Could Sailing Cargo Ships Have Been Inspired by Maltese Falcon

Normally it is super yachting that follows through with ideas developed for commercial shipping.  But perhaps here is an example of technology flowing the other way.

Perhaps taking inspiration from the Dyna-rig concept developed for the superyacht Maltese Falcon engineers at the University of Tokyo (UT) and a group of collaborators have designed a system of large, retractable sails measuring 64 feet (20 m) wide by 164 feet (50 m) high, which studies indicate can reduce annual fuel use on ships equipped with them by up to 30%.

They believe that the next generation of cargo ships could use 164-foot sails to lower fuel use by 30% and help reduce toxic load and keep costs of shipping freight reasonable. 

Of the world’s nearly 45,000 cargo ships, many burn a low-grade bunker fuel in their engines and produce pollution equivalent to millions of automobiles. 


  1. Hi Frances and Michael,

    The Dyna-rig system is one of the sail designs that is being considered by a number of commercial sail cargo groups. B9 shipping are planning to use the system as are Fair Transport, who are already operating more traditional sail cargo vessels. The system was originally designed in the 1960’s by Wilhelm Prolls, but then left languishing by the advent of cheap oil.
    B9 shipping –
    Fair Transport –

    We have opted for a more standard sail system, as our Greenheart ships are specifically designed for the less developed regions of the world, however even though our zero-emissions sail/solar ships will be small, they are container ready and have folding masts.

    Greenheart –

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