Grain De Sail signs with Piriou for its next cargo boat


Posted on February 15, 2022 at 6:49 p.m. by

The Maritime Executive

[By: International Windship Association]

After a consultation process lasting several months, Grain de Sail signed the construction contract with Piriou for its future cargo sailboat on February 11 during the One Ocean Summit week in Brest aboard Grain de Sail 1. The rigging will be provided by Lorima. The delivery of Grain de Sail 2, a pure sailboat cargo ship with more than 350 tons of payload capacity, is scheduled for the end of 2023. The Morlaix company will thus add a second cargo ship to its carbon-free maritime fleet in order to extend its transport capacities and meet the growing demand for its coffees and chocolates.

Since November 2020, Grain de Sail has been operating the world’s first modern cargo sailboat to meet international maritime regulations: a schooner-type vessel of the same name of 24 meters and 50 tons of payload capacity. The booming company has this time designed a ship twice as long in collaboration with the naval architecture firm L2Onaval. The overall construction budget is kept confidential but will remain below the 10M€ mark. Grain de Sail has selected two market leaders to build its next wind-powered freighter: Piriou will fabricate the hull at its Ho Chi Minh City shipyard in Vietnam while Lorima will supply the rigging and install it in Lorient, France. The launch of Grain de Sail 2 is scheduled for the end of 2023.

The ship: wind propulsion and renewable energies on board

Grain de Sail successfully transported around 55% of the cocoa mass used in its chocolate factory by sail in 2021 thanks to its first cargo sailboat. This next ship will allow 100% of its raw materials to cross the Atlantic without carbon to be used in the chocolate factory and the coffee roasting factory located in Morlaix, France.

Grain de Sail 2, which will be registered under the French flag, will make transatlantic connections from St Malo (its home port) exporting wines and other fine products from France and Europe to the United States and bringing back raw materials from Latin America to France (cocoa paste, green coffees, rums, etc.). It will be constructed from aluminum and will have a payload capacity of 350 tonnes, up to 238 pallets loaded on two levels in two separate holds. In addition, a separate tank will be able to receive up to 18 m³ of bulk liquid while on deck there will be another 5 m³ for liquids in drums.

With 1170 m² of sail area, Grain de Sail 2 will be efficient even in light wind conditions and is designed to be handled by two experienced sailors. On board, cabins will accommodate the nine crew members. The crossing of the Atlantic, depending on the choice of routes and the wind conditions, is estimated at around 2 weeks, thus allowing 3 to 4 round trips per year. Above all, the ship’s design emphasized safety, reliability, maneuverability and robustness.

Grain de Sail 2 not only seeks to transport goods without carbon emissions but also seeks to maximize the reduction of its overall carbon footprint by integrating renewable energy production systems to supply electricity on board: solar panels and hydrogenerators . Only a small IMO TIER 3 approved engine will use fossil fuels when maneuvering in and out of ports, along with diesel generators for safety and only to be used when needed as a back-up to green energy.

An economic ecosystem in Brittany for wind propulsion

Accompanied by L2Onaval, based in Lorient (Brittany), Grain de Sail has significantly integrated the first-hand experience of sailing with its first cargo sailboat and has thus been able to come up with a design concept for Grain de Sail 2 which will serve as the first of the series for the construction of future sister ships. After a one-year design phase, Grain de Sail launched calls for tenders with several shipyards and rig builders. At the end of the selection and negotiation process, Piriou and Lorima (acting as subcontractors), two Breton companies, were selected.

Jaques BARREAU, co-founder and managing director of Grain de Sail declares: “We are happy to enter the construction phase with two Breton experts such as Piriou and Lorima. We have already learned a lot with our first cargo sailboat* and the time has come for Grain de Sail to prove that carbon-free shipping can work on a larger scale.

*The first vessel used for transatlantic routes since 2020 will be reassigned to coastal transport in Europe once the new vessel is operational. Grain de Sail is actively working on new routes and new products to create new low-carbon gastronomic adventures.

Loïc BRIAND, Managing Director of Grain de Sail Shipping adds: “It has been a long road and a lot of work to get here and I am happy to sign this contract which turns a childhood dream into reality. It is a sailboat designed by sailors for sailors which will be efficient, fast, adapted to our needs and able to face all sea conditions in complete safety.

Vincent FAUJOUR, President of the PIRIOU Group declares: “In a few weeks, it is the 3rd sailboat awarded to Piriou which reinforces our commitment and places us at the forefront of low-carbon maritime transport, by adding a whole range of sailing cargo ships for our customers. We thank Grain de Sail for entrusting us with this construction.

Vincent MARSAUDON, Managing Director of Lorima declares: “From competition boats to work boats and always around the world, diversity has always been my dream as an entrepreneur. We are happy to work with Grain de Sail and Piriou.

Loys LECLERCQ, co-founder of L2Onaval and naval architect declares: “We are honored by the trust that Grain de Sail has placed in us. We have had the time to jointly design a vessel that fully aligns with our values ​​of reducing carbon emissions from shipping at a time when it really is time to act.

Financial partners

The ship is financed by the Caisse d’Epargne Bretagne / Pays de Loire with FIMAR as maritime financial arranger. Bpifrance and Crédit Mutuel Equity are also participating in the financing via their recent equity investment in the Grain de Sail group.

The products and services described in this press release are not endorsed by The Maritime Executive.


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