110-year-old sailboat to be transformed into zero-emissions cargo ship

With the evolution of wind energy, which has proved to be a largely renewable energy source, sailboats have returned to the showcase of the maritime industry. Sometimes even in unusual models, as is the case of the Tukker, a sailboat from the beginning of the 20th century that will be converted into a cargo ship with zero emissions. The project is from Dutch startup EcoClipper, which sees the future of the cargo industry in sailing boats.

Built in 1912, the Tukker is a klipper —or schoeneraak —sailboat, a type of vessel designed for high speeds because of its sharp lines, high mast, and good length of canvas. The boat was already operating as a freighter in the early 20th century, in the North Sea, and in the 1980s it was reused to be used as a training vessel for needy youth.

Tukker sailboat in 1912
Tukker in 1912 (Ecoclipper/Disclosure)

The future zero-emissions sailboat was retired in 2012 due to lack of repairs, but now the EcoClipper team says it is ready to put the sailboat back in action. To this end, some actions are planned, such as the construction of a new deck house and updating of on-board equipment and systems.

With a barge format and an almost flat base, the Tukker can hold up to 12 people and transport more than 70 tons of cargo. When ready, it will become EcoClipper's first retrofit freighter and also the first sailing freighter to operate the North Sea route with fixed service.

Prototype zero-emission sailboat EcoClipper500
3D rendering of the sailboat EcoClipper 500 (Disclosure/EcoClipper)

Other projects

In addition to the Tukker, EcoClipper is also preparing a modern sailboat concept, the EcoClipper 500, which aims to increase the propulsion of a freighter to more than 23 sails, and a prototype based on an older model, dating from the 19th century.

Future vessels will operate on fixed routes and follow a regular schedule. According to the startup, this is the best way to take advantage of its browsing capabilities.

Image: EcoClipper/Disclosure (original photo of the Tukker in 1912)

Read too:

  • Sailing cargo ship wants to be the future of emission-free transport
  • Roboship: an eco-friendly hybrid-electric cargo ship developed by Mitsubishi
  • La Naumon: a sustainable wind-powered “theater ship”

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