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

The Oceanbird Wallenius is a 200-meter long, 40-meter wide "wind Powered Car Carrier" created by Sweden-based Wallenius Marine Services.

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

Innovative Swedish technology will make it possible to power the largest ocean-going vessels by wind, reducing emissions by 90 percent. Sails are no longer the issue – this time the rigging has more in common with airplane wings. Oceanbird is about revolutionizing technology that will put an end to the era of fossil-driven cargo ships in maritime transport. 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 power a cargo ship crossing the Atlantic with 7,000 cars in its hull. Until now. 

When the first ship makes its maiden voyage, it will be a historical occasion for maritime transport. The international seafaring organization IMO has set a goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions from international shipping by 40 percent by 2030. Oceanbird will contribute to changing, updating, and remodeling an entire industry.

With telescoping "wing sails" that can extend from 20 meters tall all the way up to 80 meters, the Oceanbird claims it can cross the Atlantic in just 12 days thanks to the innovative power of wind. Yet, according to the Maritime Post:

transatlantic crossing with 7,000 cars onboard will take around 12 days (today's crossings takes about 8 days).

Oceanbird is a technically challenging project where the rigging and hull work together as a single unit to harness the wind in the most efficient way possible. The hull has been designed for a large sailing cargo vessel and everything has been developed from this; speed, steering technology, hull shape and appearance, and the design and construction of the rigging. It is a mix of aerodynamic and shipbuilding technology. When the first ship is completed, it will be the world's largest sailing vessel.

In other words: it's the startup version of a sailboat.

This Wind-Powered Gigantic Cargo Ship Will Carry 7,000 Cars Across the Atlantic [The Maritime Post]

Oceanbird Wallenius