86-year-old Baltic trader wants to navigate the future in old-school fashion
But the story of the ship continued, as it was found and reused for use as a training ship. Hawila has also served as a yacht for a Finnish businessman and as a Bed & Breakfast in Copenhagen, Denmark. After a total of three dropouts, it was finally picked up in 2013 by a group of young professionals who founded the non-profit Hawila Project and turned it into an educational sailing platform.
This year, the organization added another goal to Hawila: to restore it to its former glory and use it for what it was originally intended for: transporting goods. According to Hawila Project, the current shipping industry is the sixth largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, with 99.9% of all organic and sustainable products transported using container ships. Ninety-nine percent of them run on bunker oil, which is the dirtiest fossil fuel in the world.
Hawila is now also a company managed in cooperation and crowdfunding to transform the old ship into a sustainable cargo ship. The plan is to use it to help growers transport their organic produce directly to consumers using the wooden sailboat. An international group of volunteers are working on the restoration and refitting of the 35m-long ship, helping it to set off again.
In addition to using it for sustainable transportation, Project Hawila also wants to use the ship to raise awareness of the environmental impact of the shipping industry, pushing for it to become cleaner.
According to the organization, Hawila will cross the Atlantic Ocean to bring organic produce to Europe during the winter, while in the summer she plans to navigate between Scandinavian coastal communities, making connections through various cultural and artistic events.
So far the team has successfully replaced the frames and planks below the waterline. The next phase of the renovation process also involves replacing those above the waterline, repairing the deck and building four watertight and fireproof bulkheads. The expenses have been covered by team savings and public funds so far. But Project Hawila also added crowdfunding to the list, creating an Indiegogo campaign.
According to the organization, the amount raised will be used for solar panels, a new set of sails (because seven of them must be replaced by a good quality canvas), the reconstruction of the refectory and the foredeck.
There are several attractive benefits available to funders who choose to support Hawila’s cause. In addition to symbolic rewards such as t-shirts, key rings, etc., the Hawila project also offers sailing trips in the Baltic Sea, guided boat tours for up to 11 people, transatlantic trips for two months , including one to the Caribbean, and fully inclusive charters for organizations with up to 20 participants.
A three-day sailing trip in the Baltic Sea will set you back around $ 470, while a guided boat tour will set you back around $ 800. The transatlantic trips will cost you around $ 5,800 or $ 7,000 if you opt for the Caribbean trip. The most expensive perk is the all-inclusive charter, which costs $ 11,650.