The hull of TOWT’s first sailing-cargo ship arrived in Concarneau on Monday, August 28 to begin the next phase of its construction. Built at ATG (Piriou Group) in Romania, the hull is now in the hands of the Concarneau shipyard for the mast lift and the installation of interior fittings.

Decarbonizing maritime transport is TOWT’s raison d’être

Since 2011, TOWT has been working to decarbonize the maritime transport industry through wind propulsion. The company began its activity as a trader, chartering existing vessels, such as Le Biche, to transport products by sail. In 2015, its project to build modern cargo ships accelerated with the realization of plans by the naval architecture firm H&T. Four years later, TOWT and the Piriou Group signed a contract for the construction of several sailing-cargo ships, reviving the French industry. The last sailing-cargo ship built in France, the “Commandant Louis Richard”, was launched 90 years ago.

TOWT’s first sailing cargo ship, measuring 81 meters in length and 12 meters in width, has been designed to carry up to 1,100 pallets (i.e. around 1,000 tons of freight) on each rotation. The pallets will be distributed over three warehouses, and can be loaded in only six hours thanks to the four electric forklifts on board. The ship has an angled sabre centerboard, which will enable it to generate more lift depending on the wind, and “it will heel up to 15°”, explains Guillaume Le Grand, President of TOWT. The freighter will also be equipped with 3,000 m² of sails, mechanically lifted along two masts of 53 meters in height.

Over the next months, teams from the Piriou shipyard will be lifting the masts and installing interior fittings of the vessel, before its launch, which is scheduled for the end of 2023. The first sea trials are planned for spring 2024.

Teams from Carenco are expected to dry up the vessel in the naval repair area in the port of Concarneau soon.