A giant kite floating high above the boat provides the propulsion, if the winds are favorable, to keep the ship moving, while saving up to 35% in fuel costs.
Designed for cargo ships, the parachute-like sail produces about four times as much energy as that on a regular sailing ship and, with winds of 8 m.p.h. (7 knots) or more, can be used to relieve the main engine.
The SkySails is lifted into the air with the help of a telescoping mast at the ship’s prow. An autopilot calculates wind force, direction, ship route, as well as speed and makes sure the sail is positioned in the most optimal way. In addition to cargo vessels, fish trawlers and superyachts can also be equipped with SkySails.
The German company SkySails was established and developed the world’s first practicable towing kite propulsion system for commercial shipping in 2001. A unique network of outside experts and powerful suppliers from the shipbuilding and aircraft industries, together with suppliers from the superyacht sector, has contributed to the development of the SkySails system.