There are two immediate and interconnected reasons for considering at this time the viability of a return in some measure to sail for commercial transport. The first is the enormously increased running cost of ships with the recent rise in fuel prices, the second the fact that fossil fuels are fast running out. The papers first of all examine the resources that are available to propel ships, the present economic situation of shipping and the potential advantages to be gained from once more using the wind as a means of propulsion. Colin Mudie, a well-known yacht designer and naval architect, then considers different ways of reducing the running costs of ships that already exist by the use of sail as an auxiliary; he postulates a saving in fuel of the order of one tenth. Alan Villers, one of the world's authorities on square-rigged ships, in which he served so long, then describes in his own bluff fashion the virtues of that rig which had reached such a rare state of perfection by the time it was superseded. Classically, trading under sail involved an understanding of wind patterns which has, to a large extent, become redundant. Captain Cotter, Senior Lecturer in Navigation at UWIST, outlines the physical geography of the subject and Captain Burger, Lecturer in the Department of Maritime Studies at UWIST, then discusses the improvement over predictions based on averages that might be achieved by weather routing systems based on direct observations.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    Royal Institute of Navigation

    Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore
    London SW7,   England 
  • Publication Date: 1977-5

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00157976
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Journal of Navigation
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 15 1977 12:00AM