The Norwegian speed sailor and inventor, Terje Lade, has developed a new concept for a ship in which the hull acts as a giant sail. He estimated that the “Vindskip” would have fuel savings of 60% and emissions reductions of 80% compared to current cargo ships.

Vindskip (Image: Lade AS)

Vindskip (Image: Lade AS)

The Vindskip would have natural-gas fired engines and a computerized sailing system that constantly calculates wind speed and direction so that the ship can channel wind along its hull. The computerised system would constantly find the most efficient “close-haul” angle while the design would also take advantage of the wind created by the ship’s forward propulsion.

A model has been tested in a wind tunnel at Cranfield University in the UK and the results show that the ship could make up to 14 knots powered only by the wind.

Terje Lade hopes to partner with companies to build a Wind Ship within the next three to four years.