The main conceptual innovation is in the combination and connection of train and sailing boat modalities to provide an A to B integrated solution. Sailink provides extended connection of the public transport networks on each side of the English Channel. By enabling access to the many ports and harbours of all sizes, it provides an attractive alternative and more diverse means of travelling between the UK and the European continent. It takes people from where they want to leave from to where they want to get to, conveniently and environmentally friendly but also adventurously and convivially. Passengers undergo customs controls but it avoids long queues and mass herding practices. Taking a bicycle or some luggage is no great problem.
Sailink is travel with connection, adventure with responsibility. It is mobility on a human scale and in acknowledgement of the person's needs. It uses the most sustainable of forces in cooperation with modern equipment. Sailink is, quite simply, the way forward.
In August this year we will be operating a 2-week trial phase to test market demand, passenger needs, practical logistics and business feasibility. According to the results we will develop the concept and service further for an extended period in 2021. For the trial phase we are collaborating with Top Cat cruising school. They have the fully qualified, certified and experienced boat captain and the ideal and also fully certified vessel for the purpose.
We have studied official historical data on the weather conditions (wind speeds, wind direction, wave heights) in the English Channel. The results very much encouraged us to proceed with developing the concept further.
We have clarified all issues with the authorities to do with border control and corona-virus restrictions according to the latest situation.
We have made personal visits to harbours on the UK and French coasts and recieved very welcoming responses to our venture.
With regard to environmental benefits and social value, our service will use the power of the wind and on each crossing bring a few individuals from different nations together to share a common experience and perhaps to remain connected thereafter.
Top Cat cruising school: captain and owner of sailing catamaran "Mago Merlino". He will be the captain during the trial phase in August and has been heavily involved in preparations and as consultant during the development since September 2019.
Fairtransport B.V.: Consultation, support and shipping agency.
Folkestone Harbour & Seafront Development Company: harbour manager. Complementary partnership of Sail