Thursday, March 31, 2016

THE FLYING CLIPPER WILL BE THE LARGEST SQUARE RIGGER EVER BUILT

STAR CLIPPERS New Build No. 4, courtesy Star Clippers
Artists’ impression of the FLYING CLIPPER, courtesy Star Clippers as seen on Martin Cox's MARITIME MATTERS

Martin Cox's MARITIME MATTERS   recently carried the story of Star Clippers revelation of the name of its new five masted square rigged ship, the 300 passenger FLYING CLIPPER . Which will debut in 2017 . Get all the details at MARITIME MATTERS . While the passenger industry tends to favor an overall look from yesteryear and what looks like a traditional square rig, there is remarkable progress in the sail plan. While the masts and yards and even the running rigging would be familiar to any AB who sailed on a full rigged ship in the 1870s, the sails are of course Dacron or similar modern materials and the sails are motorized roller furling, no climbing aloft to reef up, In some recent construction the sails once hoisted are trimmed by computer and electric motors. Crew size on these modern constructions are still relatively small for the size of the ship and number of passengers carried. The propulsion motors are more than a maneuvering auxiliary, generally these new vessels have sufficient engines to maintain schedules if conditions turn calm. We were watching this technology with a great deal of interest a few years ago when oil was expensive and supposedly scarce. It seemed then that the new sail technology could be adopted to other trades such as bulk commodity transport, but the low price of fuel today has probably killed any real movement in that direction. In the passenger industry the quiet, green image, and visual impact keeps the interest up and does somewhat insulate the owners from fluctuation in fuel costs.

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