The future of emission-free transoceanic transport
It looks powerful, the brig. Schooner brig of 1911, with a riveted steel hull. It is 30 meters long and can carry 160 tons of cargo in its belly. Behind the blue sea. Oh, it would be nice to set sail. But that is not possible, the two masts with the square sails are missing, she is currently being rebuilt in the Sicilian port of Trapani. To be one of the world’s first emission-free oceangoing freighters, having nothing but wind power and a modern solar power supply. In the spring or summer of 2019 you should be: Ready for the turning point in shipping history. Yesterday becomes tomorrow.
Yesterday, that’s how sailboats were, which for centuries brought goods from all over the world using only the force of the wind. Despite the romance of La Paloma, not everything was good, colonialism, blood and violence clung to the ropes. Today, however, it is structural violence that carries modern containerships. Their crews on deck are being exploited, as are the producers of cheap goods in the hold. And the environmental pollution caused by heavy fuel oil is immense: sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, soot and particles fall on the seas and port cities and, according to a Danish study, cause around 60,000 premature deaths per year. year only in Europe. Therefore, future-friendly alternatives are urgently needed.
EMISSION-FREE TRANSPORT FOR FAIR GOODS
This is also what the team around SV Brigantes has in mind. He wants to bring ecologically fair products such as coffee, rum or cocoa from the Caribbean to Europe, using only the force of the wind. The engine is only allowed for maneuvers in port. Of course they are not competitive and only serve a niche, says Carlos Porten, 47, a native of Peru. The costs on his sailboat are 20 times higher than on a freighter that brings coffee from Brazil to Hamburg for 10 cents a kilo. But you have to start somewhere.
Carlos Porten is part of the Brigantes team , which consists of several international career changers. He ran a restaurant in Bulgaria and practiced organic fair trade. Oscar Kravina from South Tyrol, 49 years old, was in the film business and completed a boat building apprenticeship. His brother Daniel runs a culinary culture center in Vienna. Tobias Blome from Glücksstadt is a shipbuilding engineer. Italian architect Alessia Rossetto now oversees the team’s social media. The founder of the project, Guiseppe Ferrari, completed the captaincy for him aboard the Brigantes when it was still called Onice , sailing between Sicily and the island of Pantelleria. For the first time, however, he was baptized with the name of Meta , and her twin sister, also built in 1911, made an international film career as Eye of the Wind .
THE POWER IS IN THE SUM
The conversion of the SV Brigantes has an estimated cost of 870,000 euros. Volunteers are doing part of the conversion work. In addition, the founding team operates Crowd -Invest. Those interested can buy 800 of a total of 1,600 company shares for 1,000 euros each. “Around a third of the total is already together,” says Oscar Kravina. The co-owners of the Brigantes Shipping Limited limited company will have a voice and vote and will be able to participate in the main events at sea. Another future plan is to take trainees and pay passengers with you. The boat has room for the sailing crew of seven and ten other passengers who want to feel the salty wind and adventure.
If there are more and more emission-free sailboats on the road, the Brigantes crew dreams, then a network of smaller shopping malls will be connected, bringing costs down. Therefore, they have joined the Sail Cargo Alliance . Its goal is to “create a healthy transportation culture that promotes the preservation of the environment for future generations.” The alliance also includes Tres Hombres , founded in 2007 by three Dutch friends who have been with their eponymous sailboat and the Nordlys for ten years Sail wine and rum across the Atlantic. As well as the Avontuur of the German captain Cornelius Bockermann, who joined in 2016. And the small company TOWT, which inaugurated in 2016 a store for the goods thus transported in the French port of Douarnenez. The name: Au cul du voilier , translated: on the butt of the sailboat. Butt? In the back, the founders hope, it will eventually be right up front again.