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It was called 'Preussen' (german for 'Prussia').

Weird. Every time I see german quoted, I see speeling errors. Every time.)



Vielen dank. Corrected.



"I prefer the low-tech way; higher taxes on fuel, lower taxes on labour."

Gee, if we've reached peak oil already, one would think that market forces would be enough to encourage alternate methods. Only a fool welcomes the taxation that takes wealth out of the economy where it can be employed to create even greater wealth.

Djima Habre


Large sails take away too much space.
They make the ship to lean on one side, which is too dangerous for the cargo.

Kites are a much better alternative, since they can capture a much stronger wind and do not need any space or a mast.

Anyway compact sails could be used for assistance.

Mehul Kamdar


There is a possibility of using sailships to ship valuable cargo - designer clothing, perfumes, beverages etc - instead of loading these into containers and making a profit without worrying about the politically suicidal steps that raising taxes on fuel would be. And in an age where carbon credits can be sold, sailship companies could use these as an additional way of bolstering their bottomlines.

I wonder how fast a modern tea clipper couls go and what tonnage of cargo it could carry with modern materials and controls of the kind used on the modern sailships listed here? Perhaps, this is a design challenge that a talented yacht designer needs to look at.



Cool, you corrected the misspelling, thanks! You even did this on the link.

Mind you, you *did* misspell your answer - it should be "Vielen Dank" :-D

PS: I lived on a sailing ship for 5 years. A ship leaning to one side is not particularly dangerous for its cargo - you can tie it down. Sails are also both easier to handle and assist in keeping the ship steady; it doesn't roll as much which, I'm sure, is also safer for the cargo.



More comments at Slashdot:


Cabrinha kiteboards


Awesome stuff, thanks a million times for sharing these pictures, you have really made my day my friend!


Captain Blight


There's more to moving cargo than simply pressing a button. A ship needs a certain minimum number of crew simply for safe operation in fair weather; and what happens when things start going badly? I mean, try securing a load of treetrunks or pipes that have broken loose in a Force 8 gale and 10-meter seas with only the relief mate and the cook to do it. it's not going to happen.

I'm not set against the idea-- but I also believe that Djima Habre has the right of it in Comment 4. Kites are *far* superior to mast-sails in every way. There's a beneficient curve to their design spiral: Since the kites don't need a mast as such, the hulls don't need to be engineered to support the masts and the loads and stresses they impose. No masts means no shrouds or stays, no yards means no tacks and sheets and halyards, and that all means lower windage and ultimately a safer vessel. Since you could arrange things so the pull from the kite can come right at the waterline on the leeward side, there's no heeling moment. You could sail on an even keel at all times.

The *only* disadvantage kites have is they don't work to windward terribly well; but this is changing as the recreational market drives the engineering.

Kites, folks; kites.



Kruzenshtern is a school ship, hence large crew. Thus your comparison of crew sizes becomes meaningless.



Slow transport by sail is probably OK for non-perishable cargo, but I am not sure you will find today a crew eager to spend a few weeks on board. Perhaps unmanned sail ships (fully automatized and GPS-tracked) could be a possibility.

Vincent Treanor III


Ailing ships are practical and can make money. Studies in 1980 demonstrated that a ship similar to but larger than Preussen could be operated with automated sail systems and carry bulk, break bulk, liquid or containerized cargo at less cost than a comparable full powered ship with a schedule of only 2 to 5 days longer. The Kruzenshtern is a training ship, has been outfitted with an engine and is used as part of the Russian navy training program. No sailing vessel had a crew of more than 45 men or so. The crew did not sleep in cabins as such, they hot bunked in the Forecastle. Al living quarters were above the main deck and too no cargo space. They were fast - the P Liners ran liner schedules from Germany to ports in Peru.



What is low tech about using computers to control sails?
Another system has been developed which can control sails perfectly without computers, - that is truly low tech. It's here: http://www.windthrusters.com



I like this idea of a return to sail. I have just discovered this website. Is there an update since the article was written?

Kris De Decker


@ Jillian

There's more about the future of sail in this article from 2017: https://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2017/09/how-to-run-the-economy-on-the-weather.html

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