Wind in the sails: the return of the import/export trade via sailing means in Noirmoutier

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The people from Noirmoutier (France) are organising to revive the import/export trade via sailing means. They use old rigs and set wind in the sails to bring olive oil, wine, almonds…

The schooner “De Gallant” in Noirmoutier’s approach accompanied by the SNSM pilot boat of the Herbaudière © Didier Fouasson

When the De Gallant, a 35 meters schooner enters the port of Herbaudière on the island of Noirmoutier, it is always a special event…

“Reuse old techniques to live better today”

There is a crowd on the docks. Everyone comes for the order he/she has placed through the association “Les Caboteurs de Lune“. The island association uses the old rigs of the Blue Schooner Company for the transport of goods via sails. A mode of transportation saving CO2 and fine particles. Alexandre Etourneau, the co-founder of the association with sailing transport, wants to “reuse the techniques of the past to live better today”.

The boat will leave loaded with the salt of Noirmoutier. / Didier Fouasson

1.7 tonnes delivered in June

Last June, the boat arrived with 1.7 tons of cargo from Porto, all fair trade, with 300 cans of oil, olives, 125 kilos of almond and port wine.

The unloading of goods by hand

A long human chain is organised to ensure the unloading of the goods. It always ends with a party on the wharf, which allows the islanders to meet by celebrating the defense of the environment but also the preservation of our maritime heritage.

But you have to deal with the vagaries of the weather

The schooner’s next coming is scheduled for September. The weather will decide precisely when…

De Gallant schooner is a beautiful piece of heritage. If you like it and are into boats, yachts or sailing overall, have a look at our ranking of the 10 most expensive sailing yachts in the world. It’s time to set wind in the sails!


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