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Square riggers are back!!! A sail powered container ship for the 21st century

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August 11, 2011

The age of sail may be getting a new beginning… and we couldn’t be more excited about the idea.

Imagine being off Ambrose Light and witnessing a triple-masted, 3000-ton containership simultaneously unfurl a dozen sails from gleaming carbon fiber yardarms and then blaze off into the distance on a great circle route toward Europe.

Using the Dyna-rig concept born in the 1960’s by German inventor Wilhelm Prolls, and successfully implemented in 2006 by the Perini Navi-built Maltese Falcon, commercial ships may soon find sails and carbon fiber rigging rising skyward from their decks.

B9 Shipping is the organization leading the charge on this exciting concept and their team is working in collaboration with a number of top organizations to make this concept a reality within the commercial shipping industry.

The technology behind B9 Ships, coupled with weather-optimized shipping routes, will deliver competitive freight rates and equal performance against schedules of conventional oil powered ships.

Maltese Falcon rigging sails yardarms

The state of the art sail propulsion system maximizes performance, dramatically improves reliability, has minimal impact on normal cargo operations and ensures optimum Health and Safety compliance.  Unlike commercial sailing vessels of the past, B9 Ships are operated entirely from the bridge, thus allowing the number of crew members to remain the same as those aboard a conventionally powered ship.

Predictability on long term freight cost adds a significant market advantage to those planning future logistics.  Since 60% of the energy used to move B9 ships comes from the wind, and the ancillary engines are powered by waste-derived bio-gas, B9 Shipping can offer unparalleled long term solutions in a new era of energy cost instability.

UK Shipping Minister, Mike Penning remarked,  “the innovative technologies being developed by B9 Shipping are very welcome in demonstrating to the shipping industry and the world beyond that efficient and affordable low-carbon shipping is possible.” 

The following video from B9 provides a more detailed look at this concept design…

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