Clipper cargo/cruise sailing boat

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Surfer Naval Architect, Apr 19, 2020.

  1. Surfer Naval Architect
    Joined: Feb 2018
    Posts: 46
    Likes: 1, Points: 8
    Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands

    Surfer Naval Architect Naval Architect

    Thanks for the link!
  2. Surfer Naval Architect
    Joined: Feb 2018
    Posts: 46
    Likes: 1, Points: 8
    Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands

    Surfer Naval Architect Naval Architect

    Sorry, I don't really follow your point. Why you should have smaller container ships?
  3. Dejay
    Joined: Mar 2018
    Posts: 721
    Likes: 138, Points: 43
    Location: Europe

    Dejay Senior Newbie

    From what I understand (little) kite sails can only assist large cargo vessels and save some fuel. So I assume you'd need smaller cargo ships that are relatively lighter if you'd want to use kite sails to power them exclusively. Would probably make logistics a nightmare though.
  4. Surfer Naval Architect
    Joined: Feb 2018
    Posts: 46
    Likes: 1, Points: 8
    Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands

    Surfer Naval Architect Naval Architect

    I fully agree with you.

    Why do you say "simply better"? Do you have a physical explanation about that? links. pdf that you could share?

    Fully agree with you on this point, Do you know a technique in these days which could be even better than Dynarigs?

    Of course with Dynarig you will not need to many trainees on board, but also very expensive for a general cargo. So I would like to find a compromise between a Dynarig and a square riggers.

    Well, coffee, tabacco, cacao, rum etc are in my opinion is not very specialized, but maybe I don't get your point here. About trainees can be arranged with sailor schools.

    As renewable fuel, so to keep the speed competitive, even in case of no wind.
  5. Surfer Naval Architect
    Joined: Feb 2018
    Posts: 46
    Likes: 1, Points: 8
    Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands

    Surfer Naval Architect Naval Architect

    Yes, and indeed I don't think as well that the kite sails would a be a good application in case of clippers.
  6. Dolfiman
    Joined: Aug 2017
    Posts: 1,466
    Likes: 640, Points: 113
    Location: France

    Dolfiman Senior Member

  7. Rumars
    Joined: Mar 2013
    Posts: 1,496
    Likes: 804, Points: 113, Legacy Rep: 39
    Location: Germany

    Rumars Senior Member

    Square sails vs. spinnaker: this is a simple geometry problem. Rectangle bigger then triangle so square sails (wich are actually trapezoidal) allow more sailarea. Then you have the handling. Asymmetrical spinnakers can be furled and left standing but you still need to change them for wind conditions, symetrical go only up and down. The whole problem relates to the size of the sails and the ship, big heavy ships are better of with only working sails. I think the biggest ship with triangular sails is the Club Med 2 with 2400sqm and she is a motorsailor and uses staysails not actual spinnakers. The square rigged Flying Clipper has ~6300sqm, and the smaller P-liners had ~4000sqm.

    Square sail handling: you don't need to invent anything here, apply existing technology. With straight yards you can use roller furling, the sail furls inside the yard. The technology is used for in-mast or in-boom furling of yacht mainsails. Lines can be captive on reel electric winches. On the Dynarig they had to move the furling units into the mast because of the curved yards. If ou want to know more about modern square sail rigging you need to study the work of Zygmunt Choreń, no way around it.

    Cargo: rum, coffee, cacao, etc. do not pay the bills, the trainees do. You do not pay the trainees, they pay you. This is like "active cruising", the guests pay the bill. The cargo is only there as an excuse, greenwashing the trip. If you want a true cargo operation you optimise the vessel for the lowest manpower possible, select a cargo that is expensive enough and can take 200% price increase from the transport by sail then choose a route that has you sailing in profit both ways. There are only a few realistic scenarios for this, and we can discuss them if you want. Otherwise you concentrate yourself on the cruise/sail training aspect and the cargo is "free".

    Green fuel: first you decide if you have a sail ship or a motor ship with sail assistance. This will define how much power and fuel you need. Then you go for the fuel that offers the most energy per volume and weight for the lowest price. Availability and reliability also plays a role. I would investigate synthetic diesel obtained by air to fuel technologies.
  8. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
    Posts: 2,929
    Likes: 1,140, Points: 113, Legacy Rep: 37
    Location: Barbados

    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    Surfer, I hope that you can appreciate the points that Rumars is (very politely) offering to you.
    No matter how efficient your outfit is, how new your ship is, you will have to compete with the others out there who have the same idea.

    There is a reason why container ships evolved - because they basically give you the most 'bang for your buck' now when carrying general cargo.
    And a 'big' container ship does not necessarily need more crew than a 'small' one - at a minimum, they might need a Captain, 1st Mate, 2nd Mate, 3 seamen / deckhands, 2 Engineers, a couple of Engineer's assistants and a Cook.
    That is already 11 crew.
    A MUCH larger container ship might also have a 3rd Mate, a Bosun, an extra Engineer and assistant, and maybe a Cook's assistant. So 16 crew - for a vessel maybe 2 or 3 times as big.
    And this is generous - Emma Maersk is one of the largest cruise ships in operation, and her standard crew complement is apparently 13.
    Emma Mærsk - Wikipedia

    Where are the funds going to come from to pay 36 (or any) trainees, when your competition is struggling to compete by charging trainees for the privilege of sailing with them?
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2020
  9. Dejay
    Joined: Mar 2018
    Posts: 721
    Likes: 138, Points: 43
    Location: Europe

    Dejay Senior Newbie

    As a "green tourism" cruise it could be a growing market. Flying with airplanes or cruise lines are simply terrible for the environment until they can be run by sustainable fuels like hydrogen or synthetic diesel. So there might be a market niche opening for eco conscious tourists. Maybe?

    Going to the tropics on an "active cruising" voyage does sound like fun. Instead of opulent distractions you instead offer lots of interesting learning based courses. Learn how to sail, learn how to read the weather, let your cook teach about healthy diet and common foods, learn fishing, marine biology with some microscopes, cooking courses, learn woodworking, learn how to navigate by the stars and make fun games with it. The first one to find the big dipper first can be captain for a day! Learn history. Make it the historic voyage of Mr. Very-Important-So-and-So. You could also give an excuse to allow people to dress in Victorian attire.

    It's not going to be some get rich quick scheme but if you like the idea of sailing on a clipper then with the right marketing you'll find others who also like it.

    Dump the cargo, build more crew quarters. Well maybe have a little cargo, like one or two wine barrels just for show and are definitely off limits.
    bajansailor likes this.
  10. clmanges
    Joined: Jul 2008
    Posts: 529
    Likes: 110, Points: 43, Legacy Rep: 32
    Location: Ohio

    clmanges Senior Member

    Careful now, that could be an eight-year-old kid! ;-)
    Dejay likes this.
  11. Phil_B
    Joined: Mar 2019
    Posts: 24
    Likes: 17, Points: 3
    Location: New Zealand

    Phil_B Junior Member

    There are two books you need to read and take the lessons from. They are:

    The Merchant Schooners by Basil Greenhill

    The Search for Speed Under Sail by Howard I Chapelle

    From Greenhill he carefully explains why motor ships eliminated sail - they were RELIABLE and he describes how many, many sailing ships were stuck, often for weeks on end in ports or bays waiting for a favourable wind. The motor vessel cost more to run but could make far more round trip voyages than the sail in a year so the overall profit was greater. Also they were RELIABLE - have I mentioned this before? - and a factory or the destination could rely on them turning up on time. That was at the turn of the 19th to 20th century - and that world and pace of life is as extinct as the dinosaurs. Nowadays your potential cargo consignee will not tolerate "we'll get there when we get there" as they have staff machinery etc. lying idle waiting for you to arrive with the raw goods. Would you personally put up with ordering something like a refrigerator, a TV or furniture and be satisfied with such an unreliable delivery when it is not costing you money to wait for the item? So why would a commercial businessman do the same when he has far greater costs than you sitting around waiting for delivery of a non essential item?

    Chapelle sets out the financial case of locking up cash for long periods where you will be paying interest on it for the goods on board a ship and cannot realise the investment on the cargo. Hence the desire for faster and faster ships so that the cargo could be delivered and sold to pay off the borrowed capital. The same factors apply today - the container ships crossing the Pacific cruise at 30 knots - see here :

    Fastest Container and Cargo Ships in the World

    Why speed matters in container shipping | Refinitiv Perspectives

    The shipping companies and their customers are willing to pay for the GTI version of these ships because the value of the cargo is so great that they want it delivered and sold as soon as possible. Imagine a 40 foot container filled with Apple phones or computers and the value of that container. They will not be happy with paying the interest on the amount of cash tied up in value of that lot for longer than absolutely necessary. You are between a rock and a hard place when it comes to high value cargo that would make the voyage potentially pay but will need to deliver it in the shortest possible time and a low value cargo (coal, iron ore, wheat etc.) that can turn up with any delay acceptable and the shipping rates being too low to make it worthwhile.

    Together with the fact that the sailing vessel can be delayed unpredictably by weather and lack of wind, then from a ship owners point of view, predictability and shortest possible time between the ports outweighs the additional costs in crew wages, fuel and the initial cost of the ship in the first instance. In other words, RELIABILITY in the timing of the delivery of cargo is what is wanted.

    In short, please take a hard, financial look at the project and see if it is viable from that point of view. It is good to have a dream and ambition but without the modern practicalities of cash flow and profit, it would be short sighted to embark on the project with an "I'm sure that it will be all right" attitude. As the old saying goes, no one plans to fail but many fail to plan.

    I tried to look at your profile to see where you are based but you have hidden it. However, if you are in any 1st world country, very, very carefully study the rules and regulations you must work under in operating a ship (either passenger or cargo) plus taking legal advice on how to comply with the regulations is essential. I know that America only permits American registered ships to operate in American coastal waters so if you imagine you can operate like a trucking company carrying cargo from (say) New York to Florida, then the full library of regulations must be complied with. Tom Colvin describes this in his books when he ran a shipbuilding yard and tried to get deliveries as economically as possible and used to discuss it on his web site. Bureaucracies the word over have the brakes of a 44 ton truck and the engine of a lawnmower - in other words, it is a lot easier for them to stop you than you to make progress in overcoming the hurdles.

    You will of course, have to deal with the Unions and their wage rates and conditions of work etc. ... that is something to bear very firmly in mind too.

    I am puzzled with your repeatedly mentioning "green technologies" and hydrogen/ammonia. I am not sure where this fits into your business plan unless you are trying to jump on the bandwagon of "green" to entice investors. What are you going to use the hydrogen and ammonia for? How are you going to generate the hydrogen? Unless you are going to use tried and tested, established technologies then that is another big risk to the project and sorting out and making viable a totally new technology is definitely going to take at least twice as long as you anticipate and likely cost 5 times your original estimate.

    There is very little new in naval architecture or technology that will somehow raise your project from being a money pit to even a break even proposition. Others have commented above and given valuable insights into various aspects that they are knowledgeable about - the tenor of the replies seems to me to point to the project being not viable.

    Please look at it from a different perspective and examine all the snags, pitfalls and hazards dispassionately. if you are confident of overcoming ALL of them and have a method or solution to do so, then OK, then examine the benefits and see if the benefits outweigh the problems. For your own sake and sanity!
  12. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
    Posts: 2,929
    Likes: 1,140, Points: 113, Legacy Rep: 37
    Location: Barbados

    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    Very well said Phil - you nailed it absolutely there.
    Surfer, please do take note - remember it is very difficult to re-invent the proverbial wheel.
  13. CDBarry
    Joined: Nov 2002
    Posts: 805
    Likes: 37, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 354
    Location: Maryland

    CDBarry Senior Member

    It is not easy to make a profit carrying cargo of any type with any ship. However, the point is to start with a trade / cargo. Getting cargo is the hard part.
  14. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
    Posts: 15,958
    Likes: 1,296, Points: 123, Legacy Rep: 2031
    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    In the age of sail, they made money because they treated the crew like mangy dogs and feed them crap. Also, they crammed them on the forepeak and left most of the ship for cargo. You won't get trainees nowadays that will put up with that. The trend, even for large ships, is to go larger and carry containers. They are the money makers. "Green technologies" will add even more expense. You can't beat fuel oil for economy. You will be competing with a few others for scraps on cargo by people that want to feel good about themselves because they are "green". There are coastal sailing ships in Third World countries that make a living. However, once again, your trainees would not put up with the working conditions.
    bajansailor likes this.

  15. Mirones
    Joined: Jul 2020
    Posts: 6
    Likes: 8, Points: 3
    Location: Germany

    Mirones Junior Member

    new guy here that considers Cargosailing too and by that being more than just a Shareholder.

    as actually shown by Timbercoast you cant just go big or go home. without Cargo to keep the Hold full all the time you can get into the Red's pretty easy.
    these massiv Clipper plans that People dream off will not be viable for years without build up of sub-infastructure.
    Just compare on how the modern Trading with Containers work :
    Europe to Asia - Central Hubs at each end that webs out to smaller ports. i.e. Hamburg/Rotterdam for Europe from wich smaller Vessel go out to the Ports in the North Sea, Baltic and Mediterran Sea.

    With an Clipper you cant just hop from Island to Island in the Caribbean or do Coastal hugging along the Coast of Europe for these Areas you need multiple smaller Feeders that fill up strategicly located Ports with Warehouses until the big ones roll in to Fill their hold and drop of the goods that will be distributed to the other ports by the local fleet.

    Timbercoast has the issue that the some Request for Transport are: 1 to small to fill the Hold of the Avonturr, 2 to much of an Detour for the small amount, 3 the ship is on the other side of the Atlantic and the Cargo is to be transported within european Waters, 4 the Vessel is to small for the amount of Cargo they had to turn down some Contracts simply because they cant fit 250t inside a 100t hold that allready has some Cargo in it. the big Succes the Avontuur had in its Career was when she was doing Inter-Island trading in the Caribbean with a full hold every week, the only time she wasnt hauling was durring the time of both World Wars.

    what you need is an Route that is delicate and that can eliminate conventional transportation.

    Example 1 : Cargo Sailingvessel Undine was operating on the Route: Hamburg - Sylt the Competition: 40t Semi Trucks that unlike common believe cant transport 40t max 22t or less depending on weight of the Trailer-Typ and Equipment, from working in an Central Logistic Hub i know that incase of an Fully Isolated with Cooling unit it can drop down as low as 18t for Cargo. ontop of that they have regulated Steering Times. then the connection from land to the Island is a limited amount of Trips via Train or Ferry and the Service of the Ferry is going to go down in near Future increasing the Logistical Bottleneck even further. in the Time it take for Cargo to go from Hamburg to Sylt via Truck the Undine would not only carry more than the standard Truck it would also allready be one third or half way on the way back because with Crewshifts the Ship can sail nonstop.

    Example 2 : Bahamas
    Olive Oil lovely for Cooking and i use it for making Pasta i love it. the Bottle 300ml costs me usally between 3-6€ in a local discounter. According to an Travel Blog Channel from Youtube that same bottle would cost me in a Supermarket on Marsh Harbour up to 90 USD. Shallow Water means you cant Acces these areas with normal sized Cargo Vessel what they use instead is a flat Barge with some Containers on it geting pushed or pulled across the Gulf-stream from Florida, something you cant really do every Day because of the Weather and local Conditions. the other Option they have is Air Travel usally in the shape of the Cessna Caravan for the smaller Islands wich means even less amount of Cargo can be Transported at once and at an even higher cost.
    Add to that the Fact that Bahamas pay low taxes so the Import-Tax is increased to make up for it and you reach the 90 USD price-tag of some Olive Oil. a 68feet Bermuda Sloop with shallow draft would be ideal, not to confuse with the Bermuda Sloop Rigging. the Difrence between the Bermuda and Jamaican Sloop was the Beam and Draft needed for the Area of Operation:
    Bermuda - Wide and Shallow, Jamaica slightly Sleeker and deeper Draft.

    Example 3 : Do what the Kwai is doing in the Pacific Ocean servicing remote Islands, while also being able to Load and Unload itself using the Mainsail Boom as Crane a Concept that could also be viable for an 3 masted Shooner with Crane boom on the For- and Main-Mast with the Mizzen remaining normal.

    there is also the Fair-Ferry company from the Netherlands wich aims to Establish a Ferry Line between Rotterdam and London using Sailships or other Locations that it can be aplied to.
    Timbercoast and Fair-Ferry is currently negotiating wich kind of Classification the Anny of Hamburg, Sistership to 'Eye of the Wind' and Brigantes (under Restauration as Cargosailer in Italy) wich was Placed by the Owner into custody of Timbercoast, original Idea was to rip out the Interior and convert her from being an Cruiser for Sailing Törns into a Cargovessel but the Interior was into good Condition and high Quality that destroying it was a waste and shame and they want to keep it. i hinted Fair-Ferry and Timbercoast via Facebook about working together and appartly are doing now.

    Kite assisted Cargo Transport: Low Effort low Cost Marketing-Gag from the Shiping industry as response to growing concern about them overpoluting everything using grude oil, not worth looking further into it for your Project. the fact there is no Dynarigged Tanker in existance yet is beyond my understanding specially since 90% of the Deckspace is unused.

    Hydrogen/NG as fuel: Natural Gas is a Fosile energy source just like regular Oil so again Marketing wich also makes an big Boom when something goes wrong. an LNG Tanker exploding in Rotterdam will not only wipe out the City but also the ones around it, no thanks. Hydrogen needs to be generated first and claim of using renewable Energy is absurd. the Infastructure within Germany is Pathetic and wont change much within the next 20-30 years and Hydrogen also makes a nice big boom.

    the solution is Electric Propulsion wich is used like Sail-Cargo Inc.'s Ceiba and alot of other smaller Yachts and Tallships. while under Sail you can let the Drag of the Props in the Water spin the motor generating electric power wich in Ceiba's case enables it to have an chilled Hold wich increases the aviable Fair-Trade goods it will be able to carry like Fruits and other Vegetables increasing the options to turn a Profit.

    If you want to make alot of Money as Naval Architect right now help the growing Cargo Sailing Movement by creating the literal 'Ford Transit' of the Seas that is cheap and affordable as starting Vessel for the People that Consider an Careerchange from normal Landbased jobs to Sailing after geting the Comercial License from Enkhuizer Zeevaartschool (EZS info engl. located in the Netherlands or anyother place where you can get similar License. These small Vessels will act the same way as the Feeders feeding Hamburg and Rotterdam but instead your Clipper when ever it gets Launched. Designed as an CnC-Plasma Cut Steelkit would cut down build cost dramasticly with the lack of Template making and fitting everything. I am thinking of something in the 25-35m Length as Topsail-Shooner to keep the needed amound of Crew low, similar size as Tress Hombress or other converted Kfk's ( Kriegsfischkutter/ War-Fishing Trawler) wich are Oak on Ironframing. Incase of the Avatar based in Enkhuizen the wooden Hull was Replaced with Corten-steel.

    Currently there is more Cargo than aviable Cargospace for Cargosailing. all we have is:
    5t to 10t or lower Cargo-Sloops like the Grayhound Lugger, Nordlys Ketches or small Sloops like Luna from Charlston
    10t - 50t small to medium Schooners and Brigs or Barges: Tress Hombress, Ruth, Undine, Hawila
    50t-250t large Shooners : Avontuur, Ceiba, Brigantes, Solent Windshiptrust, SV Kwai
    for everything larger we have the generic Daydreaming of Wooden Clippers, Dynarig Vessels like the Ecoliner Project and the 85m Scotish answer to the Flying P-Liner the 'Falls of Clyde' wich is 4 masted Rustbucket decintegrading in Hawaii unless it gets finally transported to Glasgow when the Funding is finally reached. that would make more of an Impression on the Shiping Industry than our generic Sloop.

    so yeah, design something that is affordable in the 15-40 meter range that could be build or Purchased be newcomers in this branch like me or others and that would be the first step of many to suport the operation of an larger Clipper. there is also the idea of using Air ISO Containers for Shiping via Sailship since they are slightly smaller than 10 Feet Containers and have a slightly wedged shape to fit into Aircraft that would come in handy for the more rounded shaped Hulls of Sailing Vessel.

Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.