France launches another design of sailing freighter
Splash readers get a glimpse today of a new French sailing freighter, contracted last week at the One Ocean Summit, and slated for delivery next year.
The Grain de Sail adventure was founded in 2010 in Brittany by twin brothers Olivier and Jacques Barreau, experts in renewable energies. Their goal was to select, produce and sell gourmet products to transatlantic consumers using the world’s first modern cargo ship. Since November 2020, Grain de Sail has been operating its first cargo sailboat; he’s now signed up for something much bigger.
The new ship, which will be built by Frenchman Piriou at its yard in Vietnam, will be 52m long, have a gross tonnage of 500 and a payload capacity of over 350 tonnes. The overall budget for the new build remains confidential but will remain below the 10 million euro ($11.4 million) mark, the company said. The new vessel will dwarf the company’s first vessel, a 24m long schooner type vessel with a payload capacity of 50 tonnes. The first ship used for transatlantic routes since 2020 will be reassigned to coastal shipping in Europe once the new ship is operational.
Grain de Sail successfully transported around 55% of the cocoa mass used in its chocolate factory by sail in 2021 thanks to its first cargo sailboat. This upcoming vessel will allow 100% of its raw materials to cross the Atlantic carbon-free for use in its chocolate factory and coffee roasting plant located in Morlaix, France.
Grain de Sail 2, which will be registered under the French flag, will make transatlantic connections from St Malo exporting wines and other fine products from France and Europe to the United States and bringing back raw materials from Latin America to France. . It will be built in aluminium, capable of transporting up to 238 pallets loaded on two levels in two separate compartments. In addition, a separate tank will be able to receive up to 18 m3 of bulk liquid while on deck there will be another 5 m3 for liquids in drums.
The crossing of the Atlantic, depending on the choice of routes and the wind conditions, is estimated at around two weeks, thus allowing three to four round trips per year.
France has provided global shipping with many leading wind-assisted projects in recent years with a host of shippers such as the tire manufacturer michelin, car manufacturer Renault and Hennessy cognac maker committing to transport part of their products on new sailing cargo ships under construction.