Saturday, 13 January 2018

Italian sailing cargo ship (ex-Meta 1911-1957, Onice 1957-2016) Brigantes 2016-

As the Meta

She is the first freighter currently in the Mediterranean Sea, used for sail cargo to transport organic and fair-trade goods, and currently undergoing restoration. A first phase of the refit works is being completed in the craft shipyard Da.Ro.Mar.Ci D'Amico of Trapani; it will be followed by the reconstruction of the interiors and the superstructures - most of them in wood -, the redesign and reconstruction of the sail system on the basis of original drawings, and the restoration of the electrical system with the integration of renewable energy sources (photovoltaic, aerodynamic turbines), so as to make the ship operational with zero emissions. By the end of 2018 will the restoration to be completed. The intention is to transport goods between North and Souh America and the Mediterranean Sea, such as organic coffee, cocoa, Azorean tea, and other products based on the broken routes concept and developments in commercial network of “sailing.” The brig, of 30 meters in length, has in fact a very large hold, and can load up to 220 tons of goods. The availability of professional training places for seamen (specialization on large sailing ships) and passenger accommodation, as well as the possibility of using the ship during maritime events complete the offer of the activities by her.

As a sailing cargo ship
We do not always think about the fact that most of our everyday goods, to be available on the market at competitive prices, are transported for long distances by sea on huge container ships fed by huge quantities of fossil fuels, contributing significantly to the emissions of carbon dioxide and polluting substances in the atmosphere and in the seas themselves. The transport company Brigantes Shipping Ltd., is founded by the brothers Oscar Kravina, master of the ax, Daniel Kravina, entrepreneur, the German naval engineer Tobias Blome and the Sicilian sailor Giuseppe Ferreri, and intends to propose a sustainable freight transport alternative thanks to the use of wind energy and self-produced renewable energy on board. Brigantes Shipping Ltd. is aimed at those operators active in the production of organic food and fair trade, which until now lacked the ability to transport their goods in a manner consistent with the company philosophy.

The commercial network of "sailing" is perfectly integrated with sustainable freight transport projects such as those related to rail mobility, electric mobility, projects for the recovery of animal traction by road or recovery of internal waterways. The possibility of interacting with digital platforms that optimize the efficiency of joint purchasing groups is interesting. It will be the task of Brigantes, together with the other members of the “Sail Cargo Alliance”, an alliance of free ship owners and managers of sailing ships, with the aim of “creating a healthy culture of transport that promotes the conservation of the environment for future generations ”, fill this gap.

The Brigantes and her role in maritime heritage, education and events
It will be possible to combine sailing transport with educational programs including academic (master, business school programs, teambuilding etc.) for groups of students and teachers on board, including the possibility of being actively included in the overall experience of ecological transport, from the producer to the distribution network, up to the final consumer. Countless are the ideal routes to create a fair trade cruise with transport of goods included, combining freight transport with sustainable tourism, and the organization of events on board, such as concerts, artistic events, theatrical performances, cooking classes.

Launched at the C.H.Luhring shipyard, Elsfleth, Germany in 1911 as the gullet schooner Meta and used as a cargo ship between Germany and Denmark. At the beginning of the 1920s she was registered in the French merchant marine register and after sailing for a few years in the north of France, circumnavigated the Iberian peninsula and entered the Mediterranean to reach Tuscany where it was registered with the registration number 481 in the maritime compartment of Livorno, starting to sail transporting talc from Sardinia. In 1924 it was bought by Carlo Pezzica, a marble merchant in Carrara, on behalf of the shipowner Giovanni Marchetti of Carrara. In 1927 a two-cylinder internal combustion propulsion engine was added, but continued to hold the schooner rig with gabbells. In 1937 the new captain and ship owner Ferdinando Gianfranchi (called ‘il liscio”) sold it to captain Giovanni Fanciulli of the island of Giglio.

Until the 1950s between Sardinia and Tuscany active was she in 1957 by the Benetti shipyards of Viareggio converted into a motor ship. The reconstruction included dismantling of the sailing rig, adding a new and more powerful propulsion engine (Ansaldo, a supercharged 4-cylinder 180hp) and of the aft superstructures with four cabins and the control bridge. The only hatchway mast was positioned slightly aft, and a second one was added forward of it. A derrick between the two coats, with the relative branches of prow and stern, was installed to allow the loading of the load. At the stern were added superstructures: three single cabins to starboard and a small kitchen, the mess hall and the cabin usually used by the onboard cook, on the left. Above this structure, the bridge made by a small cabin that housed the wheel of the rudder and aft of it, a small independent divided space that housed the chart and the guard bed. The rudder was modified by inserting the classic “chain ice” system.
The Onice

Renamed Onice was she sold to the island of Pantelleria (compartment Trapani) as part of the Pantelleria motovelieri that guaranteed the transport of goods of the small island of Sicily. Until 1998 active in this area, initially guaranteeing the transport of raisins, capers and various goods for Naples, Livorno, Tunisia, Malta and later in 1986 ensuring the supply of kitchen gas cylinders to the domestic needs of the island.

In 1998 forced the advanced age of the ship owner and the master and motorist nearing retirement to take the decision to end her activities as a cargo ship., the painful decision of disarmament was taken. In May 1998 the last trip from Pantelleria to Trapani was carried out with only fifty tons of ballast (marble dust) and in the morning of May 28th moored in the Roncilio pier. Laid up until 2016 she got a new chance starting with a restoration. The well known Eye of the Wind was as the Friedrich also built in 1911 sharing with the Meta the same dimensions.

Funding through Crowdinvesting
The restoration of the Brigantes is financed through donations of materials, voluntary work, but mainly through the crowd funding, that is the possibility of buying company shares, also becoming co-owners of the ship. Of the 800 shares put up for sale at a price of € 1,000 each, out of a total of 1600, more than 200 have already been sold, going to finance more than 25% of her restoration work in parallel: it was executed and paid for 80% of the work on the steel hull, at the craft yard Da.Ro.Mar.Ci D'Amico of Trapani. The last works of metallic carpentry and conservative painting are about to be completed. This financing model is inspired by the historic “carat model”, which has a long tradition in the naval transport sector: long before the participatory investment (crowdinvesting) became popular. Thanks to the cutting-edge technology, it was usual to divide the costs that buying or building a ship implied within a larger or smaller group of people, thus making the investment accessible to many, and thus distributing the dividends and co-ownership of the vessel itself.

The Brigantes in addition to goods and products consistent with the company philosophy, will therefore bring in our seas a message of change possible and within reach of anyone who really wants to be part of it.

 For more information about this ship watch her own website on WEBSITE BRIGANTES