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Barebones post today . . .  since these photos I took between 1030 and 1130.  By now, 1230, they’ve dropped the pilot at the end of Ambrose and set a course for . . .  warmer weather and

(but first sails need to be raised…

and adjusted.)

… warmer weather in Dominican Republic, where a load of cocoa awaits in that tropical heat, two weeks or so ahead.

Mid North River, they tacked and 

waved at the French Lady and

us . .  on the Media Boat

and they headed for the opening.

Bon voyage.  Many thanks to Bjoern at the New York Media Boat.

All photos, WVD.

More context . . .  see previous installments of Grain de Sail here. For info on their cargo, click here.

First you might want to watch these three videos of this vessel traveling from France to the US.  They merit subtitles like setting out,   riding the storm,  and fooling around.  All the talk is in French, but you don’t need to understand to catch the spirit.   OK, here’s a fourth clip with more great sailing.

When I posted part 1, I wasn’t sure I’d get to visit the boat. You also can visit the boat by “buying” a free ticket . . . a crowd control protocol.  As soon as some sail repairs are complete, the schooner heads south to the Caribbean to pick up coffee and cocoa beans, then to France, back to NYC . .  etc.  They call it a virtuous circle, not triangular trade.  The virtue part of the trade is delivery of humanitarian goods from NYC to parts of the Caribbean, e.g., school supplies . . . 

The cutaway below shows the hold, between the masts.  There’s space there for 28 pallets, 50 tons.  A photo of the hold I took follows eventually below. 

Grain de Sail is a prototype.  It’s referred to as a VOTAAN 72, seventy-two feet loa, and VOTAAN is the acronym for “V oilier O céanic de T ransport tr A ns A tlantic i N novating“, which translates as “innovative [cargo] transportation by trans-Atlantic sailing,”  which, IMHO alludes obliquely to the fact that the point is to carry cargo, in this instance, wine, up to 18,000 bottles of a number of varieties of it. Here’s an interview with Matthieu Riou, U.S. Wine & Spirits Director at Grain de Sail, vessel name and company name .  As to it being a working prototype, designers in France are already working on the follow up, a 50-meter sailing ship with five times the capacity.

Although Marseille is the port of registry, the home port is Saint-Malo in Brittany. Many more details on the vessels, its sails, and its captain can be found here. The captain, Loïc Briand, joined the project as a way of doing something different after years of working on North Sea wind projects.

The vessel can fly seven sails:  mainsail, foremast, staysail, ORC, solent, genoa and asymmetric spinnaker.  It also has a 115 hp Nanni engine, used only for maneuvering in port. 

Here’s the open-though-protected helm, with stowage space for harnesses and helmets, and forward of that

is the enclosed cockpit.  Children of Grain de Sail employees by in France have sent along their stuffed animals as proxies for themselves seeing the oceanic marvels.

And finally . . . this is the hold.  Attention has been paid to secure cargo stowage on motor vessels in designing this hold.  Pad eyes abound, and air bags are placed in voids to prevent cargo shift.  A custom hand truck (yellow and festooned with straps) stows very low profile.

Here’s a shot of the cargo being loaded into the hold, and

Showing scale, here Matthieu and Stefan Gallard hold their logo, and

topside, there’s more.  L to r, it’s daughter with bowsprite, Laurent Apollon, Capt. Loïc Briand, and yours truly . . .  WVD.  And to the right, the gwenn-ha-du, the flag of Brittany.

Again, see above for tickets to visit the boat in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.  No wine is available for sale on the boat;  that was offloaded in Port Elizabeth last week and “resting” after the voyage.  You can get info on that purchasing here

All color photos, WVD.

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