Call of the Sea: Educating marine students using a Cummins hybrid tall ship
People that grew up around the water know the impact that the sea can make on someone’s lifestyle. Whether summers were spent fishing with family, wakeboarding on the lake, or cruising the ocean coast, the memories don’t fade, and those experiences can cultivate a lifelong passion.
Call of the Sea (COTS) is an organization based just north of San Francisco in Sausalito, California (USA) that recognizes the irresistible allure that comes with a life spent by the sea. That’s why they have been committed to marine education for students of all ages since their founding in 1985.
As an educational non-profit, COTS focuses on three main pillars; marine science, nautical heritage, and sailing and seamanship. For marine science, students learn about oceanography, the water column, the San Francisco Bay, marine life and humans’ impact on the marine environment. Nautical heritage teaches about the role that the ocean has played in history, such as maritime commerce or battles at sea.
But when it comes to the hands-on experience, the vessels owned by COTS certainly deserve the spotlight. The organization has two boats that provide an irreplaceable educational experience for their third pillar: sailing and seamanship. Their inaugural ship, the schooner Seaward, has been a teaching platform for more than 50,000 students since 2004.
The newest COTS vessel, the brigantine Matthew Turner, was recently added to meet growing demand and offer additional opportunity for experience on the water. Modeled after the tall ship Galilee and named after its shipbuilder and designer, this beautiful boat took about seven years to build with generous donations and countless volunteer hours committed to the project.
But this ship isn’t any ordinary model – she’s made of and powered by materials and methods that meet the highest sustainability and recycling standards on the market. Additionally, she produces her own energy for propulsion through a state-of-the-art system that uses wind power to produce electrical generation.
The hybrid solution, a BAE HybriGen Power and Propulsion System, paired with Cummins generators capture and repurpose natural energy from sailing. This allows the vessel to operate on a carbon-neutral basis, which means the amount of carbon released by the ship’s operation is offset by savings somewhere else in the system.
The COTS website details further information about the regenerative electric propulsion concept, “Energy to run our ship will come from regenerative power under sail, which can be fueled with bio-fuel, and dockside charging from solar panels and wind generators. Day-to-day operations are designed to minimize energy and water use with a waste management system that will repurpose, recycle and reduce waste.”
Not only does COTS teach students about the marine lifestyle and environment, the organization also lives the importance of sustainable solutions through their vessels’ operation. The Matthew Turner is an engineering phenomenon for any mariner, but being built and owned by an organization that will use its technology to shape, educate and inspire the next generation of sailors means its impact will last for generations to come.
Call of the Sea is using their platform to create experiences for students that will one day be the memory they reference as their reason why they chose a life by the water. Because the only lifestyle fit for a mariner is one at sea.