Cargo sets sail

The S/Y Black Pearl team is ushering in a new frontier in eco-friendly cargo ships.

16 October 2018


At the Monaco Yacht Show, key players behind groundbreaking 106.7-metre Oceanco S/Y Black Pearl held a panel discussion to announce an exciting new venture: eco-friendly cargo ships that promise to greatly reduce the carbon footprint of the worldwide shipping industry.

The panel included Ken Freivokh, designer of the Black Pearl (and her predecessor Maltese Falcon), Derek Munro, owner’s representative; Captain Chris Gartner; Thys Nikkels, CEO of Dykstra Naval Architects; Robbie Doyle, Founder of Doyle Sails; Alain Janet, President of Solar Cloth System, and Yvan Griboval, designer of the OceanoScientific Programme.

“With the world getting more ecologically delicate, it is up to those of us who can to do more,” said Robbie Doyle, founder of Doyle Sails. “Powering up huge cargo ships to cross the oceans under sail, or sail assisted, is one way we can help. It is estimated that just 16 of the world’s largest ships can produce as much sulphur pollution as all the world’s cars.  The advancement in the science of sailing and materials can help propel ships much more efficiently than in the past.”

These new strategies that have the potential to turn the shipping industry on its head are inspired by the innovative technologies used aboard Black Pearl, including the DynaRig system.


Black Pearl took on the challenge of developing the DynaRig concept from its first iteration aboard Maltese Falcon. The 106.7-metre, high-tech sailing vessel is capable of achieving 20knots under sail, and of crossing the Atlantic Ocean without expending a single drop of fuel.

“The innovations applied on board Black Pearl allow us to design a truly sustainable sail assisted cargo ship,” said Thys Nikkel, CEO of Dykstra Naval Architects.

This comes about as the result of an ongoing directive from the principals of the Black Pearl project to create ocean-traversing cargo liners that will only produce a fraction of the greenhouse gas pollutants and use a fraction of the fuel consumed by the current cargo fleet.

Captain Chris Gartner said, “Over 20 years ago, I was introduced to the concept of the DynaRig and I was lucky enough to be deeply involved in its first use on board S/Y Maltese Falcon. Having logged over 100,000 nautical miles with the DynaRig, I can say that on board S/Y Black Pearl, we’ve really taken the DynaRig to the next level. Eco innovation is the foundation of S/YBlack Pearl and in my view it will play an important role in the future of the superyacht industry.”

“We have developed a revolutionary solar product that is extra thin and very flexible; all the benefits of solar panels without the drawbacks! This can be applied to the creation of a new eco cargo ship,” said Alain Janet, President of Solar Cloth Systems.

Currently, the shipping industry is a significant contributor to the global climate change crisis, responsible for three and a half to four percent of all climate change emissions – carbon dioxide in particular. However, very little effort has been made to address the problem. The proposed eco cargo liners are designed to help alleviate the environmental problems derived from the current cargo ships.

“Exploring, understanding and informing others about the ocean, all help to preserve its biodiversity for the benefit of future generations,” said Yvan Griboval, designer of the OceanoScientific Programme, a platform designed to enable the international scientific community and theIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to enrich their knowledge about the causes and consequences of climate change, through the repeated collection of quality data oceanographic and atmospheric data on sea routes subject to little or no scientific exploration, aboard all kinds of vessels.

The panel discussion summarised plans for the proposed new world cargo ships and outlined details of the various advanced systems, which they believe will reduce the environmental impact of vessels worldwide.

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