Neoline wind-powered merchant ship to use Solid Sails

A development project for the construction of a 136m, wind-powered merchant ship is underway following the final selection of the wind-assisted propulsion technology for the vessel, an active crowdfunding campaign, and the forging of key strategic partnerships.

Nantes-based eco-responsible and low-carbon shipping company Neoline will begin construction of its first Neoliner cargo ship later this year, ready for it to enter service in 2024-25.

Following technical studies carried out by Chantiers de l’Atlantique, Neopolia, Mauric and D-Ice, the ship’s rigging will consist of two Solid Sail folding rigging systems, including two 76m masts, each equipped with the Solid Sail sail technology of 1,100 m² and a flexible jib of 400 m², with a total sail area of 3,000 m².

It’s said the 136m wind-powered merchant ship will save 80-90 per cent of fuel compared to a conventional ship of the same size.

Thanks to the thinness and vertical elongation of the structure, as well as the reduction of the masking effect of the sails, it’s reported that calculations show the Solid Sail rig, with its rigid sails, will provide the equivalent or even better performance than the 4,200 m² of flexible sails initially planned for the duplex rig.

“The expertise of our technical partners and local players, combined with Chantiers de l’Atlantique’s Research and Development, give the project a synergy of skills, which made this choice possible,” explains Jean Zanuttini, president of Neoline. “The continuous work on the general design of the ship over the last few months by Mauric, Neoliner’s architect, has enabled the architecture to be adapted to this new rig, in order to ensure its integration on board. The studies have confirmed the technical feasibility of the major evolution of the rig, both from a structural and stability point of view and in terms of the general organisation of the ship.”

The expected lifetime of the sail is 25 years, which will reduce maintenance costs compared to soft sails.

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