Brooklyn Boro

Sail-powered boat delivers cargo to local businesses; represents sustainable future for watercraft

August 25, 2020 Editorial Staff

A sail-powered schooner, accompanied by a solar-powered boat, visited Brooklyn on Friday to unload cargo for local businesses.

Representing a model of sustainable transit, the schooner Apollonia began its journey in the Hudson Valley and stopped in Manhattan on Thursday before docking in Brooklyn on Friday.

The Apollonia’s journey followed in the tradition of an earlier sail freight venture, the Vermont Sail Freight Project, a low-carbon transportation project that made a few voyages in Vermont’s Champlain Valley and New York’s North Country. The initiative’s voyages down the Hudson to New York City were completed in 2013.

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Apollonia has been planning for sail freight delivery for years. Businesses like Van Brunt Stillhouse in Red Hook and Strong Rope Brewery in Gowanus had brewer’s malt and wooden barrels aboard the vessel, along with grain, pillows, and yarn.

Apollonia crew members stood on the RETI dock at Gowanus Bay Terminal after unloading cargo in Red Hook on Friday.

Solaris, the vessel that accompanied the Apollonia, charges its propulsion system using the sun’s energy and represents a new, green, sustainable model for ferries and pleasure vessels.

Solaris sailed south with the schooner Apollonia as part of the RiverWise project. Solaris will remain in New York City for several days in the Atlantic Basin before returning north.

The voyage was organized in connection with the Hudson River Maritime Museum. The museum’s Executive Director Lisa Cline organized the RiverWise Voyage, and Sam Merrett is the mastermind behind the years-long Apollonia effort. Local sail freight agent Brad Vogel helped generate cargo leads for the team.


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