisanto, “Dry ageing fish is a very old technique, but now it’s getting its place in the market again. It’s not just about the clever way you can change the characteristics of the fish, making it tenderer, creamier and keeping the fresh taste, it’s also about minimising food wastage.”

Keeping fish fresh long enough for popular dishes such as sushi or ceviche is impossible on yacht charters or crossings (or anywhere else for that matter). Frozen fish for raw dishes doesn’t cut the mustard, which is why Crisanto started experimenting with dry ageing.

“I started to develop this technique to try to preserve the fish for longer, with salt and water solution and ice. Salt in the Med is about 4% so that is what we aim to use in this process.”

Dry aged fish by Chef Manoel Crisanto

Crisanto combines salt and water with the ice to create a physical reaction that brings the temperature below zero. He explains, “Then you de-scale the fish, gut it, and put the fish in the solution for approximately one hour for a 4-5 kilo fish. Pat it dry and you hang it in the fridge. The optimum temperature needs to be at -2.” Those without a fish fridge can place the fish on a rack lined with kitchen towel that must be changed everyday. The same process can be done in a normal fridge on a rack with kitchen towel underneath, which must be changed daily.

He reveals, “What makes the fish smell is humidity. Dry aged fish is creamier, cleaner, tender and fresher than anything other than the ‘just caught’ version and can be kept from 10 to over 50 days, depending on fish size and species. This year I ordered my fish through Maison del Gusto from a source in Normandy. I made sure he knew I know about fish! You can’t rely on the Mediterranean catch anymore.”

Crisanto leaves the fish in the fridge for a minimum of four days. “But first thing I do everyday in the galley, even before I turn on the lights, is I sniff it because you never know, fish can be contaminated.”

He uses the process to age dry any fish but it works particularly well with  amberjack, yellow tail, king salmon, tuna, sea bass and sea bream. 

Peruvian Ceviche, Mexican tiradito and fish tartare, as well as sushi are menu favourites of the minute. Crisanto served up three raw fish dishes to his fellow chefs: wild salmon with olive oil and lime, decorated with edible flowers; sea bream with dried tomatoes and Iranian pine nuts; and himachi with sesame oil, freeze dried yuzu and soya flakes. The dishes were accompanied by wines from Sacha Lichine’s vineyards at the Château D’Esclans near Fréjus.

Antonio and Fabrizio Mellino, photo by Kate Emery, Founder of Amandine international Chef Placement

Pasta perfect

Class act Antonio and his son Fabrizio Mellino own and run the two Michelin starred restaurant Quattro Passi (four steps) at Nerano on the Sorrento coast. Papa Mellino was born in Buenos Aires but raised in Nerano. He opened Quattro Passi in 1984, had his first Michelin star in 2000, and the second in 2011.

Fabrizio has worked as head chef in the kitchens for the last five years. He studied at the Institute of Paul Bocuse at Lyon, France, and went on to sharpen his skills and his knives at Monaco’s Louis XV at the Hôtel de Paris. Then he moved to Spain’s three-Michelin starred Quique Dacosta, before a spell in Japan at Tokyo restaurants Tsuiama and Sushi-Go.

He says, “Each restaurant and chef gave me a different experience and I don’t have a favourite. Now I prefer not to copy anyone but find my own way and conjure up the memories and tastes from my grandmother’s dishes.”

His favourites of hers include insalata di pomodori, parmegiana di melanzane, and polpette al sugo. “There are no secret ingredients in the cooking, it’s the choice and quality of the produce that makes the difference.”

Which is why he and his father selected the simplicity of local dish pennino alla Nerano to impress this ‘kettle’ of exacting cooks.  Washed down with wines from Comte de Monte Carlo, the dish combined pasta with zucchini and zucchini flowers, basil and black pepper.

“I think my favourite dish is gnocchi alla Sorrentina with mozzarella cheese on top, and my favourite to cook is spaghetti with fresh tomatoes. But you have to have the best ingredients.” Mellino spends his winters haunting the olive mills to source the best oil of that year’s season. And he won’t go to work without his Sicilian salt: “It flavours the dish without the harsh aftertaste you get with other salts.”


Pennino alla Nerano by Fabrizio Mellino

Serves 1

80g pennino (penne pasta)

35 g french butter 

1 courgette sliced

2 basil leaves 

2 courgette flowers 

15 g parmesan cheese 

Black pepper 



Fry the courgettes and put aside for a day

Boil and cook the pasta

Revive courgettes with two tablespoons of pasta water

Discard water

Melt butter, add courgettes, pasta, cheese, flowers and season with black pepper.


Buon appetito!



 Photo above of Chef Manoel Crisanto by Monaco Life





Astronaut Dr Scott Parazynski: “There will be a colony on Mars in 20 years”

A man from Mars dropped in on Monaco last week. Given the focus on sustainable living at the Monaco Yacht Show, it was a timely visit for anyone thinking of hot-footing it to its cooler climes. Who better to sound out what life is like on the red planet?

Dr Scott Parazynski is a veteran of five spaceflights, having spent over eight weeks in space and 47 hours on spacewalks. He played a crucial role in the construction of the International Space Station and in May 2016 was inducted into the US Astronaut Hall of Fame.

A physician in emergency medicine and trauma, he led the first joint US-Russian spacewalk while docked to the Russian space station Mir Mission. He also served as crew-mate and personal physician to Senator John Glenn when he returned to space at 77-years-old. The Senator was the first American to orbit the earth and the third American in space when he flew the Friendship 7 mission in 1962.

The only person to have flown in space and climbed to the top of the world – Mount Everest (2009), the bowels of the earth hold no secret for Parazynski either: he is one of the first to climb down to the world’s youngest lava lake, inside the crater of Massaya Volcano in Nicaragua.

And he flies (commercial, instrument, multiengine and seaplane) and he dives…

“I think I get my determination from my parents. They were very adventurous and encouraged me to pursue my interests,” says Dr Scott Parazynski. “I think not limiting oneself to established norms and being willing to challenge oneself is key; being ready to take on new opportunities, that really opened up so many doors for me in my career. And not being afraid to fail.”

Parazynski’s father was an engineer on the Saturn V Rockets as part of the Project Apollo, the third US space flight programme, and young Scott knew by the time he was five-years-old that he wanted to be a part of it one day.

But he waited until he was 29 to apply. “I was lucky, I was accepted on my first application and started working for NASA in the summer of 1992.” A year of very intense training on the basics of the space shuttle and flight followed. He had his first spatial mission just one year later.

Astronaut selection involves several thousand people applying every two to four years and class sizes vary between 10 and 20 astronauts. This corps of experts work in teams of six or seven on rotation.

In the current day, each mission lasts about six months: “On my flights they were typically about two weeks long because the space shuttle only had limited fuel on board and she had hydrogen and oxygen fuel cells that created energy and drinking water and that was one of the limiting consumables for the mission.”

“Taking off is exhilarating,” he reveals. “It’s like being on the steepest roller coaster you’ve ever been on in your life: You’ve got about 3gs of gravity squeezing you back into your seat and you continue to accelerate for 8.5 minutes and you can’t believe anything can have that much power. You’re accelerating from 0 km/pr hour on the launch pad to 85,000 km in just 8.5 minutes, so it is eye watering.”

The landings are different. Having adapted to the weightlessness of space, the body weakens and the muscles and bones that resist gravity on earth have atrophied: “Your balance system is altered, so when you first get off a mission you are very wobbly and it takes a couple of days to get your land legs back.”

There are many weird and unique aspects to an ordinary day in space, the most obvious being able to float. You push yourself off with your finger tips and go wherever you want to go.

“You can’t put anything down because it will float away immediately and, in fact, the joke is if you do lose something, it is going to show up in the cabin air cleaner in about two days, so that’s what we call ‘the lost and found’.”

Sleep is another challenge: astronauts velcro pillows to their head and bolt sleeping bags to the ceiling or wall, because it feels too weird to float around, which you do anyway, inside your sleeping bag. Because they are living outside most magnetic fields, astronauts also suffer from Cherenkov radiation; intense beams of light that shoot at the back of the eye.

 “On space flights you start to crave certain foods. Some types of food are too messy, they create crumbs that get in your eyes, so we don’t take bread for example, we don’t have an oven, so we can’t prepare a proper pizza, for example.” Camping-style meals are mixed with water. “They don’t look very good, but they’re tasty.”

Food is also spicier in space because the tastebuds change, it’s called fluid shift. On earth, fluid pools in the lower body during the course of the day, but in space that pull of gravity is not there,  “So our faces get a little puffier and we have a runny nose and a diminished sense of taste.”

So, will there be life on Mars one day? “Without any doubt I believe there will be a civilisation on Mars sooner than many might think. In 20 years I think there could be a foothold of a colony that will continue to expand and learn to live off the land. But it’s going to be a hardship, they’ll have to live underground because the radiation environment is much higher.”

Another good reason to sustain the earth below.

‘The Sky Below’, Dr Parazynski’s autobiography is a focus on overcoming adversity. He was speaking at the Captains’ Forum organised by the Yacht Club of Monaco, in partnership with Jutheau Husson and Oceanco.



Photo by Monaco Life






Stay sane, sustain

Love and marriage, horse and carriage, and now, superyacht and sustainability: bonded at the hip, paired for life, you can’t have one without the other.

Sustainability is this year’s MYS buzz word.

If you blink in the Darse Sud Exhibition Tent you might miss the sustainability ‘suite’, but “It’s a step in the right direction”, clamours this 14-stand strong army of exhibitors. And, what they might lack in numbers they make up for in enthusiasm: This corner is busting to save the earth and seas and has (some) of the wherewithal to make it happen.

Monaco Life pulled back the tent flaps and ventured inside to discover some of the innovative solutions on offer and learn what they mean for the future of yachting.

Hello Hydrogen

‘It’s time to shift’ is the rallying cry of EODev (Energy Observer Developments). This business, created in 2019, draws on the experience accumulated on board the 30.5 metre vessel, Energy Observer – the first hydrogen-powered, zero-emission vessel to be self-sufficient in energy.

EODev presents the RexH2, an onboard hydrogen fuel cell power generator. It has a footprint of one cubic meter and weighs 540 kilograms, which, for the non-scientific among us, is not very much.

Business Developer Fernando Szabados explains: “Basically, we produce hydrogen based on fuel cell technology supplied by Toyota and adapt it to our products. They have been using this technology for decades and they know how to use it and its nature. We integrated the product into the Energy Observer in 2019 and she’s been navigating now for two years with no failures.”

Right now, the biggest boat that can be powered this way is a 30m, “But”, says Szabados, “We can supply power for bigger boats, for ‘hotel load’, which means overnight power when the vessel is not moving.  Simply put, this can replace a diesel generator with no emissions, because we use hydrogen which can be produced in a totally renewable way; what we call ‘green hydrogen’. So even in the process of producing hydrogen there are no emissions. It can be used to go to protected areas with zero emission navigation.” The company is currently working on different sizes of power unit, bigger units for bigger and smaller units for smaller yachts. “The greatest challenge we have right now is for hydrogen storage, because it’s quite voluminous.”

Dr Elisabetta Zerazion, Scientific Coordinator of Water Revolution Foundation. Photo by Monaco Life

Drastic plastic

Chris Desai used to work on yachts, but during a yachtmaster course decided he wanted to work to save the sea rather than sail on it. So, he founded the charity UOCEAN 2050. “We believe we can mitigate the plastic and carbon footprint of the yachting industry,” explains Desai. “We think the yachting industry should drive the change because yachts are on the ocean and enjoy its nature. Our aim is to minimise the plastic footprints of yachts and make sure it doesn’t reach the sea.” The charity missions are, by 2030, to remove a billion kilos of marine plastic (they are currently 330,000 kilos in), and restore the abundance of the oceans by 2050.

The charity encourages plastic clean-ups throughout the world: rivers, canals, beaches, and engaging schools and all types of communities. Desai explains, “It’s about getting people who have never had access to conservation to get involved at a grass roots level to protect their communities.”  

“Unsustainable practices on superyachts have to stop,” he insists, “And there is no reason why they cannot adapt to a more sustainable model by reducing their plastic and off-setting their plastic, emissions etc.”

The charity offers and is conducting an audit service for yachts on the plastic and carbon usage and work with the yachts to find alternatives.

Track Back

The Water Revolution Foundation has some hefty industry supporters with some hefty projects. The Board of Directors includes superyacht industry heavyweights such as Henk de Vries III, Chairman of De Vries Scheepsbouw, who also have a 50% share of Feadship, yacht designer Philippe Briand, and Peter Lürssen of Lürssen Yachts. They are partnered with doctors in sustainable development, marine biology and science. The aim is to track, understand and change the impact of yachts on the environment.

Their work is a study in the collective term for initialisms, but no less relevant for it.

Explains Dr Elisabetta Zerazion: “YETI (Yacht Environmental Transparency Index) will be launched at METS 2022 in November this year. It offers owners the possibility to compare their superyacht by its environmental credentials and get a YETI score.” Other innovations include a Database of Sustainable Solutions (DOSS) to have sustainable solutions verified by a third party, and perhaps the most exciting is IMMA (Important Marine Mammal Areas). This allows yachts to identify, give clear passage and react responsibly to marine life locations and behaviour.

Lee Hirons of OceanLED, photo by Monaco Life

Lights please

OceanLED Marine are all about lights. Lee Hirons points out the Sustainable Solution Verified certificate from the Water Revolution Foundation. “We are one of the first to get this verification and we are very proud. One of the main features of our lights are the optics. They give the best beam and water penetration possible. A lot of our competitors do not use optics they just push a lot of power through. We don’t have to use so much power through the lights.” Because of the reduced heat, the lights can also be smaller and therefore created with less material, another sustainable factor.


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