Friday, August 2, 2013
Sailships are back - Hooray!
My friends know how big an advocate I am of bringing sailships back especially as cargo carriers. There was a time in the 70s when the then oil crisis prompted thinking in this direction, but, these days, environmental and cost concerns in a time of plentiful oil are forcing a renewed interest in this area. The Smart Planet website has this link to a Businessweek article which describes a new generation of "clippers" being designed by Rolls Royce and B9 Shipping to design a thoroughly modern sailship capable of carrying "4500 MT of cargo." From the drawings on the page, it looks like these would be Dyna Rig equipped container carriers, "augmented by Biomethane engines." I personally feel that the ideal place to put sails (and even Sky Sails) would be on oil tankers. Oil is still going to be sold, and it will have to be shipped by sea. Oil tankers are enormous and they would have a lot of room to put more masts up for an even larger Dyna-Rig system. There would be no need to have winches or grabs on an oil tanker, which would make it even easier to install just such a system on them. Shipping is a very conservative industry, though, and it will take a while to bring these old designs (albeit in a thoroughly modernized form) back.