Ship sail

EcoClipper says first ship will sail by mid-August

Dutch zero-carbon sailing company EcoClipper will operate its first vessel from mid-August carrying passengers and cargo on routes across the North Sea, English Channel and Bay of Biscay.

The 40m long De Tukker (built in 2012) will be able to carry a maximum of 70 tonnes of cargo and 12 passengers between the ports of Amsterdam, London, Porto and Antwerp.

The vessel is currently undergoing refit at Talsma shipyard in the Netherlands, where her draft has been increased by an extended keel to provide more stable sailing.

Research is underway to install a propeller generator and solar panels on the galley deckhouse to cover the lighting system and onboard navigation and further reduce fossil fuel use, EcoClipper said.

The company added that it was talking to potential partners including broker New Dawn Traders, sailing holiday agent Classic Sailing and sustainable ferry service FairFerry. UK brokers Shipped by Sail and Raybel Charters have also been approached, he said.

EcoClipper was founded in 2018 by Captain Jorne Langelaan, co-founder of Fairtransport, and plans to develop a fleet of sailboats offering zero-emission transport and travel around the world.

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Its three-square-mast EcoClipper500 prototype aims to transport 500 tons of cargo on the world’s deep-sea routes.

It will be a steel replica of the Noach clipper originally built in 1857, which has been called the fastest Dutch sailing ship ever.

Langelaan said De Tukker’s schedule offers a good mix of large and small ports. “It will increase the visibility of the sailing freight and sailing travel industries.”