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Kite Sails for Merchant Vessels - SkySails - Green Cargo Ships

Updated on July 1, 2017

Saving fuel using the Wind Power

The first time I saw the SkySails technology I have to admit I thought it was not possible to use a kite to help pulling a cargo vessel. But it is and now I know this will help reduce both fuel consumption and carbon emissions every time a big ship employs this system.

Everybody knows that wind is much cheaper than fuel and there is no expectations that it will end someday soon. No doubt those are great arguments to backup the SkySails and if we think that the fuel consumption can be reduced by almost 35% it is easy to understand that the initial investment will be paid in four or five years.

Image 2008 SkySails GmbH & Co. KG
Image 2008 SkySails GmbH & Co. KG

Much greener transportations

If every big ship out there had a SkySails we could expect that the carbon emissions from them would be inferior to the ones from the aviation, making the ocean transportation much more "greener" and a lot cheaper than it is right now.

SkySails` Technology

SkySails bring windpower to container ships!

SkySails - How it works

Using this huge sail (320m2 / 3444.56 ft2) which works as a large towing kite, the ship´s motors have less need to propel all the weight through the water.

This automatic towing kite propulsion systems are the first attempt to bring back the wind and sails systems to the 21st century maritime navigation industry requirements.

The system can be equipped both on new or on older ships and the only limitation for this system is the ship length - minimum 30 meters.

The complete system consists of three primary components: the kite with the towing rope, a launch and recovery equipment and a automatic control system for easy operation.


The company it is established at Hamburg, Germany, since 2001 and has been developing, making and marketing this new technology through out the world.

You can learn more about their company and products in their website:

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Image ©2008 SkySails GmbH & Co. KGImage ©2008 SkySails GmbH & Co. KGImage ©2008 SkySails GmbH & Co. KGImage ©2008 SkySails GmbH & Co. KG
Image ©2008 SkySails GmbH & Co. KG
Image ©2008 SkySails GmbH & Co. KG
Image ©2008 SkySails GmbH & Co. KG
Image ©2008 SkySails GmbH & Co. KG
Image ©2008 SkySails GmbH & Co. KG
Image ©2008 SkySails GmbH & Co. KG
Image ©2008 SkySails GmbH & Co. KG
Image ©2008 SkySails GmbH & Co. KG

SkySails for your recreational boat!

You have a small boat and you liked the idea!?

Then keep reading because you will find the solution for your problem.

Power Kiting

Photo by Ouz @
Photo by Ouz @

You get seasick everytime you go on a boat...

All right, do not leave yet. There is still hope for you!

You can enjoy this same technology without any boat.

Of course I am talking about Kitesurfing which is like surfing but with wind as propellent.

You still do not believe that wind has enough power!?


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    • michelle willow profile image

      michelle willow 

      9 years ago from Croatia / Europe

      Wow! Fun ride by funride! LOL

    • funride profile imageAUTHOR

      Ricardo Nunes 

      10 years ago from Portugal

      Thanks Laurie, you´re very kind. It´s a pleasure to have you commenting on my hubs and now you can sing along with Christopher (video below) ;)

      Enjoy and have fun!

    • Inspire Wisdom profile image

      Inspire Wisdom 

      10 years ago from Appalachian Mountains

      Great Hub. I enjoyed your video's and the time you took to put this Hub together. Way to go. Makes you want to sing Christopher Crosses song "Sailing" :)

      Laurie (Inspire Wisdom)

    • funride profile imageAUTHOR

      Ricardo Nunes 

      10 years ago from Portugal

      The wind must be blowing in my direction! LOL Three days without running my computer and now I found three comments from three lovely ladies here ;)

      NYLady - Thanks, I´m glad you enjoyed and learned something from this hub ;-)

      SweetiePie - Are you sure!? Just imagine how beautiful the beach would look from that high :D

      marisuewrites - LOL don´t tell anybody but I was also scared the first time I watch that video. I even stop playing with my little kite - we never know... :D

    • marisuewrites profile image


      10 years ago from USA

      Great hub, but scarey to me, however wind is a good thing, as long as it leaves me on the ground!! LOL

    • SweetiePie profile image


      10 years ago from Southern California, USA

      I am scared of contraptions such as that, so I would rather watch it from the ground :). Nevertheless interesting hub and anything that gets people to start thinking about energy consumption is a good thing.

    • NYLady profile image


      10 years ago from White Plains, NY

      Loved this hub! Never saw the skysails in action and they are such a great idea. Like stephhicks, I like learning something new when I read a hub, and I certainly did this time!

    • funride profile imageAUTHOR

      Ricardo Nunes 

      10 years ago from Portugal

      Coming from you that was quite a compliment, thanks a lot William. You´re right, we only think about the storm when we hear the thunderbolts, or even worst: sometimes we wait until we get electrocuted by one LOL.

    • William F. Torpey profile image

      William F Torpey 

      10 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      Fantastsic hub, funride. I agree with Steph. Sails have been around for a long time, you would of thought this would have been tried before, but now that all we want to do is "drill, drill, drill" it's a good time to get it done. It's another example of how we always wait for a problem to become a crisis before we do anything about it.

    • funride profile imageAUTHOR

      Ricardo Nunes 

      10 years ago from Portugal

      Thanks Steph, let´s hope it will become common on every ship.

      Hi G-Ma, thanks for your comment. Lol if the line breaks they will have to buy another one plus the kite :D . In fact the ship could go faster but only if full throttle. The main advantage is to go the same speed but with less fuel ;)

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      10 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      Wow...Sounds wonderful to me...I can just bet this has been known for sometime though...sounds like it could be a really good thing...does it help the ship move faster? and what if the line breaks??? You certainly did a good job presenting this sweetie..Thanks....G-Ma :o) hugs

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 

      10 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      This almost seems like a no-brainer, using sky sails to cut down on fuel consumption! Fantastic hub - I learned something new today. :) Steph


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