Who we are

Hawila Project is powered by professionals of many fields, giving their time voluntarily to a common project and vision. The group is made of an active heart of active members, powered by dozens of volunteers with skills varying depending on the projects we are conducting. Pacific, Atlantic, or Mediterranean, the sea has always moved and linked us.

Since the creation of the organisation in 2014, dozens of people have contributed in many way to building the project and the vessel. Below are some of the latest people involved, scroll down to read about each of us!

Samuel Faucherre (captain, board member)

I’m 34, the captain of Hawila and co-founder of Hawila Project. I grew up in Fouras, a small coastal town near La Rochelle (FR) and have been sailing since a kid on many ships and oceans. So when I sailed on Hawila in the Baltic in 2013, I directly fell in love. I took care of her in Copenhagen during the long winter months that followed, waiting the former captain’s return. In spring 2014 when I realised he would come back only to scrap her for parts, I left my flat to come live onboard alone with the firm intention to give Hawila a second life. I invited friends from all around the world to help start this project, and we rapidly shaped ideas to rebirth her as the former sailing cargo vessel she was. Of course I did all this while writing my PhD on Arctic permafrost carbon at the University of Copenhagen, the most busy time of my life… At this time of countless sleepless nights, wondering about the good decision, fighting with the law to transfer Hawila to the newly created Danish non-profit, going through vessel registration, flags, insurances, money issues, technical issues, skill issues, papers, also PhD defence, scientific publications and so much more, at this time, many called me crazy. Now that  we’ve been sailing for some years bringing me so much joy, discovering so many places and so many indescribable amazing human encounters, I am so glad I took the crazy turn.
The biggest finding during my PhD on permafrost carbon and climate could be summed here: if humans should thrive, they cannot afford continuing living the same way they did before. Here what we do at Hawila Project is like a scientific experiment, we challenge the way we live today, the way we eat and transport goods, and the way we live together as a social group. Experimenting on other “ways” is essential to tackle the upcoming challenges, and like every experiment, it can fail, but what we will learn while doing it is the teaching we need to build a more sustainable future!

Gabriele Sutera
(board member)

I’m Gabriele Sutera, I’m 32 years old, born in Sicily (IT) and living in Skamstrup( DK).
I’ve studied agriculture and have been sailing when I was young.
I met Sam in my old collective and we talked about the abandoned ship (Hawila) and the idea of ​​moving in together in the summer of 2014. Officially since 2015, I manage Crew / Volunteer Management, but also I am a sailor, cook, and I help with some of the administration and writing grants.

Robert Weir
(cook, board member)

I’m Robert George Weir, I’m a 32 years old, born Yorkshire, UK and living in Skamstrup (DK).
My studies included Sustainable Forest and Nature Management (Double MSc), Geography (BSc), Food Consultant, Chef, and Agricultural Worker.
I was on my way to Iceland and I decided to stop at the Ship, Hawila and help the guys out for the Self-organised festival, taking responsibility for catering and teaching a few workshops. One of my good friends, Gabri, had been there from the beginning of the project.  When I visited, I realised how many great and dynamic people were involved- I decided to stay and offer my services to the group since 2016.
When sailing, I am taking care of food provisions, the cooking and some sailing tuition. When we arrive to harbour I look for some local farms where we can get some nourishing vegetables for the next leg of the voyage. In the organisation I do not have any defined role, I am jumping from one responsibility to the next, I feel I do a bit of everything and nothing at the same time. I source local food for the team, work on developing the organisation and communication between the team. I try to hear what people are saying and make sure everyone is understood.

Benjamin Cremades
(boatbuilder, board member)

I’m Benjamin ‘’Ben’’ Cremades, I’m 33 years old from Martigues, France. After studying boat building at Skol ar Mor for 2 years, I then worked on and off in different shipyards and projects. In 2016 I received an email from my boatbuilding network for a volunteer call on Hawila, that I applied to and got accepted. Since then, I come every spring to prepare and maintain this beautiful ship and sail the summer.
My job is to take care of the wood and to be a good deckhand when we sail. bisous

Romed Bucher
(carpenter, board member)

I’m Romed Bucher, I’m 65 years old, born and raised in Innsbruck, Austria but have lived in Denmark since 1993. I live now in Skamstrup (DK).
In my luggage I have many different things such as mechanical engineering, carpentry, autodidact shipwright, secondary school teacher.
I met Samuel Faucherre (the captain) at the Ceiba project in Costa Rica in 2019.
For Hawila I’m a danish liaison, carpenter, and advisor. I have many years of different experiences both as a craftsman and teacher. I’m a skilled carpenter, metal worker and self-taught shipwright, have renovated and refitted a 60″ North Sea fishing cutter into a sailing vessel in a 4½ years project in Northern Germany. All my life I have sought adventure and to gather as many experiences as possible and that’s what I’m still doing.

Anna Lewandowska
(communication, board member)

i’m Anna Lewandowska. I’m 33 years old from Poland and living in Copenhagen (DK).I studied international Law in Poland and Denmark.
Now my role on Hawila is board member/co-creating communication.
I met Hawila one winter night 2018. I was quite new in Copenhagen. I left Poland, my home country, quitting my job and looking for an inspiring place that would move me. At that time I just knew I would like to be spending my time in a shelter which is wooden, which construction is not made of square corners,  where the fire can burn and gather a cosy community. I  found all those things on Hawila and I stayed around ever since doing things that match my skills and availability. 

Etienne Mignon Le Vaillant
(sailor, board member)

I’m Etienne Mignon Le Vaillant- I’m 29 years Old from Bretagne (FR).
I achieved a Masters in Physical Oceanography and I was a sailing instructor before arriving on Hawila.
I work on the ship during the spring/Summer and i spend the winner unter the sun in Sicile(IT)
For the record, I discovered Hawila when coming to Copenhagen for an internship in Oceanography in 2015. I was looking for a place to stay and ended up living on the boat.
Now i’m a crew member,Facilitator, first mate, other….

Yann Danguy Des Deserts (sailor, carpenter)

My name is Yann Danguy, 62 years old, from Crozon (FR). I’m a trained merchant navy Captain, a theater producer, racing sailing ship preparator, skipper for polar expeditions, and a shipwright/carpenter. I have been managing several refit on similar sailing vessels as Hawila, and I am trying to bring my knowledges and an overview on Hawila to help and encourage everyone -in every aspect of the refit- to work in phase with each other and respect each other. I try to listen to everyone’s inner talent to help him/her to find his/her best place in the project. To sum-up I have more of a human approach than a technical approach to work. I met Hawila when I met Samuel in Britany 5 years ago, and I hope to be able to follow and be part of the project for the many years to come, in balance with my family life. I learn a lot from this project, on a human and technical aspect. It is a huge project. Hawila is a challenge, a dream, you enters Hawila’s belly because you want it, Hawila is a timeless universe…

Vivien Rieu
(naval architect)

I’m Vivien Rieu, i’m a 33 year old french living in Kongens Lyngby (DK).
I’m a Naval engineer: simply put my job consists of testing ships in model scale in a large basin.
I graduated as Mechanical engineer specialised in offshore & shipbuilding, and I intend to use these skills on this beautiful two-masted lady- Hawila.
For Hawila, I’m learning a variety of manual skills and fixing stuff that I can. And I’m saying a lot “Aye-aye cap’tain”. I also spend time looking over the “naval architect” part of the project (drawings, regulations, hydrostatics, etc.).
Hawila has been a ghost ship eluding me for quite some time: I’ve heard about the project from a latino dancer and a greek engineer in København, and also a cabin maker from Dordogne, France. Ultimately, a friend of a friend gave me a firm contact, so that I could get in touch and get involved.
I come to help about every weekend and whenever I have some free time since June 2019. The project brings me fun, there are always nice people around and a lot of work to do (but i love this!)!

Elly Feeney

My name is Elly Feeney, I’m a 26 years old from the UK. I attended boat building school in 2018, then after working on some small projects I spent a year working on Ceiba, a new wooden ship being built with SailCargo Inc. There I met Ben who told me about the Hawila community and the plans for the refit; I arrived when the work began in October and I plan to stay for at least 6 months. What enticed me was not only the opportunity to work on a historic vessel but also to be part of a project that encompasses more than the physical labour. I feel at home here and am surrounded by wonderfully thoughtful, good humoured, and ambitious people.

Tom Lamoureux

My name is Tom Lamoureux, I’m a 26 year old from Nantes (France). After finishing my wood working and boat building studies, I’ve worked in multiple shipyards in both France and New Zealand.
I found out about Hawila thanks to Ben (permanent crew), who sent an email to my former boat building school who then reached out to previous students.
I have been looking for a project of this size, capacity, and style for a while now, and Hawila matched with my wants. I enjoy having the opportunity to be part of the decisions and knowing where the project is headed. It also allows me to improve my skills and understand how boats were built in Norway. 

Johan Bech (lumberjack, carpenter)

I’m Johan Bech, I’m 34 years old from Frederiksberg (DK).
I am a lumberjack and through my brother, I discovered Hawila 6 month ago!
For this renovation project I take care of the wood with my knowledge and my common sense to complete the work of the carpenters. I also help Sam (the captain) with managing the work at the slipway and help organize the daily tasks. My Danish is a great help here!
Here I will acquire new skills and meet a lot of interesting people which has led to a lot of beautiful friendships.
I can’t wait to go back sailing with Hawila!

Guillaume Choizez

I’m Guillaume Choizez, I’m 29 years old and am from Genappe (Belgium).
I am a carpenter / joiner and I discovered Hawila’s project through a member of the permanent crew- the famous Ben!
My role on the project is linked to the construction of the Keelsons in partnership with Nico, another carpenter. 
I will stay on the project for 6/7 months and I am delighted to meet new people and their knowledge.


I’m Nico, a 30 year old guy from Liège (Belgium)! I just finished 2 years ago my timber framing apprenticeship that I started after some years of working in the movie industry. I had the opportunity during this apprenticeship to do some very nice traditional timber framing, but I quickly wanted to challenge myself more. Then, I started to be interested in shipbuilding: what is more complex than a boat, with curves everywhere?
I had the opportunity to work 7 months on Ceiba, a new massive sailship dedicated to cargo transport. Everything was almost made from scratch, in a low-tech style, with a good philosophy! I really enjoyed this experience, and I wanted to reiterate it; I had just opened the door of a new world in which I could feel comfortable, and still learn a lot of things! I heard about Hawila there. So just after, I joined this project for the refit. Working on an existing boat made me very excited. There are so many things we can learn by seeing how a wooden boat may have changed during the years and then finding solutions to fix the damaged parts!
So here I am now, for some months, with this great team. And for now I’m mostly working on the keelson replacement !

na (carpenter apprentice)

My name is Despina, I am 37 years old, born in Greece.
I have studied mechanical engineering and physical theater. Now I work as a theater pedagoge.
The last 7 years I have been living in Copenhagen. This is where I got to know Hawila in 2014 from common friends, when the whole project was initiated. Having been following this project from the beginning, I always try to find the occasions to come back and work with the guys.
The Hawila project brings a sense of community, sharing of common qualities, team working spirit and happiness that I always seek as a way of living, as well as new and inspiring skills in woodwork. 
For now I am staying in the project for one month, working mainly with the ‘small hand’ team*, and also getting familiar with the chainsaw, with the appreciated help from Johan.
I am leaving at the end of February but I WILL COME BACK:)!

P.s.: *small hand’ team is a french invention, where people no matter their size of hands can do all the small jobs around the boat, for example, cutting wood for the steamer, building shelves etc.


I’m Marvin, a 28 year old Shipwright based at East Frisia, Germany. I became aware of the project ” Hawila ” through social media.I have great respect for this type of thing. To show the world that another way is possible. My grain of sand lies in making my skills as a craftsman available. My path in life is to learn the ancient art of wooden boat building, to grow in it and at some point to pass it on to someone else. I am sure that one day a better world will be possible through initiatives like these. Somebody has to make the first step.


I am Leif a professional Shipwright, accomplishing my Apprenticeship in East-Frisia at the North Sea. I am 30 Years young and was born in the City of Dortmund, Germany.
Now, I work here at the Hawila-Project because I want to support the sustainable idea of Cargo-Sailing. The idea of a carbon free way of transporting goods in a globalized world and the aspects of educating young people on a Sailboat is what I love the most about this kind of project. As a Boatbuilder, I am working especially with wooden boats like Hawila so it was clear to me that every hand was needed to get this beautiful old Lady back in the water again and make things happen. So, I had to come to Denmark to get in touch with this project because I received the call for help on our Whatsapp-boatbuilder-group that someone had shared. One day later- I was on my way.  First, I will stay for two weeks, but the future will show if there is more to come.

ïse Lallemand (carpenter apprentice)

My name is Eloïse Lallemand, I’m 25 years old and am from Nivelles (Belgium). After finishing my studies in psychology I came here!
I discovered Hawila through my partner Guillaume who was in touch with Ben (a member of the permanent crew) and I will stay 6 months on the project.
I have no particular skills in boat building or woodworking but I am here to help in all the ways I can. I want to learn woodworking and be able to help in that field. I also take pictures of the project and I write texts which join with those photos on our social media platforms.
When I first came here I really wanted to go out of my comfort zone and learn manual skills. From day one the Hawila project filled these purposes and more! I’ve discovered the field of maritime construction, how to be handy and how to live in a community. I also feel very lucky to constantly meet caring, open minded, and welcoming people. The atmosphere created by Hawila crew members and volunteers makes a safe space to try and learn new things as well as to develop your existing qualities.

Théo Ghnassia
(chocolate maker)

I’m Théo Ghnassia, I’m 35 year old from Visby, Gotland, Sweden.
Originally I studied cinema, but I am now a Chocolate maker.
I’ve been following the sail cargo movement for 5 years now and heard about Hawila this way. I also currently live in Suderbyn ecovillage (Gotland, Sweden), which Hawila has been cooperating with in the past.
I would like for Hawila to transport cacao for me in the future, so I’m curious about the project and the refit. I’m happy to give a hand at this time of the year when I’m a bit less busy. I offer  support with all environmental initiatives especially when they are a bit crazy and rely on deep dedication toward a sustainable future. Great to see the work going on and to meet the refit crew!
I help Hawila where I can, I have no special skills, but common sense!

Olivia Carlson
(carpenter apprentice)

Hej- my name is Olivia Carlson, I’m a 27 year old from Kingston,MA (US). I’m currently an Oyster Farmer by trade, but had originally studied Business-Marketing at university.
I discovered Hawila through a dear, dear friend of mine that is a boat builder and had a connection with one of the permanent crew members-Ben. This is my first time with the ship and I will stay on the project for 2 plus months, but I’m already looking forward to returning. 
I bring to the table helpful hands wherever I can assist and of course a big smile. This has included a wide variety of tasks since arriving and I have been able to learn how to handle a lot of the tools and machines. Currently, I am part of the framing squad and this keeps me more than busy!Hawila has brought me boatloads of knowledge-more than I could have ever imagined learning in such a short amount of time. I did not come into the project with any wood working skills. It has been incredible to be part of a group of people with so much patience to teach and the willingness to spread their knowledge. It is a beautiful thing to be a part of the Hawila community- it’s naturally home here! My 4 months here are going to be too fast!

Ankie Rijpstra

I’m Ankie Rijpstra, I’m 65 year old and from Skamstrup (DK).
I did the M.B.O.iw (education for a social profession) to be a professional gardener.
For Hawila, I’m a little hand! I usually am helping with paint-jobs. At the moment, I’m painting a banner for Hawila. This sign is an opportunity for passers-by to find information about the now ‘packaged’ ship. As well as hosting volunteers, with pleasure, on their weekends because we live next to a part of the crew and have narrow ties.
Romed (partner) and I moved from a little town and our lives there, to the real small beautiful village of Skamstrup. This was to be near a shipyard in Holbaek,where Hawila is now. The project brought us an environment of being together with crew and volunteers, where you can be yourself and feel well in. To me, it seems that this common goal of restoring Hawila to good shape brings people together. People who believe that we can do it ourselves: make a cleaner and more honest way to use the seas and crossing it.

Jeanne Belhassen

I am Jeanne Belhassen, I am a 29 year old from Nantes (FR).
I studied performing arts and I am now a light manager mainly for theater.
I have known Sam (the captain) for a long time and this summer he told me about his Hawila renovation project. And thanks to the current situation linked to the covid, I had plenty of time to help with the project.
I take care of the midday meals and the maintenance of the volunteer house all while helping with ideas for the communication of the project.
The Hawila renovation brings me new human encounters from different horizons, both in business and from other countries, while making me work on my poor English (Yeah!) … It is a real pleasure to be here!
After 3 months here, the return to my reality will change me!

Anton Corbal

My name Anton Corbal, I am 34 years old, I am from northern Spain. 
After studied Biology at the University in Coruña and Behavioral, Cognitive and Neurobiology at the University of Vienna. In 2011 I moved to Barcelona, where I studied documentary filmmaking at the Barcelona Film School. I am part of the team documenting the project.
I found around this community an alternative way of living that I didn’t found anywhere else, then I learnt that Hawila is just a small part of a bigger movement that is prepare for changing the World as we know it. What fascinated me is the multicultural background of the members and the conexion with the sea.
I am involved in the project since 2015 when two good friends (Rasmus and Despina) invited me to visit them.

Laura Aubry
(carpenter apprentice)

I’m Laura Aubry, I’m a 31 year old from Torpes (France).
After my studies as a Social worker, here I am now, on my way to the profession of a baker and sometimes farmer!
I was sailing on Hawila in 2019 and I made friends with the crew.
For the project of Hawila renovation,I’m framing and an apprentice carpenter. The project gives me a lot of new skills in wood and a huge human experience for 1 month!

Aline Combe
(dancer, volunteer)

I’m Aline Combe, I’m 31 year old from Toulouse, France.
After my studies of philosophy and dance, I’m a professional Dancer.
Through a dancing workshop that was taking place on Hawila, in August 2020, I am now helping with the renovation as a versatile assistant.
This project brings me an inscription in the local life of Holbaek, as well as possible new economic models, considering Hawila’s new role once the refit is completed. It also brings me new skills in woodworking, and in managing life in a collective. As a dancer, this project also brought me the idea of a new creation- related to Hawila.
So, I hope to help as long as possible on this project!

Lucie Piot
(dancer, volunteer)

My name is Lucie Piot, I’m a 22 year old from Copenhague (DK). I am a contemporary dancer and through a friend, who has been performing on Hawila in 2019 and 2020, I discovered Hawila.
Now, I am coming to help on the project on and off since October 2020.
I am doing various small tasks, depending on the current needs, mainly consisting of carrying some pieces of wood from A to B.
It teaches me a lot, in woodworking and boat building, obviously. It also brings me a sense of community, great sharings, and a lot of joy!

(ship’s cat)

I am Kattegat, 10 months old, from Rørvig (DK). I am a ship cat and good friend of Hawila and the crew. I met Hawila in May 2020 when I was a few weeks old and left my family to come live onboard with the captain and crew. I am doing various task onboard that I cannot describe here with written words. What I get from the project is mostly dry cat food, sometimes a few fishes, some hugs, stunning sunsets and sunrises, and a lot of teaching on several aspects of life and travel with humans. I love the group, can’t wait to go sailing again, and want to see Hawila thrive on all oceans and seas!

Photos by Eloïse Lallemand and Samuel Faucherre

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