Building CEIBA - Progress at the Jungle Shipyard

CEIBA, sailcargo, ship, stem

SAILCARGO INC. is a carbon-negative marine freight company building the first traditional wind-powered ship here in Costa Rica. In around two years, the Ceiba will transport 350 tons of coffee, cacao, and other goods from Central America to the United States and Canada.

After months of preparation, the team reached another major milestone at the shipyard in Punta Morales. The stem of Ceiba (a 45m three-masted schooner), was hoisted up and installed on Friday, August 30th, 2019. The stem is the forward-most curve of the hull and one of the most complex parts of any ship construction.

It looks like a giant puzzle of uniquely-colored hardwood bolted 9 m in the air. The total length of the stem is 6.9m and weighs about 2.2 tons. Co-Founder and Technical Director Lynx Guimond summarized the task at hand perfectly in a recent interview:

''It's too heavy for the tractor to lift, so we're going to do it by hand.'' Twenty-one people took part in making this complicated, unprecedented challenge look easy.

sailcargo team, ceiba, stem

Ceiba is made entirely of sustainably sourced lumber. Trees are planted to compensate for lumber sourced from a local mill; while other trees were felled in a landslide not far from the Astillero Verde shipyard in Punta Morales.

As of September 26th, 2019, the SAILCARGO team has raised 40% of the large frames, or ribs, of Ceiba. The frames are impressive to see as the form of this massive structure takes shape. The framing progress is significant as it is one of the most challenging and technical stages of the entire hull construction.

In September the workforce grew by 20%, and will continue to add world-class shipwrights. To maximize production, the company has been constructing new infrastructure, hiring and training more workers and building up supplies of tools and materials. The company is funded by private investors concerned with sustainability, the evolution of marine freight shipping, teaching traditional skills, and a healthy return derived from an innovative business model. Interested in investing?

~by Jeremy Starn

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