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  • An Unusual Product Line

    Posted by David Foster on June 20th, 2020 (All posts by )

    Here’s a company that builds (in addition to other things) square-rigged sailing ships…not just as a shipyard executing customer-supplied designs, but as a more-or-less standard product line.  There are three models, ranging from 1150 to 3000 tons displacement.

    I wonder how many they have sold.


    12 Responses to “An Unusual Product Line”

    1. Douglas2 Says:

      As a first pass guess with limited research:


      It looks like the RNOV Shabab Oman II is the most recent sale, preceded by the Stad Amsterdam and the Brazilian Navy’s Cisne Branco

    2. Mike K Says:

      They’ve built thousand of ships, not many square rigged but lots of work boats.

    3. Kingsnake Says:

      How many guns, of what poundage?

      — Admiral Nelson

    4. David Foster Says:

      An alternative approach to square-sail handling can be found on the sailing cruise ships of the Star Clipper line. The square sails are roller-furled by a hydraulic system, in response to controls on the bridge or a remote control operated from the deck..Really cuts down on the crew requirements.

    5. Jonathan Says:

      Wouldn’t navies and cruise companies, the likely customers for large sailing vessels, tend be have opposite preferences from each other for automation?

    6. David Foster Says:

      Jonathan, yes, given that the navies are looking for traditional experience for their training vessels and larger crew is a *good* thing for that purpose…also better PR that way. For the cruise market, I’m not aware of anyone offering anything more than day or overnight sails, except for Star Clipper…although there are some ships offering a you-can-be-the-crew experiences.

    7. MCS Says:

      Given all the safety requirements that start 4 feet off the deck, I don’t see even navies going for anything less than the full package of automation. Can you imagine the outcry from a sailor dying or being severely injured?

      From recent history, I’d say our navy needs to spend more effort teaching them to operate the ships we have now.

      You sort of have to wonder why some billionaire hasn’t bought one. How green would that be? The rigging would mean that the helipad would have to be on the tender and the sails would cut into the production of the token solar cells.

    8. David Foster Says:

      We need a square-rigged ship for the Chicago Boyz yacht..Mike K can navigate. The only question is whether we want traditional rigging (we’ll all need to haul on lines and climb the masts) or want to do it the easy way and get the one with roller furling.

    9. Anonymous Says:

      We need a square-rigged ship for the Chicago Boyz yacht.

      Recreation and leisure, or letter of marque?

    10. Mike K Says:

      We need a square-rigged ship for the Chicago Boyz yacht.

      Maltese Falcon might be for sale again.

      Nope, gorgeous owner though. Maybe she would take us for a sail.

      I walked by it in Venice when Tom Perkins had just launched it. He had $25 million in carbon fibre in the hull.

    11. Roy Kerns Says:

      Max speed 24 kts. I wonder if that is via the engine or while under sail.

      It had never occurred to me that a ship might have a maximum speed not from a limit on its power, but because motion through the water pulled it down into the water. I learned about this while listening to a sailing instructor speaking to a friend who had just bought a sailboat. It immediately made sense. The physics of an airplane wing, Bernoulli in a different medium, where the differences between density of air and of water combined with shapes to pull the ship down. The instructor even told of how folks had built bigger square masted ships to go faster, and had them swamp and sink. Sometimes engineers and entrepreneurs learn the hard way.

      Of course the swamping experience led to efforts to get around the problem. EG,power boats which get up on plane, hydrofoils to “fly” in the water and lift the boat out of the water, tabs one sees on pontoon boats, and all that neat stuff that those into sailing competition know about.

    12. Mike K Says:

      bigger square masted ships to go faster, and had them swamp and sink.

      Yes, some clippers are thought to have sailed under in the Roaring Forties. Lighter sailboats can surf, riding the bow wave. My 40 foot sailboat would go 22 knots in squalls of 40 to 50 knot air speed. Friends of mine sailed catamarans in Transpac that would surf faster than the swells. They could go faster than the swell and catch the next one. Of course cats do not follow the hull speed rules.

      I have a video clip of my sailboat going about 18 knots. That boat weighed about 14,000 pounds with a 7,000 pound keel.

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