Southern spars rises to the decarbonisation challenge and joins the International Windship Association

26 January, 21

As momentum grows to deliver commercial wind propulsion technology solutions both as wind-assist and primary wind propulsion systems, everyone that follows this developing technology segment knows the iconic DynaRig concept, first envisioned by Wilhelm Prolls in the 1960s but now one that has proven itself as an effective alternative to conventional rigs for superyacht owners who have been looking to reduce crew numbers and optimize sailing time. Today, Southern Spars, a division of North Technology Group and specialist in DynaRig design and manufacture, has announced that it has joined the International Windship Association (IWSA), the member driven not-for-profit organisation that promotes and helps facilitates the uptake of wind propulsion solutions in the commercial fleet. Southern Spars recently partnered with Magma Structures to further develop the next generation of innovative rig solutions, with the aim of making the efficient, safe, and high-performance rig more accessible to commercial shipping.

“With requirements to cut emissions and increasing fuel prices, there is an ever-growing demand for wind-assisted solutions for commercial shipping. Southern Spars has joined the IWSA as a world leader in the design and manufacture of sailing rig solutions. We are working on several commercial shipping and workboat projects for various wind-assisted solutions and for DynaRig systems similar to the rigs installed on the superyachts Maltese Falcon and Black Pearl.” says Andy Shaw, DynaRig Specialist.

To date, the DynaRig system has been installed on these two large yachts which have produced a huge amount of performance data and validated that the system is very effective for fairly large vessels. The Maltese Falcon, is a 88m long self-standing three-mast square rigger with a sail area of 2,396 m2 (25,790 sq ft) and larger still, the Black Pearl is 107m with 2,900 m2 (31,215 sq ft) of sail and has a maximum speed of 30 knots under sail alone.

“It is a great pleasure to welcome such a specialist design team to the International Windship Association family and we are all eager to learn more about the commercial shipping projects that are currently in the pipeline. This is a critical time in the development of commercial wind propulsion and we look forward to working with the Southern Spars team to help deliver a wind propulsion future for the world fleet.” states Gavin Allwright, IWSA Secretary General.

It would seem that as more specialist sailing rig designers are looking to bring their knowledge and experience into the commercial field, that the delivery and optimisation of wind propulsion solutions is in safe hands. The challenge to decarbonise shipping deeply and swiftly may not have the prestige of lifting the America’s cup, but it is a bold challenge nonetheless.

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