Newbuilt or Retrofit


Wind-Assisted Ship is a vessel with one or two wing sails to complement the main engine to reduce fuel consumption and emissions. It is a way to:
⇒ Prolong the life-time of existing vessels through retrofit
⇒ Make a newbuilt vessel future proof
⇒ Get compliant with climate legislation, such as CII
⇒ Test wind propulsion in a smaller scale
⇒ Test new fuels since it enables smaller fuel tanks

However, it is not just to put a piece of steel and composites on deck and expect it to deliver huge savings. The Oceanbird team, consisting of Naval Architects, PhD´s and experts in propellors, automation, aerodynamics etc, would never suggest to install a wing sail if it didn’t meant a real reduction of fuel consumption.

Step 1


Selecting the vessel

First step is selecting an appropriate vessel in the existing fleet or the newbuilding program. A bigger vessel means more stability, and we also look at average speed and age. The wing sail can be moved and used on another vessel after re-cycling, but you might not want to do extensive steel strengthening in the hull if re-cycling is just a few years away. On the other hand, it can be a way to avoid stranded assets by keeping an older vessel in operation instead of sending it to re-cycling too soon. If a vessel has an upcoming dry-docking, that could be a good opportunity to install a wind-assisted propulsion system.

Analyzing the route

Oceanbird´s performance analytics team investigate the wind conditions along the route. They look into the wind speed and direction, and then make a diagram to visualize the conditions for that specific route. It could be a good idea to dedicate a vessel with wind propulsion to a favorable route, but it can also work in a global system.

Step 2


If the ship owner decides to proceed after getting the conclusions from the screening and the potential savings, it´s time for pre-study. The study is based on the ship owner´s requirements, but normally we look at stability, performance, systems onboard and how a wing sail would affect machinery propulsion system. In short: it is about predicting how the vessel will behave with a wing sail onboard.

After the pre-study, the ship owner receives an estimated ROI (return on investment), a business case and a clear recommendation if they should proceed or not.

Step 3


When all boxes has been checked and we are entering the process of ordering a wind propulsion unit, Oceanbird makes an integration suggestion in collaboration with the ship owner, design house and classification society. Once the design has been approved by all stakeholders, the wing sail production begins.

Step 4

Vessel modification & wing installation

For retrofitting an existing vessel, it is often necessary with hull strengthening measures to prepare the vessel for the wing sail. This is performed by the shipyard, with site supervision from Oceanbird, and can be performed during docking. Newbuilt or Wind-Ready vessels can skip this part. The installation of the wind-propulsion unit can be installed at the yard or at larger ports.

Step 5

Commissioning & crew training

Last step is getting the system up and running, and of course making sure that the crew knows how to use it. One part of the crew training program will be carried out at the land-based prototype in Landskrona, Southern Sweden. The crew will be able to maneuver a full-scale wing sail and take part in bridge simulation training.

Installing the wing sail