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New Age Trawler/Motorsailer; Kite assisted PowerYacht

 
 
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Old 11-21-2007, 07:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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New Age Trawler/Motorsailer; Kite assisted PowerYacht

New Age....Kite Power & Slender Ships

I’ve come to a realization in this current age of escalating fuel prices, that there are two forms of pleasure yachts that are likely to survive the energy crunch, and even possibly flourish…the motorsailer and the kite-assisted power vessel.*

There’s been much written about motorsailers, including my preference for the multihull form of that gender…basically a more easily driven hull for both the motor and sail power to act upon…greater range, more economy, better performance.

Now we come to a new era, and again it’s the ‘fringe’ sailing youngsters that show us another way…kite sailing. You may have witnessed some of this activity out on the bays and the lakes where the windsurfers use to play. Check out this ‘YouTube’ clip,
“I Can Fly”

There is power in that wind to drive our vessels, and methods to extract it other than conventional vertical mast sailing rigs. Para-foil kites can produce very considerable power, and can be controlled in flight as the military discovered long ago. Now if we get those kites up into the better winds aloft, we can tap into that more consistent energy than exist at the sea level.

Two companies that have been quite active in the promotion of driving ships with kite power are:
1) KiteShip
2) SkySails

At present the Skysails group appears the more advanced of the two, particularly when you consider their single-line tethering, and computer flying of the kite. They have an automated stowage and deployment scheme as well. These parafoil kites can even fly upwind to certain degrees. A review of the websites is quite interesting. But they are not the only game in town, there is a lot of military interest in precision flying kites as well; ie, Atair Aerospace

How might this kite business affect the yachting business? It goes back to idea of a motorsailer, or phrased differently, a ‘wind-assisted power vessel’. If we can optimize the economy of the power vessel, as the trawler concept seeks to accomplish, and then add ‘sail’ assistance, we have a recipe for a ‘future class of new trawlers’ that can be quite economical to operate, and have a great range. I believe this could be a very viable alternative yachtform for our new fuel future.

Humphrey’s yacht design is very big on this idea as well. Attached is their tentative proposal for a 40M SkySail MotorYacht. They’ve termed it a SkySail-supplimented MotorYacht, “The use of the word ‘supplemental’ is chosen carefully. While we expect this family of boats to be able to ‘sail’ efficiently under SkySail, we foresee that fundamentally the boats have to be very efficient and seakindly motoryachts, and in this respect the common denominator for efficiently under both forms of motive power is low hull resistance. Thus our work on this generic set has evolved towards slender body hulls that derive stability from wavepiercing outriggers….they are in effect trimaran derivatives, which will have long rang capability under engine, not to mention the ‘free’ miles under SkySail."

I have been following some of the ‘slender ship’ technology as it has cross-over potential with multihull technologies. For a few references, visit these websites, and see a few of the attachments I’ve provided. There is considerably more reference material available.
1) : Worlds Largest Powered Trimaran
2)
White Rabbit tri
(see also here)
3) Very Slender Vessel, VSV
(see also here)
4) Cable & Wireless Trimaran
5) Catamaran Vessels :

Lets not forget the catamaran hullform, they are in fact slender ships as well. As I wrote in a recent press release, “Our next design (coming soon) will be an adaptation of this new motorsailing catamaran design into a kite-assisted power cat. We will exclude the Dynarig sailing rig and substitute a SkySail kite rig. Then next will be an entirely new hull design making use of the kite-sail concept”


Back to those design concept drawings by Humphrey’s (attached PDF).
LINK
I can fully imagine a scaled-down version of this tri-hull design, in the 65-70 foot range, with a wonderful rear ‘swim’ platform deck incorporating a sportfishing arrangement and/or a Scuba diving platform. Just inside could be a tender stowage as shown; or rather a complete diving & fish tackle facility. The tenders could then stow up on rear deck, or one forward, one aft.

The power would be a single main engine sized to develop the vessel’s desired top speed, and it could transmit this power by conventional shaft/prop arrangement, or with a azimuthing Volvo IPS dual prop unit, or via a retractable azimuthing Rim-Drive prop unit as I included on my latest dynarig motorsailer design.
1) Volvo IPS
2) Rim Drive : Rim Drive

Supplementing this single main engine would be a single DC diesel/electric power unit to provide for:
1) Ships electrical requirements
2) Slow speed operation by electric (wing) motor belted to main prop shaft
3) Maneuvering thrusters as required depending upon azimuth capabilities of main prop.

The entire ship would be powered by only two engines, basically sized to provide
1) Full main diesel power, unimpeded by interceding diesel/electric conversion
2) Slow speed operation and ship’s systems via the smaller diesel/electric unit
3) ‘Twin power’ emergency backup as either engine can run all gear
This configuration more ideally meets the latest thinking for the new diesel/electric DC technologies onboard smaller vessels. Alternatively, two identical diesel/electric plants might be sized such that in combination they would supply the max power required of the vessel, and half power for lesser times.

Only two engines and no conventional sailing rig should make this a more affordable vessel, both in construction, in maintenance, and in operation. However the SkySail kite arrangement will probably more than offset the conventional sailing rig in cost. Possibly a less expensive alternative to this ‘brand name’, with less computerization could be found (no integrated weather/navigation features, etc). Light-weight construction would be desirable but not necessary. Third world hull construction materials are a possibility.

I’ll call it a KiteSail Motorsailer for now.
Your comments on these ideas are welcomed.

Regards,
Brian Eiland
RunningTideYachts.com


* I must include a disclaimer that many ‘superyachts’ will also survive, as there will always be some people with unlimited funds to do whatever strikes their fancy regardless of price of construction and operating expenses.
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Last edited by brian eiland; 11-21-2007 at 08:37 PM..
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Old 11-21-2007, 09:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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From a practical viewpoint my bets are still on the trimarans, or stabilized mono-hulls, as some seem to want to label them. The wind-assist business is beyond my grasp ...

Kelly
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Old 11-22-2007, 09:03 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCook
The wind-assist business is beyond my grasp
Simplified here:
http://skysails.info/fileadmin/user_...nformation.pdf
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Old 11-22-2007, 10:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Brian,

Pretty interesting stuff. You may have heard of the Beluga Group in Germany. They are looking at this technology with SkySails for their merchant vessels. There is also some info on this site about it: http://www.wintecc.de/. If you click on the SkySails picture in the upper right hand corner, you can see a video of the SkySails system in action on a merchant vessel.

I know the guys at Beluga and just out of curiosity will see what the latest status is on their efforts.

JH
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Old 11-23-2007, 01:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
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let's see what happens the next years ...

Hi Brian,

I'm not in the yacht industries, but a technical freak.
Such ideas are in my head about a longer time.

To find a name reduce "KiteSail Motorsailer" to "KiteSailer".
If you like it, invite me for the sea trials

Gerhard
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Old 11-23-2007, 02:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I think it was our member TRY who first launched this idea on the YachtForums. It is also in his avatar;

http://www.yachtforums.com/forums/8026-post6.html
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Old 11-25-2007, 10:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I wrongly posted the message down here at other thread in these Forums (http://www.yachtforums.com/forums/te...html#post51629 ). Brian indicated me this, the correct one. I ask the admnistrator to please delete it from the wrong thread. Thanks in advance.

"The SkySails system is based on the kite constantly flying in dynamic mode (figure of 8), this to generate dynamic stability and increased power.

The kites are able to develope up to 2HP per sqm under the adequate conditions and, as they fly around 110º off the wind, you can even beat to winward with them (although less efficiently, of course). A 55º wind angle off the bow is possible.

For the time being the system is relatively expensive, but probably price will come down with increasing production. I've been investigating applicability to fishing vessels (30 to 70 m trawlers) and the system pays back itself in around 3 years (We did detailed studies of real life conditions for three of such vessels, with the collaboration of their owners and captains). It can be mounted without much fuss in around a week at an existing fishing vessel's forward deck, after the proper detailed engineering study of feasibility, of course. We are trying to mount the system aboard one of such units and test it, not only for free running, but also for when under trawling operations, which is the most important aspect. The bad news is fishing-vessels owners are not easy to convince.... "

(Visit: http://www.skysails.info/index.php?L=1)

Cheers.
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Old 12-18-2007, 05:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
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SkySails video

...couple of short videos
http://youtube.com/watch?v=a8qeKslrqeY

...you've got to wish these young guys luck...they've got a tough sale to those big guys, even though it looks very promising
http://youtube.com/watch?v=2umdKznDkfA
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Old 12-19-2007, 02:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Kite Power in Hawaii

Just recently brought to my attention, some guys experimenting with kite-sail power on a 24 foot trimaran.

Here are a couple of videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnACybMhPs4&NR=1
More here:
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/766538/kiteboat_hawaii/


...and their website:
http://www.kiteforsail.com/
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Old 12-20-2007, 12:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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A Belgian lady crossed the Atlantic quite some time ago, using a kite on a mastless sailing boat. She wanted to market the idea as a "get you home" method.

Another positive is that trawler and expedition yachts tend to want to broach in following seas, a kite would help stop that.

Not sure i agree with your multihull hypothesis. Doesn't a multihull have more wetted surface for a given volume?
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Old 12-22-2007, 04:46 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Launching Photo

Here is a nice launching photo of the SkySails unit
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Old 12-23-2007, 08:02 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Another good sales video for the simplicity of handling the SkySails product:

http://80.252.99.206%20/streamingfar...video_512k.wmv
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Old 01-15-2008, 12:27 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Kite Cat

Quote:
Originally Posted by brian eiland
Lets not forget the catamaran hullform, they are in fact slender ships as well. As I wrote in a recent press release, “Our next design (coming soon) will be an adaptation of this new motorsailing catamaran design into a kite-assisted power cat. We will exclude the Dynarig sailing rig and substitute a SkySail kite rig."
Sorry for the rather rough sketch, but here's the kite rig on the catamaran ready for launch
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Old 01-30-2008, 10:18 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Maiden Voyage of SkySails Vessel

A cargo ship has set off from Bremen to Venezuela to gain first-hand experience being towed partly by wind power. The newly built cargo vessel was towed by wind propulsion for the first time in the North Sea this month. The 160m2 SkySail supported the main engine of the 132m long Carrier MS “Beluga SkySails” of the Bremen-based Beluga Shipping with approx. five tons of tractive force at a low wind speed.

The invention is that of a Hamburg-based company SkySails GmbH & Co.

“The maiden voyage marks the beginning of the practical testing during regular shipping operations of the SkySails-System. During the next few months we will finally be able to prove that our technology works in practice und significantly reduces fuel consumption and emissions,” says Stephan Wrage, Managing Director, SkySails.

Parallel and in addition to the practical tests on the MS “Beluga SkySails”, the SkySails technology is advanced and optimized for series production readiness on further ships.

Stephan Brabeck, Technical Manager at SkySails: “Certainly, the daily routine at sea will still bear many challenges for SkySails. It is thus now particularly important to raise the manageability and robustness of the system to the level demanded by our customers. We will have to face up to many challenges and in the process learn many very valuable lessons.”

The shipping company and the manufacturer calculate that by using the towing kite system, a ship’s average annual fuel costs can be reduced by between 10% and 35%, depending on the prevailing wind conditions. Under optimal wind conditions, SkySails estimates that fuel consumption can sometimes be cut by up to 50%. The first results are to be expected in the next few months.

“Interest in the SkySails technology among shipping companies from all over the world was already high before, but especially during the last year and in light of the rising oil prices it has increased considerably,” states founder of the company Stephan Wrage.

They hope the state-of-the-art kite will help reduce carbon dioxide emissions, as it tugs the ship.Fuel burnt by ships accounts for 4% of global CO2 emissions - twice as much as the aviation industry produces.
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Old 02-27-2008, 02:18 PM   #15 (permalink)
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First Voyage Completed

The First MS Beluga SkySails Voyage

On January 22, for the first time since the masts of major shipping vessels fell to steam and diesel power, the line laid out and the kite unfurled in the gusty winds of the North Sea on the 10,000 ton, 133 meter MS Beluga SkySails.

Two weeks later, on February 5, the MS Beluga SkySails safely arrived in Venezuela with its cargo of an entire particle board factory completely intact with reported fuel savings of approximately 10 to 15 percent-- about $1,500 per day.

Those saving came from their 160 sq. meter kite. And according to SkySails, later on this year they will have a 320 sq. meter kite that will offer 50% savings in proper conditions.

From there they plan on building a 600 sq meter kite that should provide enough energy to cut 10 tons of diesel per day and cut $6,000 out of voyage costs.

Multiply that by the 97,000 merchant vessels in operation, and you’re looking at an overall cost savings of about $582 million, or 970,000 tons of diesel every day.


........
The current model of SkySail covers an area of 160 meters and is attached by line to a winch on the bow. And without a mast to contend with, not only is deck space spared for cargo, the sail is not restricted to low level winds close to the ocean's surface.

According to SkySails, wind speed at 100 meters up can be up to 20% higher than wind at 10 meters. In short, the kite can sail to where the wind is a blowin'.

The sail is also controlled by special computers that sense the wind speed and adjusts foils in the kite, directing it in large swooping figure eights. With whip like momentum it generates approximately 6,800 extra horse power.
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