2009 we bought a larger ship, the “Antares” and used that to run
oats from Zeebrugge to Roeselare in Flanders.
Things were going quite well and the “Triade”, the ship we started out with was asked to be used for an innovative project.The idea was to test a new propulsion system using an oscillating foil as propulsion.
The only way this could be done was by, not only removing the propeller but also removing the diesel and replacing it with an electric traction. Electricity would be delivered by a (new) diesel as power source but could eventually be replaced or enhanced by batteries, making it effectively hybrid.
thought we could get away with some minor changes but alas ….
Contemplating that removing the aft ballast peak and rudders would be quite enough. We soon found that we required more width for the foil to be effective and would need to cut further into the ship, until we eventually came to removing the whole after ship, consisting of the engine room, prop shaft and major part of the living quarters, right into the hold.
Only the wheel house and the cabin in front of it remained as they were.
Thus starting a process of ever bigger steps, taking us further and further into the realm of the unknown. A true adventure, where at times we felt we had completely lost control and were left to our own resources.