“Sailing is poetry in motion”
Sailing is not the fun of snobs who fool around and show off on overpriced boats while the poor frolic in the sea. Today, you can buy a second-hand sailing boat for the price of a 10-year old car. And sail immediately.
Sailing is the great-grandfather of energy efficiency. On a sailing boat, I used less fuel in 10 years than a speed-boat of the same length burns in an hour. And, at the same time, I spent far more time actually out at sea, which I imagine is the point when you have a boat.
The sailboat’s speed is very important to me. When I see drunken tourists lolling downwind on a chartered boat with their sails all tied up, I get the same knots in my stomach as those binding a sail in the hands of ignoramuses. I love it when a sailing boat catches the wind, strongly beating up, cutting the waves with the precision of a good knife cutting through cheese, with the sails trimmed with no slack.
I like the restoration of old, rejected things
I restored an old guitar that I found next to a garbage container, an old Fiat (the famous “Fićo”) which I am about to register and proudly drive around town. I have installed a natural gas tank so it will be an “Eco Fićo”. I even got excited about restoring an old BMW motorbike, but when I reminded myself that I never rode a motorcycle and am not interested in starting now, I gave it to my neighbour, a passionate motorcyclist and a top car painter, so he can restore it to perfection.
My father was an archaeologist and a restorer, and I have caught his passion, completely unintentionally.
I like Cutters
During my military service in Split back in 1982, as a competitive sailor I had been reassigned to assist in the sailing and rowing training of marine officers. Along with modern sailboats there were these so-called ‘cutters’, elegant 100-year old boats which, propelled only by oars and pure human strength reached the incredible speed of 6 knots! With the sails at broad reach it became even faster.
The love of that boat took hold somehow and, 30 years later, I found the old wreck you see in the photos.
I like planet Earth
I like the whole Universe but Earth is the most hospitable and pleasant territory I know of. There might be better ones out there, but they are impossible to reach for the moment.
I believe that an attractive antique sailboat with state-of-the-art affordable technology (which due to old habits has not yet been universally used) and a popular captain who receives a lot of media attention, can and will provide an excellent example and motive to switch to electrical engines and solar power.
Perhaps my most important passion is the battle for a cleaner planet through cleaner technology.
The technology is already here and brings great savings in fuel, money and the elimination of pollution. For some time already, I have used my public work to bring about a change in people’s habits. It is terrible to see the oil slicks left by all interior combustion engines. Besides, you have to buy fuel while the sun shines for free!
And what do I want?
This project is actually the collection of all my tendencies, hobbies and passions in one place. Simply put, this solar sailboat is the prototype of my dreams.
Somehow, it became a challenge to sail on a boat designed over 100 years ago and to be as fast as today’s sailboats. I keep dreaming of regattas in which helmsmen on modern boats go green with jealousy and envy when they realize in disbelief that they had just been overtaken by a boat designed a hundred years before theirs.
And then I want them to go green for a different reason.
Sailing in complete silence with a restored old-timer which will be the pinnacle of ‘green’ technology, in front of the noses of the motor boats which are polluting the sea depleting the oxygen reserves just like their owners deplete their financial reserves, all the while listening to the humming, droning or screaming of their own motors disturbing the quiet open seas. This boat will be an incredible incentive to change habits and, if it convinces only speed-boat owner to switch from gas to wind, we will have taken the first, most important step in saving the Adriatic.
Modern technology makes it possible for me to have an electrical motor and batteries which can recharge through solar collectors. The big deck allows for at least 5 m2 of solar collectors which is more than enough. The batteries recharge all day and the motor is only used for the occasional sailing in and out of ports. I like to sail in and out on wind power. The engine is there also for unforeseen situations. An hour of self-sufficiency with a speed of 5 knots is more than enough.
One of my goals is to lobby through the media for port authorities, harbours and marinas to stop charging for mooring on the basis of the length of a vessel but on the horsepower of its engine. It is absurd that a 20m sailboat with a 150hp engine pays more than a 15m motor yacht with a huge 3,000hp engine. It is absurd that the environmental tax for sailboats that glide along the coast without noise and waves is the same as that for motor boats which plow the sea, make huge waves and permanently destroy the coast and its flora and fauna while disturbing all living things, humans included, with their noise.
This is the development plan of the sailboat:
- November 2016 Restoration of the hull
- Full 2017 Hull lacquered and decorated
- April 2017 Sails sewn
- May 2017 Sailboat launch
- August 2017 Installation of solar panels
- September 2017 Sailing the Adriatic
Although I will be the sailboat’s owner, access to it will be open to those participating in the project, to environmental associations, to authors of media broadcasts dedicated to environmental issues and other eco-projects as well as to curious seafarers who would like to apply the concept to their vessels.
Thus, this will be a sailing educational tool — “an edutainment sailboat”.
In order to achieve this — to make it possible for this sailboat to sail the Adriatic and increase people’s environmental awareness, convert arrogant speedboaters and allow me to catch the inspiration of the waves — I need your help.
Ideally, and in line with the concept of crowdfunding, this project should be financed by many people who would each make a small contribution and also participate in the project. Needless to say, I have no intention of forcing people with financial problems to expose themselves to unnecessary costs. There are certainly more important things in life than this project.
Rambo Amadeus & The Crew
Rambo Amadeus & The Crew