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They’re at it again, those Germans.

High fuel costs have encouraged innovative vessel designers to take another look at wind power.  Tradewinds reported last month that Reederei Wessels has ordered 160 sq metre towing kites for three newbuildings from Hamburg-based SkySails.

Another German owner, Beluga Shipping of Bremen has a SkySails towing kite fitted to its 9,750-dwt Beluga SkySails and is planning two more. 

SkySails say ships should be able save between 10% and 35% fuel.  That’s a lot of saving at current fuel prices.

Do you know anything about these towing kites versus more ‘traditional’ rigid systems?  We’d be interested to learn a bit more.  Go on all you techies, share your knowledge. 

Why aren’t more ships fitted with sails. What’s the problem?

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