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OCEANBIRD - THE WORLD'S LARGEST WIND POWERED CARGO VESSEL

Swedish shipping company Wallenius Marine has unveiled a conceptual cargo ship which it claims could transport 7,000 cars and trucks across the Atlantic propelled only by the power of the wind...



People have been sailing for thousands of years. A hundred years ago vessels powered by engines took over shipping and today shipping accounts for 90% of global freight. Diesel engines mean faster crossings but at the expense of the environment. Oceanbird claims to be developing the ocean-going freighters of the future – with 80 metre high sails.


Oceanbird will reduces emissions by as much as 90% with a goal to be able to operate freighters with zero emissions. A transatlantic crossing with Oceanbird will take around twelve days, compared with the eight days it takes conventional vessels.


A technically challenging project where the rigging and hull work together as a single unit to harness the wind in the most efficient way possible. The hull has been

designed for a large sailing cargo vessel and everything has been developed from this; speed, steering technology, hull shape and appearance, and the design and construction of the rigging. It is a mix of aerodynamic and shipbuilding technology.


When the first ship is completed, it will be the world’s largest sailing vessel measuring 105 meters above sea level and over 200 meters in length.



The Oceanbird concept is being developed for really large vessels designed to transport large, heavy cargoes over long distances for long periods. The wing sails are made of a mixture of metal and composite and will be around 80 metres high, twice the height of those on the largest sailing vessels around today. It will be possible to ‘reef’ the

wing sails, reducing their height with approx. 60 metres.


The hight above water line with the wing sails down will be 45 metres. The vessels will also be fitted with engines to enable them to manoeuvre in and out of port, and for

emergency operation.


Oceanbird shows that the maritime industry can bring about major change and that zero-emission shipping is possible, using wind as the main energy source.

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