Commercial Sail – Sail Assisted Fishing and Cargo Carrying Thames River Barge

Two very interesting projects involving commercial sail from the Traditional Sail Professionals Linked-in Group.  In Brittany, Avel Marine‘s Project Grand Largue is designing and testing auxiliary sailing rigs for existing fishing vessels.  The design features a bipod mast and easily handled sails. The rig has been installed on two boats so far – the 16m 65 tonner wooden trawler Grand Largue and a former navy tug, Mango, with promising results. In a 15 – 20 knot wind the Grand Largue has achieved fuel savings of  43% fuel, at a speed of 7.4 knots and up to 35% at a speed of 8 knots.

On the other side of the channel, the Sea-Change Sailing Trust‘s mission is to make “a real impact on the lives of disabled, disadvantaged and socially excluded young people.”  They hope to do so through their programs sailing a cargo carrying Thames River barge. They currently charter a barge but are raising money to build a faithful replica of the steel Blue Mermaid, built in 1930.

The Cargo Carrying Thames Barge Under Sail – Our Vision, Our Philosophy

We now come to the specifics of the creation of a Thames Sailing Barge to carry cargo under sail in the 21st century. This barge will provide a vocational opportunity, which will test young people’s endurance, courage, and sense of responsibility and initiative. The programme, which they will undertake is based on a series of challenges which in their acceptance demand concentration of mind, body and spirit. The activities are designed so that each young person can respond in accordance with his or her capacity and, by sustained effort under guidance and encouragement, meet the challenge of bettering their own performance.  

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2 Responses to Commercial Sail – Sail Assisted Fishing and Cargo Carrying Thames River Barge

  1. BobK says:

    How long will it be until we re-discover the merits of sail in the US?? Plenty of commercial opportunity all over the US, not only on the coasts but on the Great Lakes and any other major fishery or commercial waterway. 35% fuel savings is enough to get anyone’s attention and the beauty of sail is that the wind is still free.

    Great article, and it will be interesting to see what someone can design from the keel up using modern techniques and materials as opposed to a retrofit. There are lots of boat lofts out there still teaching boat making, and necessity ($8/Gal+ marine diesel) has always been the Mother of Invention….

  2. Dear Sir,
    you and your followers might be interested to view a specialised offshore sail assisted Albacore Tuna troller that I have worked up over a number of years. Website;
    While it was designed as a sail assisted Tuna Troller fishing vessel initially, the potential for cargo carrying is there with the hold amidships and the clean, clear forward deck space that my rig set up allows for loading and discharging cargo.
    I look forward to any incoming comments.
    Best regards

    Rodney Davidson