Naming ceremony for unique sailing boat

​Linnea – that will be the name of the sailing dinghy, built from balsa wood, flax and cashew nuts. The organic boat created by master’s students at Chalmers, is now ready to compete in Italy and in the middle of September the naming ceremony was held.
Eight students at Chalmers studying Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering have, over the past year, designed and built a sailing dinghy as part of Formula Sailing, the project where 70 percent of the boat must be made of natural materials. The students chose to build the boat with a balsa wood core with flax and a cashew nut-based epoxy. The unique sailing dinghy will participate in a three-day race in Palermo, Sicily. Starting Thursday, September 20, they will compete against teams from seven Italian universities and one German university in the regatta 1001VELAcup.​

To mark that the boat is ready for departure to Italy, a naming ceremony was held at Teknologgården. Angela Hillemyr, Head of Department and responsible for utilisation at the department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences, had the honour of naming the boat. Of course, as part of boating tradition, the naming ceremony was completed with champagne.


A challenging and educational project

Eric Eriksson is one of the master's students who participated in the project. He tells us that the work has been tough at times but that, first and foremost, it has been fun and educational.

​"It has been a very complicated and time-consuming project, but it has also been very interesting to get to see a project that we have been working on for so long become reality.”

Adam Persson, PhD student, has been the group's supervisor throughout the project, from creating the design to completing the boat.

"The purpose of a project like this is to learn about the challenges you face when you go from designing something to actually building it. Finding materials, the right suppliers and managing to plan the project correctly.”

The sailing dinghy is an extreme building project in several ways. To optimize the boat for the wind conditions at Palermo during the race, the boat has been built with a very tall sail-plan and very large sails. The group has also struggled to make the boat very light to make it as fast as possible.


Preparing for the competition in I​ta​ly

Now the group is preparing for the three-day race in Italy. Adam tells us that he is pleased with the project, both the process and the result, and that he has high hopes for the competition.

"If the boat works as we hope, I definitely think we have a big chance of winning the whole competition.”

According to the rules of the competition, the person who sails the boat must study at the same university as those who built it. Two crew members studying at Chalmers will therefore be on board during the sailing. They are both elite level sailors in the Olympic 49er class. The competition in Sicily takes place from 20 to 23 September.​ 


Read more: "Organic boat building in a nutshell"


Text: Sophia Kristensson

Film: Johan Bodell


Published: Mon 17 Sep 2018. Modified: Wed 19 Sep 2018