FREIGHT ON THE HUDSON
The Hudson River is the original highway of our region. Our towns and cities were built on the river, and their waterfronts were public marketplaces to ship and receive goods. Communities have begun reinvesting in this existing infrastructure with waterfront parks, cleanup projects, and new developments. The growing sail freight movement builds upon that momentum, and proposes new models of commerce and regional economies.
It’s time for Sail Freight:
- The Apollonia is the right ship for this river and scale of work;
- The Northeast is experiencing a revival in farms, breweries, and crafts;
- New York City is the largest market in the country, with a growing demand for local goods;
- We have a knowledgeable and experienced team ready to make this happen.
As consumers, we are already demanding goods that are more sustainably produced. But it is hard to find goods that are sustainably delivered. Although we can’t hope to replace every truck heading to the city each day, we can offer a prototype. The modern world, and cities in particular, are dependent on carbon-intensive transportation, and the current path is not sustainable. Sail freight is a proven, time-tested and elegant solution to distribution.
"When I began creating the Vermont Sail Freight Project, one of my greatest hopes was that the work I was doing would somehow pave the way for a new generation of Northeastern merchant mariners to flourish. The effort behind Apollonia proves that there are in fact capable maritime visionaries right here in our midst ready to raise the banner of working sail. Looking at the sensible lines and sturdy construction of Apollonia, you can tell that she was made to work. Her team have put in their time and learned their trade--strong sailing and mechanical credentials are there--and what's more, they hope to form a link in a new logistics chain to work in collaboration with other ventures (like Vermont Sail) in partnership. I am delighted to call Apollonia a Friend of Sail Freight and hope the effort to refurbish her and put her to work on the Hudson succeeds with flying colors. Let's all support this venture."
-Vermont Sail Freight Project founder Erik Andrus
The heart of our vision is a working vessel moving freight up and down the Hudson River. Yet this project is about more than just cargo- we are designing our work to encourage public involvement and create learning opportunities aboard the ship. Loading, maneuvering, and securing cargo with use of our gaff, handy-billies, and rigging will be another great learning opportunity. As a traditionally-rigged schooner, we will offer educational opportunities for sailing and rigging while underway. The engine will be powered by vegetable oil instead of diesel fuel, providing the opportunity to teach about the operation and maintenance of marine engines while demonstrating a clean and renewable way to power them. After spending some time on the Apollonia, students and the public will be knowledgeable in sailing, diesels, and general boating information.
The Hudson Sloop Club is committed to helping our community reconnect with the Hudson River. The Apollonia will provide a real opportunity for everyone to get out on the water for hands-on learning about sailing, history, river ecology and more. We are excited to collaborate in developing this programming. We wish the schooner Apollonia the best of luck, and we hope that she will call Hudson her home port for many years to come.
-Hudson Sloop Club
THE RIVER AND US
As conscious merchants, we will pay attention to the impacts of our work. While moving freight, we will reinvigorate waterfronts and create new opportunities for jobs in sustainable transportation. The work we do is logistics and freight, but because of our unique delivery system, it’s also educational, event-based, and community-building. We’ve seen the excitement and discussions that the Vermont Sail Freight Project creates when the ship comes in, transforming a riverfront park into a farmer’s market and classroom. This boat will deliver a message about how goods get to their destinations, why it matters, and the new possibilities in front of us.