Industrious Swedes invent a wind-powered cargo ship that is definitely not a sailboat


The Wallenius sea bird is a 200 meter long and 40 meter wide “wind car carrier” created by the Swedish company Wallenius Marine Services.

Thousands of years have passed since we learned to harness the wind so that ocean-going ships can travel faster and farther. The wind helped us discover our planet – now it can help us preserve it.

Innovative Swedish technology will power the largest ocean-going vessels by wind, reducing emissions by 90%. The sails are no longer the problem – this time the rig has more in common with the airplane wings. Oceanbird aims to revolutionize the technology that will end the era of fossil-powered freighters in marine transportation. The wind is back.

Or, to be more precise, the wind has always been there, but no one has been able to use it to propel a freighter crossing the Atlantic with 7,000 cars in its hull. Until now.

When the first ship makes its maiden voyage, it will be a historic opportunity for shipping. The international maritime organization IMO has set a goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions from international shipping by 40% by 2030. Oceanbird will help change, update and reshape an entire industry.

With telescoping “winged sails” that can extend from 20 meters high to 80 meters, the Oceanbird claims to be able to cross the Atlantic in just 12 days thanks to the innovative power of the wind. Yet according to the Maritime post:

A transatlantic crossing with 7,000 cars on board it will take around 12 days (today’s crossings take around 8 days).

Seabird is a technically difficult project where the rig and the hull work together as a single unit to harness the wind in the most efficient way possible. The hull was designed for a large sailing freighter and everything was developed from it; speed, steering technology, hull shape and appearance, and rig design and construction. It is a mixture of aerodynamic technology and shipbuilding. When the first ship is completed, it will be the largest sailing ship in the world.

In other words: it’s the starter version of a sailboat.

This gigantic wind-powered cargo ship will transport 7,000 cars across the Atlantic [The Maritime Post]

Wallenius sea bird

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