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MŒA One-to-One Interviews at Monaco Yacht Show: Chloé Zaied, CEO & founder HYNOVA and General manager at EPHYRA.

Updated: Feb 11

Chloé Zaied: passion for the sea, team spirit, eco-responsibility and the desire to change the business-as-usual towards an impact-less sea navigation.

The Monaco Yacht Show 2022 has been an opportunity to bring to light the latest innovations in the field of high technology, entrepreneurship and creativity in the world of luxury yachting. MONACŒCOART® attended the event on site to collect the latest trends by selecting a series of particularly significant meetings.

The target to design marine vessels fueled by hydrogen is increasingly pursued by some of the world’s largest shipyards. Th pandemic global effect has accelerated this process in a certain way although for some time new types of propulsion had been studied in order to reduce the pollution resulting from lithium and lead batteries. In the wake of the automotive industry, hydrogen seems to be a good solution although there are still several problems related to its management. The high rate of flammability and the instability of this gas make its transport particularly difficult. Moreover, the various techniques used to manage hydrogen (compressed, cryo-compressed or liquid), require specific equipment that weighs down the boats with consequences on navigation. However, the benefits in terms of environmental impacts are particularly effective.

Photo >> Andy Schmid's photographic initiative for © EPHYRA

Passion for the sea, eco-responsibility and advanced navigation skills brought Chloé Zaied, eco-committed ship captain from La Ciotat, to found HYNOVA YACHTS, awarded at Monaco Energy Boat Challenge in 2021, with the aim at making people enjoy the maximum of the marine ecosystem without impacting on it. Thanks to a cohesive teamwork and animated by the determination of hitting the edge, she has recently unveiled a quintessential nautical ecosystem capable to count on self-produced green energy from hydrogen to serve a set of exclusive zero-emission boats, providing all necessary infrastructure and high-stand hospitality services. EPHYRA came to light within the world premiere conference held at the Yacht Club de Monaco on the 1st October 2022 in the framework of the Monaco Yacht Show. Inspired by the Greek mythology, the project really appears out of the ordinary overcoming the obstacles of hydrogen transport to offer pleasant experiences in luxury tourist destinations on board comfortable and glamorous yachts clean, silent and sustainable. In a few words, the mission is to create a ‘conscious yachting experience’ as the official slogan says.

Photo >> Abstract from the world-premiere launch video of EPHYRA - © EPHYRA

Many testimonials support EPHYRA not only as business but for its own ecological paradigm. Andy Schmid, award winning underwater photographer and EPHYRA ambassador pointed out: “I have been fortunate enough to see so many beautiful marine creatures I capture with my pictures. I want to bring this to people and show how amazing life in the ocean is with its unique diversity wherever you plunge into”.

Photo >> Abstract from the world-premiere launch video of EPHYRA - © EPHYRA

Traditional maritime transport changes the balance of underwater ecosystems as recalled by Nicolas Chardin, Deputy Director at the Parc National des Calanques (between La Ciotat and Marseille): “The marine area I manage is particularly busy as for passenger transport so that it is essential to reduce the impact in relation to the natural environment towards a noiseless navigation producing minimum discharges. The effects of anthropic actions on sea health are now clear to many.

Photo >> Abstract from the world-premiere launch video of EPHYRA - © EPHYRA

Titouan Bernicot, founder of Coral Gardeners, highlighted: “Growing up on an island, I could see the consequences of global warming, the coral reef is dying; thus, I decided to plant new corals starting at the age of 16 years old. Today I am fighting for our planet, for our future, for our oceans, pushing the use of renewable energies on and under the water”.

Photo >> Abstract from the world-premiere launch video of EPHYRA - © EPHYRA

Bernard D’Alessandri, General Manager at the Yacht Club de Monaco concluded: “The Principality of Monaco and the Sovereign Prince, our President, is making great efforts and He has been committed to eco-responsibility for a long time. I consider Hydrogen to be something tangible and reasonable and the project by Chloé Zaied is witnessing it. When we first saw a prototype two years ago, we could not believe that it would enter the market as quickly”.

MONACŒCOART® had the pleasure to meet Chloé Zaied (C.Z.) collecting from her some meaningful commentaries.

Photo >> Chloé Zaied introducing EPHYRA at the world premiere press conference held in the framework of the Monaco Yacht Show (Yacht Club de Monaco, 1st October 2022) - © Maurice Abbati MOEA


MONACŒCOART®: Captain Chloé Zaied, where does the idea come from?

C.Z.: When you decide to make sea your profession, and this is my case as a captain, it is your duty to preserve and to raise awareness of this ecosystem that is so rich and fragile at the same time. Having direct professional experience at the Parc National des Calanques for about ten years, I developed the idea of reconciling the passion for the sea with respect for its environment. Actually, I started to raise eco-awareness in visitors while enjoying their boat experience. Finally, I got the idea to design a boat which was as environmentally friendly as possible by combining sailing performance with environmental protection and a unique user experience with zero emissions. I thought about hydrogen since I considered it the best ‘fuel’ compared to navigation for leisure. Of course, I am not contrary to the electric energy use for other transport purposes involving lighter means of transport, notably your car.

Photo >> The iconic 'Type 48 Limousine' by EPHYRA - © EPHYRA

MONACŒCOART®: What pushed you to conceive EPHYRA?

C.Z.: The question was laid on the table and it is time to choose between just speaking or acting. I have made my choice and I am doing both things. As stated by Olivier Rouzau, Head of Technology at EPHYRA, we soon realized that we had to reinvent the code of the nautical industry and start from scratch. It was not easy at the very beginning but we succeeded in achieving something functional through technology and knowledge of the team including Jan Andreas Head of R&D at EPHYRA with a aerospace engineering background.

Photo >> The exclusive atmosphere of EPHYRA station club and community - © EPHYRA

MONACŒCOART®: How do you feel in seeing your project realised?

C.Z.: It was such an exciting experience, full of passion, that it was clear it should end successfully as it happens today.

MONACŒCOART®: What do you consider prior in your project?

C.Z.: Conscious awareness is the key word. This is why I have created a zero-emission boat system relying on stations able to produce green hydrogen on the place supported by related devices at customer use. That is the new navigation experience also addressed to new generations who are seeking for solutions in terms of sustainability. Hydrogen comes from the sea water and I do believe that the ocean is an extraordinary source of energy. ***

To know more about EPHYRA by HYNOVA YACHTS please visit:


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By Maurice Abbati

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