Skip to main content

Pittman Innovation: UK Sailmakers Power Sail

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:
Solar-Cloth-J88
43553

Until recently the only solar sails were those designed for catching the solar wind aboard spacecraft, but not anymore, thanks to UK Sailmakers France and SolarCloth System’s Power Sails. The key here is a set of lightweight, non-load-bearing ultra-thin solar panels—typically 65 microns thick—which are laminated, glued, stitched or even zipped to a boat’s mainsail. Proof of concept was aboard an Open 50 in the 3,500-mile Route de Rhum transatlantic race in November 2014. After that came its use aboard the Arcona 380Z (Z for Zero emissions) a production boat with a UK Sweden tape-drive mainsail including 75ft² of photovoltaic film on each side. On this side of the pond, Power Sails have established a bridgehead as part of the energy package on the new J/88 Oceanvolt, which also includes a hydro-generator to help power its electric saildrive. Because the materials work well on a variety of fabrics, expect to see it on sailpacks, dodgers, biminis and awnings as well. On the aforementioned Open 50, for example, the arrays could be unzipped and attached to the sail cover in port.

Price upon request. SolarClothSystem/UK Sailmakers, solarclothsystem.com

Related

fa70b13c-8eec-4c35-b30f-f89e497b469a

Crowdsourcing Age-of-Sail Weather Data

Although big, multi-million-dollar projects like the Large Hadron Collider and the human genome project with their legions of PHD’s tend to grab headlines, there’s still a part of play for the “citizen scientists” of the world. Amateur birders have long contributed to an ...read more

01-LEAD-Ultime-race-Yvan-Zedda,-OC-Sport-Pen-Duick

Ultims to Race Solo Around the World

For years now, maxi-trimarans, both solo-sailed and fully crewed, have been racing the clock on their own around the world in an effort to set ever faster records for the world’s fastest circumnavigation under sail. Back in 2000-01 there was also a no-holds-barred ...read more

P1-01-LEAD-018_CARYNBDAVIS_AMISTAD

Juneteenth on the Water

Discovering Amistad and Mystic Seaport Museum have partnered to organize their third annual Juneteenth festival, featuring concerts, speakers and a reflection on the lasting legacy of racial injustice in America. Declared a National Holiday in 2021, Juneteenth celebrates the end ...read more

Lead-2021-01-17-vue-03-34-av-tb-01

New Multihulls for 2022

Lagoon 51 In keeping with many of the more recently launched models created by French multihull builder Lagoon, the Lagoon 51 is all about comfort, “en plein air,” in particular, as the French might say. Topside, a whopping 80 percent of the boat’s flybridge is given over to ...read more

bermuda

How to Spectate on the Newport Bermuda

The biannual Newport Bermuda Race starts on Friday with the first warning signal at 1 pm. Whether you’re tracking a loved one’s progress or just spectating an event that draws pros and weekend warriors alike, there are plenty of ways to stay up to watch. The starting line will ...read more

03-Hyeres-220429_SOF2022_SAILINGENERGY_1933_3184-copy

US Sailing Strikes Gold in Hyères

After being skunked or nearly skunked at multiple Olympiads, could the US Sailing Team (USST) now under the direction of Olympic veteran Paul Cayard, be finally turning it around? If its performance at the 53rd French Olympic Week regatta in Hyères, France, where the team posted ...read more

P1480042

New York City’s Newest Fleet

120 children enrolled in Brooklyn Boatworks’ STEM and life skills-focused program launched their hand-built optimist prams on June 14 from Pier 2 in Brooklyn Bridge Park. The launch is the culmination of years of student work, with boats in process before the pandemic caused the ...read more

AdobeStock_197518370

Charter: Off the Beaten Path

So, you like to charter in the Caribbean with its warm waters, swaying palm trees, steady trade winds and strong rum drinks. What’s not to love? It can be easy, though, to get stuck in a rut when chartering year after year in the same place. Sure, the British Virgin Islands are ...read more