Sail: making a comeback. File Image / Pixabay.
Wind-assisted propulsion, which has made inroads into commercial shipping, could be about to do the same for leisure cruises, according to a French shipyard.
Chantier de l'Atlantique, which builds conventionally propelled cruise ships, is developing an attachable sail concept with sails made out of fibreglass and carbon. The sails would sit on the deck of the ship.
The shipyard had to overcome the size of sail required to have an impact of cruise propulsion against available technology and fabrics.
It has come up with a design where the sail consists of folding panels that can be used with an engine and propellers, according to a report by CNN Travel.
In addition,the sail's mast (which is 80 metres height) can rotate and tilt to allow cruise ships to sail under bridges, the report said.
The Chantier de l'Atlantique concept, which is called solid sail/aeoldrive remains at the testing stage although, according to the shipyard, a design for a three-master sail, 200-metre long cruise that was presented at two recent trade shows in Miami generated a lot of interest from industry players.
The solid sail/aeoldrive design could cut emissions by 50%, the report said.