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These guys are making sail work with 50 metric ton loads going transatlantic in a purpose-built schooner 72' long. They're doing 2 to 3 round-trips a year from France:https://graindesail.com/fr/content/14-notre-voilier-cargo-grain-de-sail. They import the raw materials that they process and sell, and export their finished product along with other luxury goods. They are well financed by an ongoing successful company. If you can find a business that doesn't mind long delivery times and which is willing to absorb some of the added costs in order to be "green", you may have a niche you can make work. Used boats big enough to be useful for carrying freight are not easy to find. Many that might seem affordable at first may not be in good condition. Good luck.
 

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Green?
I doubt it. Yes it may use less tons of fossil fuel/year but probably more per pound of cargo.
Your crew taking 3 months to do a trip that a cago shop takes 8 days think of 3 months of food, fuel, effluent, ropes (made of fossil fuel plastics) sails made of plastics) etc compared to 8 days /pound.

Further you state a few time fossil fuel prices will rise in the future. Why? How? Most economists think it will drop are other energy comes on line as tgeres a world production glut by countries like Iran. That won't be over in a week.

There's different ways to rape the earth, and sailing cargo around it may turn out to be one way.

Mark
Good article by Richard Jagels in WoodenBoat this month about the carbon footprint of different boat construction options - wood, fiberglass, aluminum... and the implications. Everything we do has implications, and we learn as we go what we have to do to to keep going. We learned early that you don't build latrines uphill from where you're living. It goes on. We will figure it out.
 

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That's great information and a great idea. Thank you for sharing, let me know if you have any other good info you don't mind parting with! fair winds!
Neoline has been lining up shippers in France like Beneteau, Michelin, Hennesey & Co. and others for over a year for their sail cargo project: Home - NEOLINE Wind powered transatlantic shipping. In June they signed a letter of intent with a shipyard in the Loire Valley (Nantes region) for building a 136m RO-RO sail cargo vessel. There are a lot of pieces in the puzzle.
 

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5000 tons (10 million pounds) of high value cargo :)
Tires, cognac and sailboats, at least. The E.U. is calling for companies to reduce their carbon footprints so they are signing on with that in mind.
 

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Thank you for posting that. I knew ships were efficient but I never would have guessed that they were that much more efficient than rail. I don't know if this is still true but one of the efficiencies that diesel powered ships used to have is that they burned Bunker C, and that saved the energy losses and carbon footprint of refinement.

Jeff
Must be the friction of the wheels on the freight cars compared to the drag on a ship's hull. A ship can probably carry many trains' worth of cargo. It would help to understand the methodology of the comparison too, though. The article in WoodenBoat this month describes some of the assumptions about carbon footprint made in the construction of a pinasse. These obviously have effects on the results.
 

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St Lawrence Seaway? Rail Lines run parallel to the whole thing. View attachment 141322
Maybe because it's flat there and it costs too much to build the bridges? It's also where the markets are, because the people settled along the waterways in the first place. That was how they transported their supplies in and their production out before there were trains.

Kivalo's point about finding a niche in underserved villages is still valid, even if sail would cost a bit more. Tug/Barge service to these towns is not quick or frequent. A sailing vessel coming in a few times a year might provide more service than they get now and get them goods that won't fit on the puddle-jumper planes that carry urgent supplies in Alaska. (Which also has to cost something.) Pipeline revenues might allow tribes/villages to pay for a small scale operation; it's not going to be as capital-intensive as Crowley Towing.
 
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