SkySails to get bigger and better

Now that the MV Beluga SkySails has completed her maiden voyage of 11,952 nautical miles (I was a little bit premature with my previous post) SkySails are talking of fitting kite double the size of the existing 160 square metre item. They are also planning on fitting kites with a sail surface of up to 600 square metres will be used on two larger Beluga P-Series carriers. Currently under construction, these vessels will each have 20,000 tons deadweight.

MV Beluga SkySails maiden voyage

On numerous days during the maiden voyage the system was put in action for periods of between a few minutes and eight hours. During that time the SkySail provided the ship with about 20% of the engine propulsion when it was flown in force 5 winds. When the kite can be flown 24 hours a day in those conditions it will save the MV Beluga SkySails about 2.5 tons of fuel, or more than $1,000, a day.

Captain Lutz Heldt returned from the two month maiden voyage to say:

We can once again actually ‘sail’ with cargo ships, thus opening a new chapter in the history of commercial shipping.

With the maiden voyage MV Beluga SkySails has commenced a 12 month pilot testing phase. The first six months will be spent calibrating and stabilising the kite system. The second half of the pilot phase will focus on extending the flight times and improving performance.

Source: SkySails