SailCargo

Discussion in 'Ask All Sailors' started by Simon Sexton, Mar 5, 2019. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Simon Sexton

    Simon Sexton

    Joined Nov 1, 2017
    547 posts, 250 likes
    Catalina 25 Tall Rig
    Valiant US Watergate Marina, Kemah, TX


  2. cb32863

    cb32863

    Joined Jun 29, 2010
    954 posts, 183 likes
    Beneteau First 235
    US Lake Minnetonka, MN
    This isn't new. Comes and goes on forums for the last few years. Has yet to get out of the concept phase I think, maybe there are some companies out there doing this. Looks less practical and more wanting to ride the "green wave".
     


  3. Daveinet

    Daveinet

    Joined Sep 20, 2014
    1,014 posts, 210 likes
    Rob Legg RL24
    US Chain O'Lakes
    What makes a lot more sense is adding a kite to a current ship for supplemental propulsion. You use it when its practical, and don't use it when its not. If operating by sail alone, the cost will be be too high to be practical. If you don't have fast product turnover, you loose money to the bank in interest. There is a reason sailing went by the wayside.
     


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  4. capta

    capta

    Joined Jun 4, 2009
    3,046 posts, 1,098 likes
    Pearson 530
    na Admiralty Bay, Bequia SVG
    Too much space for people and not enough for the cargo was my first impression.
    Back in the '80s, I tried to initiate a sailing cargo business through the eastern Caribbean, as it wasn't economical for Tropical Shipping to stop at all the islands with one or two 20 foot containers. They were overjoyed to pass the work off to me and my small fleet of as yet unpurchased, but sourced, sailing freighters.
    The problem arose when I began seeking financing, the only financing available was through SIU (Seafarers International Union).
    They pretty much offered me carte blanche (millions of dollars), the only caveat being I must employ all American union crew. At that time I could employ a West Indian to chip and paint (a deckhand) for around us$80.00 a month, whereas an American was a lot closer to us$1200.00, never mind officers etc. Sadly there was no way I could make the numbers work. SIU was even going to throw in the money to buy the San Juan Shipyard (including it's Roosevelt Roads Naval Station contract), so I could convert and maintain the vessels for nearly free.
    Boy, wouldn't that have been a gas?
     


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  5. rgranger

    rgranger

    Joined Jan 19, 2010
    6,095 posts, 1,589 likes
    Hunter 26
    US Smith Mountain Lake
    My fantasy job... but I live in the real world :wahwah:
     


  6. shemandr

    shemandr

    Joined Jan 1, 2006
    3,939 posts, 895 likes
    Marblehead Skiff 14'
    US Greenport, NY
    So there might be a niche market there? Maybe financing could be found with a more enlightened source today vs 30 years ago.
     


  7. capta

    capta

    Joined Jun 4, 2009
    3,046 posts, 1,098 likes
    Pearson 530
    na Admiralty Bay, Bequia SVG
    These days Tropical (as well as other companies) run dozens of 40 footers to almost every island each week.
    Sadly, the time has come and gone.
     


  8. Tom J

    Tom J

    Joined Sep 30, 2008
    1,414 posts, 308 likes
    Catalina 310
    US Quincy, MA
    Interesting concept. It might work here in the Hawaiian Islands. Lots of wind available, especially the downwind run from the Big Island to Oahu. It would fit in with the state's goal of going to alternative energy as much as possible. And it sure would be cool to watch a clipper sail by while I am having my coffee, instead of the usual tug and barge.
     


  9. Tom J

    Tom J

    Joined Sep 30, 2008
    1,414 posts, 308 likes
    Catalina 310
    US Quincy, MA
    One of the reasons for the high cost of goods here in Hawaii is the Jones Act. It requires that everything shipped to HI must come from a mainland port on an American ship. Much of what we get here sails right by us going from Asia to the mainland, and then back here, at a very high cost.
     


  10. capta

    capta

    Joined Jun 4, 2009
    3,046 posts, 1,098 likes
    Pearson 530
    na Admiralty Bay, Bequia SVG
    The Hawaiian Islands run east to west for the most part, so it would only be a one-way trip under sail.
    The reason it would have worked in the eastern Caribbean is that the islands run north to south in easterly winds. Beat to Trinidad with a fully laden, therefore at max draft vessel, then close reach up the islands to St Martin, then run back to PR. And schooners, not square-rigged vessels so you had the ability to beat and sail close hauled, and the cargo offloading ability of the union purchase, using the gaffs and booms of the gaff rigged schooners.
    There are very few places in the world where this could actually work if one factors in all the variables.
     


    Last edited: Mar 8, 2019
    Tom J likes this.
  11. Joe

    Joe

    Joined Jun 1, 2004
    6,659 posts, 421 likes
    Catalina 27
    US Mission Bay, San Diego
    Sailing cargo ships.... heh, heh.... I think that's the reason Josh Slocum decided to go cruising...

    The age of steam pretty much killed the sailing cargo industry....and also spawned the maligned formula for "theoretical hull speed" into an economic model.
     


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  12. Rick Webb

    Rick Webb

    Joined Jun 2, 2004
    2,812 posts, 177 likes
    Hunter 23.5
    US Fort Walton Yacht Club, Florida
    If the business model is to make money off the investors to fund someones hobby then I see great potential here. If the model is create a profit generating enterprise then this was probably thought up by a couple of stoned art school drop outs.
     


    Last edited: Mar 6, 2019
    Will Gilmore and capta like this.
  13. Brian D

    Brian D Moderator

    Joined Feb 17, 2006
    4,412 posts, 1,036 likes
    Lancer 27PS
    US MCB Camp Pendleton, Ca KF6BL
    Giving a new meaning to "slow boat to...".
     


  14. RoyS

    RoyS

    Joined Jun 3, 2012
    473 posts, 187 likes
    Hunter 33
    US Bay Pointe, Quincy
    If you are ever in Greenwich, England, be sure to visit the great sailing ship, Cutty Sark. The last surviving clipper ship set speed records while transporting tea. P1010049.JPG
     


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  15. rgranger

    rgranger

    Joined Jan 19, 2010
    6,095 posts, 1,589 likes
    Hunter 26
    US Smith Mountain Lake
    I think it would work for specialty items. For instance people pay a premium for "female owned & farmed" coffee or "rain forest alliance" coffee or "organic" coffee (that one makes me laugh).

    I had the same dream of shipping coffee by sail 12 years ago (as did many others) and even sketched out a business plan. I believe you could add $2/lb to the shipping cost of the coffee and the retailer would only have to charge an extra $0.5 a cup to make a nice margin. You just need a partner to distribute and market the coffee.

    Promote it as "low carbon" coffee or some other granola like thing.
     


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  16. Joe

    Joe

    Joined Jun 1, 2004
    6,659 posts, 421 likes
    Catalina 27
    US Mission Bay, San Diego
    One of my early inspirations..... sail cargo concept+exotic location+cool boat+handsome skipper = "Adventures in Paradise"
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     


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  17. Will Gilmore

    Will Gilmore

    Joined Oct 19, 2017
    4,586 posts, 2,531 likes
    O'Day 19
    US Littleton, NH
    If a squares'l schooner is their working design, they should consider a new architect. I have to say, the squares'l design makes me think the whole thing is an investor's scam designed to appeal to a romantic concept of throwback shipping from the "simple days" of sail. I might consider such a thing for one man or a single married couple to do for the love of it, but that type of wind power doesn't have sustainable economics. A better solution would be electric motor driven wave, wind and solar powered vessel exploiting the most efficient new design knowledge. It's accessible. This concept is just limited.

    -Will (Dragonfly)
     


  18. Parsons

    Parsons

    Joined Jul 12, 2011
    740 posts, 312 likes
    Catalina 36
    US Bay City, MI
    Not exactly, but close. Jones Act requires that things shipped between US ports must be US-flagged, US-build bottoms, US-crewed, US-safety inspected, etc. Shipping stuff from San Diego to HI requires Jones Act shipping. Shipping from Shanghai to you doesn't. The reason Chinese made stuff goes right past you is economics of scale, not law. They could stop one of those COSCO 16,000 TEU container boats in Honolulu, and offload fifty containers for local use, and the import port would just be Honolulu. It's just economically difficult to justify the stop.
     


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  19. Rick Webb

    Rick Webb

    Joined Jun 2, 2004
    2,812 posts, 177 likes
    Hunter 23.5
    US Fort Walton Yacht Club, Florida
    A big part of that is the "Paradise Tax". When I lived there and they still grew pineapples and sugar we paid more for the pineapples, sugar and even macadamia nuts than mainlanders did. For a long time after I moved to the mainland my mom would send me macadamia nuts at Christmas paying more for them than I would around the corner at the local grocery store. People are accustom to paying more fore everything so they do not question paying more for everything
     


  20. DArcy - Islay Mist

    DArcy - Islay Mist

    Joined Feb 11, 2017
    335 posts, 279 likes
    C&C 27 MkII
    Ca Ottawa
    Some parts of the world still deliver cargo by sail. Check out the sail cargo boats of Madagascar at the 8:19 mark of this Patrick Childress video

    - the rest of the video is worth watching too :)
     


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