Chantiers to test Solid Sail

Paul Gunton

Paul Gunton · 28 November 2019

ShipInsight


Solid Sail, the high-tech sail developed by French shipbuilder Chantiers de l'Atlantique, is to be tested with its rigging on the south dike of the Port of Pornichet over a period of about three months.

Invented by Chantiers de l'Atlantique, Solid Sail is a 100% composite, high-performance and foldable sail, capable of exceeding 1,000m2. It is designed to propel the future of the largest sailing ship, a project known as Silenseas by Chantiers de l'Atlantique.

After a year of successful tests of a first 250m2 Solid Sail on the cruise ship Le Ponant, including two crossings of the Atlantic, the objective is now to validate on a small-scale model. (1/5) a second generation Solid Sail sail and its balestron rig with an unmounted mast capable of turning 360 ° to adapt to the wind direction.

The 15m high model was designed to reproduce the mechanical and aerodynamic behaviour of the rigging of these future liners and therefore includes a suitable instrumentation. The development of "control-command" of the rigging and its sails is also on the test programme with the aim of automating the operation at 100%. The Port of Pornichet dike was chosen for its exposure to undisturbed winds, which is necessary to ensure the reliability of the tests.

The rig that will support the sail has been mounted and will be settled for ten days by the teams of Chantiers de l'Atlantique and Multiplast, their industrial partner on the project. Other partners will also be involved in the tests: Méca (engineering company) Awentech (design office), Avel robotics (robotised application of composites), ENSTA Bretagne, G-seadesign ( composite design office) and ODS (embedded electronics).

The rig will be used as a test bench for Solid Sail until February.

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