BackBackMenuCloseClosePlusPlusSearchUluleUluleUluleChatFacebookInstagramLinkedInTwitterYouTubefacebooktwitterB Corporation

Astrolabe, a sailing vessel for scientific expeditions

To make a scientific sailing vessel accessible to everyone

About the project

Support our project of renovating a wooden sailing boat in order to transform it into a scientific vessel, where scientific expeditions can become accessible for everyone!

A vessel for scientific expeditions

Astrolabe’s vocation is to become a sailing vessel for scientific expeditions. In particular, the aim is to focus on observations and measurements in the fields of oceanography (observation of marine mammals, sampling of plankton) and astronomy (observation of eclipses on the sea, measurements and imaging of the moon and stars…).

Astrolabe will also be ecologic in its heart: auxiliary power and propulsion, when needed, will be generated by harvesting the free, clean energy of the sun and the wind.

A useful and responsible adventure

The expeditions organized through Astrolabe will be part of programs for participative science. The data collected during the expeditions will not only be used for scientific purposes, but they will also be available for everyone to get involved in the understanding of our planet.

Science for everyone

All expeditions on the Astrolabe will be conceived for replicability on other sailing vessels. They will be open for anyone who is interested in participating, with a vision to extend our project to a whole network of research sailing vessels and to actively participate in scientific development through the analysis of large quantities of gathered data.

Astrolabe was bought 2 years ago in Spain and has sailed its way back through the Mediterranean Sea to France. After engine failures, a broken mast, storms pushing us off route, and dolphins off Ibiza…finally the boat arrives in Marseille to be loaded on a truck: next stop…

... Ile-de-France (Paris, France), where a whole army of helpful and motivated people were just waiting for the start of the renovation! One surprise after the other, the small industrious yard keeps its work going; the old, rotten deck must be removed, the internal structure needs to be rebuilt, several of the wooden planks in the hull are substituted, and finally the whole main deck is rebuilt…everything, always in wood! Experience, enthusiasm and motivation bring the work forward with speed and efficiency, but financial means are limited, and we need your support for Astrolabe to finally see the sea again.

The objectives achieved so far:

  • Purchase of the vessel and initiation of the participative work where all participants have the opportunity to learn how to recondition a sailing vessel and to join and support the project.
  • The process of renovation is by now complete at two thirds. The most crucial parts have been completed:
    - Dismantling of the parts in bad conditions
    - Reconstruction of the parts of the hull in bad conditions
    - New internal structure for the deck
    - New wooden deck over the whole length of the vessel
    - Aft cabin re-arranged and painted
    - Purchase of a full set of electric equipment
  • A first trial expedition has been realized in 2013 aboard a rented vessel in order to assess the requirements for the management of the vessel and to test observation protocols for dolphins.
  • We built and put online our website! It includes all the information and the journal of the first expedition.
  • The association “Astrolabe Expeditions” was created for organizing and coordinating the expeditions

What are the funds for?

The sailing vessel, entirely built in wood, is in the process of being completely refurbished  in a project led by the initiators of the project and with the help of some volunteers. The boat is fully operational and entirely furnished and equipped for  scientific expeditions.

The Ulule campaign will help us to complete the renovation of the boat and to buy the equipment needed for the expeditions

Objective 100% : « Survival » mode (7000€)

This is the minimum amount that would allow us to finish the required work and put the boat back into the water. Without this amount, we won’t even be able to start. In particular, this means:

  • Finalization of the wooden deck with its protective layer
  • Water-proofing and painting of the hull
  • Major engine maintenance
  • Review of internal furnishing to ensure alignment with the objectives of the expeditions, e.g. a water system
  • Maintenance of the old sails 

Objective 138% : « Autonomous » mode (2600€ more)

With this additional contribution we will be able to install solar panels and wind turbines, which will provide the vessel with autonomous, renewable and clean electric power generation:

  • Installation of 2 solar panels of 200 W each
  • Installation of a wind turbine of 350 W nominal power suitable for the expected wind conditions
  • Installation of a new electric system required for a better management of electricity on board

Objective 170% : « Expedition » mode (2400€ more )
This is the ideal contribution, which would allow us to be completely equipped for starting the expeditions. In addition to all the previous material, we would add:

  • Photo/video equipment: an underwater camera and its accessories
  • Diving material: the complete diving equipment for 4 people

The rewards

For your support you can receive a reward related to the project.

It is very simple to support us:

  1. Just create an account (free and secure)
  2. Click on  "Contribute, receive"
  3. Enter the amount of your donation and choose a reward between 10 € and the amount of your donation.

About the project owner

An association with the aim of organizing scientific sailing expeditions and making them available to everyone

The scientific expeditions will be organized mostly at sea, even if this will not exclude expeditions on land where the vessel will serve as base-camp. Astrolabe aims at addressing several different scientific areas, in particular astronomy and oceanography. Developed through programs of participative science, the missions will allow everyone to join in the understanding and the preservation of our planet. Realized using an autonomous vehicle capable of sailing in full respect of the environment, these expeditions are first of all a human and scientifically responsible adventure.

The activity of the association will focus on 5 main areas:

  1. Organization of scientific expeditions at sea
  2. Planning of expeditions accessible to everyone
  3. Educating sea adventurers
  4. Improve public awareness and sense of participation
  5. Encourage the formation of a network of scientific sailing vessels

The association is first and above all made of the dreamers who first thought and developed the project:

With a passion for sailing and science, Cedric is at the origin of the project. After having been responsible for an observatory of astronomy, he has now decided to start this project that can finally bring together his two passions. A dreamer and an adventurer by nature, he is the captain of the vessel, ready to leave for any kind of expeditions.

His aim: to experience and make others experience adventure in a responsible way, which helps the understanding and the preservation of our planet

Future PhD in geophysics, Shan is an experienced traveler who has already flown around the world and set her feet on almost all continents. She is the scientist of the group, and her connections in the scientific environment will allow us to rapidly spread the word about our project and to develop partnerships.

Her aim: to share her desire to travel around the world and support the development of engaging scientific projects


Employed by an association of scientific communication, Jean-Baptiste actively manages projects of all sorts with people of all types and horizons. He is the “joyful” of the group, always coming up with ideas for making people working together and mixing his enthusiasm with happiness and joy.

His aim: to make the project available to everyone ! And to allow the development of a network of sea adventurers

More information at

Follow our adventures ! :