Connecting your journey by sail

SailLink is zero-emission travel as well as a form of public transport with adventure. A fantastic experience for individuals, families or small groups. It is convenient because it is aimed at foot and bicycle passengers. It is exclusive because a passenger is one of only 12 on board, but it is non-exclusive because it provides an opportunity to try ocean sailing simply by buying a ticket for a 4-hour journey. It is active because you get to join in with the sailing if you want to, and it is educational because you will cross one of the busiest shipping lanes and learn about the ocean environment and its condition at close hand.

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Our crowdfunding campaign - testing a schedule

So far we have conducted substantial feasibility analysis, communications with ports and authorities, financial planning, an initial testing by sail of the Dover Straits and its ports, as well as meetings with harbour and marina managers.

We’ve launched this crowdfunding campaign to help with the costs of running the second test phase from 25 – 30 August (2021). During this time we will conduct closer testing of the 2 to 3 routes determined to be most feasible and to understand how we can best keep to a sailing schedule. We will be looking at various aspects from tidal currents to border procedures. This is essential preparation for a first phase with passengers scheduled for 2022. The funds raised will be used to pay for hire of the boat and its professional captain, for publicity material on the boat and to ensure that we get great shots and footage to professionalise our media content and profile. The only way we can produce this is out on the water.

All contributions are welcome, much appreciated and will be used in the development of SailLink.

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The SailLink service

SailLink was started by Andrew Simons - boatbuilder, environmental scientist & keen sailor. Having grown up in the UK, I now live in Switzerland and have been travelling regularly between the two for several years. Interested to reduce the impact of my travelling but also to enjoy it more, I’ve tried just about every possible route and method of travelling between the two.

A couple of years ago, after arriving by train to a port and making our way to the out-of-town ferry terminal, I wondered why it was not possible to cross on one of the many sailing boats in the very nice harbour we had passed, which was just down the road from the train station. How fantastic would it be to sail across? To take my family and make the journey a real experience.

So I looked into it and found that the English Channel has great sailing conditions and suitable crossing distances. No, there is no company or platform offering it. Yes, it would be legal and feasible for a maximum of 12 passengers. And wow, the ports and authorities have no objections and would even support it. So the concept of SailLink has developed to be a truly unique venture in a time of growing interest in alternative and responsible travel options, in wind and sail power to again move us and our goods between continents and in the ocean ecosystem as essential to climate and health.

Understanding that our world needs us to change our habits, and that our children need us to do this quite radically, we’re developing SailLink to show that sustainable ways of doing things, like sailing or cycling, can also be a fun activity in themselves.