9 January 2008

We'll need sailing vessels (Part II)

In Part I of this post I wrote about an important but oft overlooked message to be carried by the new Beagle: that a return to sailboats as a viable form of transportation is an essential piece of the climate-saving puzzle.

Today, I stumbled upon this BBC video hilariously entitled Ship using 'sail' technology, with sail in quotes, just like that, as if the BBC thought its readers might not be sure what sails were for.

My laughter turned to cheers, however, when I watched the video, which reports that the first cargo ship to harness wind power in more than a century is going to sail across the Atlantic this year.

'The age of sail may not be past,' it begins. 'In the age of climate change, windpower is making a remarkable comeback.'

According to the video, the new merchant ship is equipped with something called a SkySail, a high-tech 160 square-metre kite that will deliver 20% savings in CO2 emissions and fuel costs, which is equivalent to $1600 US Dollars per day.

The video ends by echoing the hopes of SkySail's developers, that the SkySail's maiden voyage will 'herald a new age of sail'.

SkySail in action

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