This week, pen was put to paper and the first EcoClipper retrofit vessel was procured.
The Tukker is a Dutch North Sea Klipper, or Schoeneraak. The Tukker was built in 1912 and operated on the North Sea, hauling cargo across those cold waters and up the surrounding coastlines.
In the 1980’s the Tukker was repurposed. It became one of the most celebrated and well-known sail training vessels in the Netherlands, especially for it’s work with disadvantaged youth. Unfortunately in 2012, major repairs were needed, which brought this excellent work to an end.
Now, in 2022, the Tukker once again has a new and exciting future: shipping cargo on it’s old waters and ensuring people are able to experience sailing as part of travelling.
What’s next for the Tukker?
The boat has been surveyed and the next step is essential work needed to ensure it is up to a commercial standard. Predominantly there is work to be done on the hull, a new deckhouse will be constructed and the systems and rigging will be upgraded. The ship is barge shaped, meaning that it is fairly flat-bottomed, and will be able to carry around 80 cubic metres (50-70 tonnes equivalent) of cargo. It will also have accommodation for up to 12 trainees.
The North Sea
Over the last few months, three blogs were written about the potential and history of the North Sea. You can read about the history here, the ideal ports on the route here and a well-known vessel that serviced this area in the late 20th century here. Currently, there are no sail cargo vessels dedicated to this route in a fixed liner service capacity.
The Tukker marks the first ship under the EcoClipper flag. Those in the UK, Switzerland and Europe are invited to invest in the EcoClipper Coöperatie U.A., which will act as a holding company for the subsequent fleet of EcoClipper ships – both retrofitted and purpose-built.