Auxiliary Sail Rig Passes Sea Tests On Cargo Ship

An auxiliary sailing rig installed on a 3,000-dwt cargo ship successfully completed sea trials and will soon be further tested in Caribbean trading.

The rig was d e v e l o p e d by Wind s h i p Development Corp., Norwell, Mass., in conjunction with Ceres Hellenic Shipping Enterprises Ltd., Piraeus, Greece, on whose ship, the Mini-Lace, the sail was fitted and the sea trials undertaken recently.

The test was held off New Bedford, Mass., in Buzzards Bay. Lloyd Bergeson, president of AVindship, said the rig was tested to confirm the expected reductions in fuel consumption to be achieved by sail assistance while maintaining required vessel speed. The recent trials were carried out to evaluate the effectiveness of the rig's design and the vessel's performance under sail. Both were up to e x p e c t a t i o n s , Mr. Bergeson indicated. The fuel savings are expected to be substantial, he added.

The rig is a triangular Dacron sail of 3,000 square feet which is attached to a 100-foot unstayed mast that is rotated for furling and unfurling. The mast and boom weigh over 40 tons.

Trimming and furling is accomplished by hydraulic winches and operating gear controlled automatically by computer from the bridge.

Structural components of the rig were fabricated by Hodgson Steel and Iron Works, Niagara Falls, Ontario, and the hydraulics by the Pine Hill Equipment Co., Westport, Mass.

The sail was produced by Hood Sailmakers, Marblehead, Mass. According to Hood officials, the sail was specifically designed, woven, and finished for this rig. An exclusive formula that impregnates the Dacron fabric protects the sail from the sun's ultraviolet rays. The fabric is in excess of 20-ounce sailcloth with a minimum useful life of five years as specified by Ceres. The sail clews were tested to withstand 30 to 35 tons.

The only other merchant ship with sail-assisted propulsion is a 1,600 dwt Japanese tanker mounting two folding aero foil aluminum sails that r e p o r t e d ly achieved up to 50 percent savings in operational fuel costs with use of sail.

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