Transporting sailboats under sail? That sounds like a cool concept, and it’s one that looks set to become reality in 2021 when shipping company Neoline brings its sailing cargo ships into service.
Groupe Beneteau has committed to transporting boats between Europe and the United States on Neoliners, 450ft-long roll-on, roll-off ships carrying 45,000ft of sail. The company has worked with Neoline on the design of the ships, which can carry its largest monohulls and catamarans. Unlike most yacht transporters, the Neoliners’ cargo will be sheltered belowdecks.
The transatlantic route between St. Nazaire, France and the U.S. East Coast is tailormade for Beneteau, which exports much of its production to the United States and Canada. Initially, two of the ships are being built; Neoline claims the designs will cut greenhouse gas emissions by 90 percent compared to conventionally powered ships of similar size.