5) A VOTE FOR STORIES – Nov 5, 2022
A vote for stories. That is the theme of today's post.
The award for World's Best Electric Sailboat 2022 is a huge thing to win, and even being nominated is big of course. We are in with 8 other great nominees but we have a special message: Up-cycling. Meaning taking care of all the millions of boats already floating around the world. To give them a treat, ditch the fossil fuel engine, and install an electric one. That must be the world's best electric sailboat concept in 2022. Having the climate crisis banging on our door, and knowing how much up-cycling reduces energy, raw materials, air pollution, water pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. It is a win-win-win.
And here's another win: Stories.
All existing boats have stories up to the brim. They live onboard way longer that the engines. Sailing in a boat full of stories is simply a nice thing to do. Our boat has them like all other boats.
Voting for the Smaragd is a vote for electric sailing, for youth and for our kids, but possibly, even more so, for re-use, up-cycling, and caring for the limited resources we have available on this planet. As simple as that...here's the link to the voting blog post (Voting Closed).
All the kids in the images are from the generation that is taking over the world right now and will take over the world in times to come. The images are from 1992-2022. Some of them already have kids of their own. They all make the reason why this project started five years ago. By one of us from the generations who invented plastics, turned convenience into religion, and burned fossil fuel for 50-100 years like there was no tomorrow. We owe it to them to transform our lifestyles today and pay the bill.
You get the point.
Over to the value of stories: Hanne and I bought the Smaragd back in 1991. Brand new but with an interior "puzzle-set". Our two kids Johannes and Julie were born into her and grew up on her. With no railing and their life vests tattooed to their bodies. Yes, they did fall into the water. Drama then, great stories today. We invited friends with kids and the stories grew in numbers every day on the water.
We will never forget when little Johannes was hoisted up the mast for fun after lunch, out on a remote island in the Stockholm archipelago. We knew he liked it. What we didn't know was that the "click" he heard when he got all the way up, meant that we had winched him too far. Impossible for him to do anything hanging there. Impossible for us to get him down. The jib or spinnaker fall didn't reach all the way up. Should we have to motor him back 20 nm to the marina hanging up there? Mathias, the papa of Emma and Martin sailing with us that day, was strong and brave. He was winched up with the spinnaker fall, climbed without anything else than his muscles up to Johannes, and un-clicked him.
A great story, but it would have been even better motoring Johannes into the marina, passing the restaurant at dinnertime, and heading for the mast crane.
The boat was sold to Hannes's new man Peter some years later. So clever mama Hanne kept the boat and sailed on with our kids. Good friends as we were, Peter asked me to join a sail racing competition in 2017 and the feeling of holding the tiller again was overwhelming. A year later I had the Smaragd back. Mama Hanne, still being the clever one, as she and Peter and our kids can continue to sail on her...
Anyway, by then the Smaragd was almost 30 years old with a gasoline inboard engine. I wanted to give the boat a treat with the idea to give her to my children, by then old enough to sail her by themselves. I just couldn't see myself sitting by the tiller, with them or a potential grandkid on my lap, knowing I had recently installed a new fossil fuel engine. So we ditched that one and took it out of circulation. One of the first electric pod engines on the market was installed. It was designed to work as a hydro generator while sailing, charging its batteries. A Torqeedo 4.0 with Lithium batteries. I was in heaven and that sparked the idea to turn the renovation process into a climate statement project dedicated to the young generations. A plan for 2.000 nautical miles via 7 countries was outlined and we sailed off from Oslo on World Environment Day on June 5th, 2018.
Now 7.660 NM and 5 years later the boat has been loaded with even more stories. 45 young crew members hopped on and off along the way and we sailed together to test and learn more about sustainable lifestyle alternatives. With the intention to share what we learned and inspire others to do the same – test and try the shift, and live a smarter, greener, and more conscious life. While still having fun. For theirs and their kid's sake.
During these five years, the best stories from 1990-ies, a.k.a the most memorable mishaps, have been told to more or less all the young ones sailing along with us. They have been re-vitalized and contributed to the joy onboard. The fact that some of the stories have been "polished" over the years makes it even funnier when the star in the story, now some 25 years later, corrects the storyteller about what actually happened that day,
So, the conclusion is that old boats' banks of stories are treasures. They provide a magical wonderland and should be respected and nurtured for generations to come. They should be included in the up-cycling value. They should be told along the bloodlines. They will make the millions of already floating boats heroic vessels. A vote for Smaragd will help to make them a World's Best Electric Sailboat 2022 on the day they shift to electric propulsion.
Whatever the sailboat, whenever they do it, and whatever the brand of the electric engine.
This award belongs to us. All of us.
Thank you immensely for your vote
Voting page plugboat.com (scroll down to Electric Sailboats):
Thank you, and hugs from all of us🙏🏼🥰🌏☀️💨🌊