Ship sails weighing 200 tons each

OK, supposed “news”, because these are not in existence yet:
Riviera - News Content Hub - Harnessing wind’s zero-emission power to lower opex (

I would note:

  1. The max stated 30% fuel savings is unlikely to be realized
  2. How much more fuel use is added by the weight of 200 tons per sail?
  3. How do the sails affect safety, stability in storms, going under bridges, and the risk of capsize?
  4. Will they have to add optional jettison of the sails in a storm?
  5. At 200 tons, they are unlikely to become AWE
  6. How do the companies financially benefit from “greenwashing” - a pretense of “saving the world”?
  7. Is it really serious, or are they just going along to get along?
  8. How else could the same money be spent, to better use?
  9. How much extra people and cost will be required to operate the sails?
  10. Will they require extra insurance in case the sails cause a collision?

So now you are peddling «news» also? hehe

This ship is interesting. Time will show if they are any success. I do share some of your concerns, but the idea is maybe not impossible in my opinion

Wrt capsizing and weight distribution ship builders tend to know a lot about this, so I would assume they know what they are doing here. So not my top worry. I would be more worried about power output, maybe they dont know wind that well

The total area of the four sails is 3000 Sq. M. If we operate a crosswind kite at effectively 3 times the wind speed then the equivalent sail area for the same power is 111 Sq. M (Check my calculations; power varies with velocity cubed) Am I crazy but doesn’t AWE win this contest hands down?

Seems like, with the transition from sails to steam power was over 100 years ago, if there had been any advantage to retaining the sails, they never would have gotten rid of them in the first place! :slight_smile:

I have to qualify my skepticism with the fact that we had a sailboat growing up, and I noticed it would have taken a small gasoline engine to move the boat at the same speed the wind could push it using no fuel.

Also, our entire region of NY State was powered electrically by Niagara Falls. I toured the power plant as a kid and was impressed. These were the factors that led me to pursue wind energy.

Still, ships these days follow economics and need to keep a schedule, so if some “solution” can’t pay for itself, and/or involves too much extra work and weight, not to mention liability and safety concerns, it is not a true solution after all.

As for kites pulling ships, that was my first CAD drawing back in the 1980’s. Seemed like a slam-dunk no-brainer solution at the time, but it has been tried and never caught on.