The luxury French expedition cruise line Ponant are accustomed to pushing technological boundaries, especially when it comes to environmental protection. Now they have gone a step further with the introduction of a groundbreaking Solid Sail® on Le Ponant, the line’s 32-stateroom flagship.
As the name suggests the Solid Sail® is quite different from a conventional sail. In fact it comprises panels made of fibreglass, carbon and epoxy-resin which sit in a carbon-slat frame.
Ponant tell us this new technology will significantly reduce energy consumption used for propulsion. Of course this also has the knock-on effect of reducing the environmental impact.
The CEO fo Ponant, Jean-Emmanuel Sauvée, is excited about the potential of Solid Sail® technology. “Le Ponant, the historic sailing boat behind the company, continues to be the flagship of our fleet, and sail propulsion is without a doubt an energy of the future.”
The Solid Sail® on Le Ponant are the largest in the World. More than 300 sq.m. / 3,229 sq.ft. of Solid Sails have been installed on the three-masted Le Ponant in Marseille. This remarkable technology will propel the vessel across the Atlantic to Cuba and onward for the next twelve-months as it is tested and evaluated.
The Solid Sail® technology has been developed by another French firm, Chantiers de l’Atlantique. The company have over 150 years experience designing and integrating highly complex maritime technologies.
Jean-Emmanuel Sauvée says Ponant will be watching the outcome of the twelve-month tests closely. “Protecting the environment is a key priority for Ponant”, he said. Indeed, if the tests are successful the Solid Sail® technology will also offer a significant economic benefit too. Technological innovation delivering wins for both the environment and the bottom line.