The Ville de Bordeaux, chartered by Airbus and owned and operated by Louis Dreyfus Armateurs, is the first to be equipped with the Seawing system. It is a real giant kitesurf that pulls the ship thanks to the wind.
Ships with kites save energy
The French company Airseas has created (at the end of this it is) a large sail that flies in the sky. Seawing is 300 square meters (1.000 square feet) large and can fly up to 300 meters high. The wind allows the ship to "kitesurf" in a simple and immediate way: the sail is activated at the push of a button, and the crew needs minimal training to manage it.
How ship kitesurfing works
When it comes to kitesurfing, the sky is the only limit. The Seawing wing automatically adjusts to the wind direction and speed, as well as the speed and course of the boat. This improves performance by lowering engine effort. Airseas expects the Seawing it will lead to a 20% reduction in fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
Airseas has big plans for Seawing, the marine propulsion system. The company wants to implement this kitesurfing on 10% of the world fleet already in this decade.
"I am proud to see that vision come true, with our first Seawing poised to make a tangible difference to our planet," says Vincent Bernatets, CEO and co-founder of Airseas.
An important return of the wind in naval transport is expected
This first 'kitesurfing' installation on a commercial vessel marks a significant milestone not only for Airseas, but also for wind and other renewable propulsion technologies in general. Given the urgency of the climate crisis, the world needs to immediately see a drastic reduction in carbon emissions. Wind propulsion is an essential solution in helping navigation achieve the necessary transition to decarbonisation.
Even at the “cost” of letting a ship kitesurf.