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It sunk in a hurricane in ’57, because if things aren’t terrible at any given time, Mother Nature and Father Fate make it terrible.
There are still some commercial sailing vessels out there. But yeah, not on that scale anymore.
I actually slept a night on the Passat, one of her sister ships, in Travemünde, Germany. It is actually quite impressive how these ships continued to be used into the second half of the 20th century.
Built in Germany in 1905
Given to Italy as war repatriations in 1920
Purchased by the original German company in 1924 after being laid up due to a lack on deep water ports
Bought by a Finnish company in 1931 to be used in the Australian wheat trade
Seized by the NZ government in 1941 as a prize of war
Purchased again by the same Finnish company in 1948
Sold to Belgian shipbreakers in 1951 but then seen and purchased by a previous German crew member who modernised and refitted the ship before sinking 6 years later.
Sinking was attributed due to the pressure on the crew and shipping line to sail in bad weather since the ship had difficulty turning a profit in league with modern ships. Alongside a lack of experienced crew and an inexperienced captain. The capsizing was made more likely due incorrect cargo storage from a dockworker’s strike.
With that many sail I’m assuming it was pretty fast?
These guys hope to change that.
Project Ceiba / Proyecto Ceiba – SAILCARGO INC.
>Introduction to SAILCARGO INC. & our project to build a 150′, wooden, three-masted square topsail schooner here in Costa Rica to sail sustainably sourced and ethically produced CARGO along the Pacific Coast of the Americas using sail and a 100% Electric Engine.
Here’s a short video of the Pamir.
I’ve heard there a longer one of it rounding the horn….