Running a French Holiday Gite in Rural Brittany

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sailing to France?

Now here's a thought, do you fancy sailing on a ferry boat to France?

Not sailing as in crossing the water, but really sailing as in a boat with sails.

Well it might not be as fanciful as it sounds if Transition Town Totnes have their way, TTT is an South Devon eco-organisation that is apparently seriously looking into the possibility of establishing a wind-powered ferry service between Dartmouth and St Malo.

Sailing across to Brittany and Normandy is of course not a new idea, there were lots of established trade routes in the 18th and 19th Century, but it's certainly a novel idea for the 21st Century that would reduce the massive dependence on oil that the current ferry services have.
As an aside, rising fuel costs was quoted as one of the contributing factors in SpeedFerries demise so it's a real issue for the ferry companies nowadays.

The group have calculated that a ship could be converted into a passenger + freight carrying vessel for roughly £850,000 that would take 250 passengers on each 10 hour Channel crossing for about £50 each.

As a business venture TTT are quoted as saying it's very much "at a very early stage at the moment", but they've apparently had interest from the St Malo chamber of commerce who have suggested that they have gathered potential investors for the scheme.

Further information and an email address if you want to offer your support to the project are in the This is South Devon newspaper article.

This does remind me of the proposed bridge from Normandy to Jersey that I blogged about in April 2008. Of that idea a quick Google search reveals no more news or articles have been posted since the original idea was surfaced 2+ years ago so that's sure to have sunk without trace.

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