In a future full of rising fossil fuel costs and the negative effects of climate change, using wind energy to power maritime shipping is an obvious, inevitable outcome. Any fundamental-physics analysis reveals wind energy as the biggest lever to break our dependence on maritime fossil fuels.
Unfortunately, a solution’s physical and economic viability doesn’t translate into instant mass adoption. Much of the technology required for this future must be built, integrated, and tested. The conservative, slow-moving maritime industry must be educated and transformed one step at a time. The machine that builds the machine – Outsail – can only grow so fast.
As much as Outsail would love to start by building fully wind-powered container ships, we need an incremental plan to develop our technology, educate the market, and grow our company.
This is our Master Plan. It’s how we’re going from three founders in a garage to a trillion-dollar company building the critical propulsion systems and software necessary for maritime decarbonization.
Step One: A Yacht Revolution
When Tesla set out to make electric cars mainstream, they didn’t start by building a mass-market electric car. They built a premium electric sports car, the Roadster. A small-volume luxury product was the ideal way to launch a revolutionary technology.
Our Tesla Roadster : A revolutionary, wingsail-equipped catamaran yacht.
More than 80% of yachts sold nowadays are power yachts, not sailing yachts. Buyers want the convenience of going where they want, when they want, without needing to do the hard work of sailing all the time, or give up the living space required to fit a set of cloth sails.
Power yacht buyers are increasingly concerned about fuel costs and environmental impact, with massive sections at the Monaco and Cannes yacht festivals dedicated to ‘Eco’ innovations. Unfortunately, the industry’s solutions so far amount to installing batteries and solar panels backed up by diesel generators! For journeys beyond a few hours, these so-called ‘Eco’ vessels burn just as much fuel as a fossil-fuel powered boat.
Outsail was founded on aerospace-derived deployable-structures technology. In layman’s terms, we can put a very large wingsail into a very small box. This lets us power a yacht with an autonomous wingsail without losing significant living space! We’re offering an industry first – a yacht with powerboat operation and sailboat economics.
We’re starting by adding wingsails to diesel yachts, but we aren’t stopping there. We’ll build each of the three pillars required for pure wind-powered travel : Retractable Wingsails, Regenerative Turbines, and Intelligent Path Planning. Each of these key technologies will be integrated on our revolutionary eco-yachts first. We’re building a billion-dollar yachting company, by developing the fully wind-powered vessels of the future.
Step Two: Retrofit, Reuse, Recycle
The shipping world is facing a reckoning to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has introduced new regulations which use a vessel’s Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) to grade ships. This grading scale becomes more aggressive over time, and any ship with a poor grade must take corrective action.
As regulations tighten, shippers will be left with a difficult problem: existing fossil-fueled ships, worth millions of dollars, which are out of compliance with stringent standards.
At the same time, the US Navy has committed to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This will require a rethinking of naval logistics and a refit of existing assets to save fuel.
Outsail’s wings are the solution.
Unlike any existing wind-assist technology, our wings can be installed on ships where volume is a massive constraint, like container ships and Naval Logistics . Because of the relative performance advantages of rigid wings over competing technologies, such as flettner rotors and suction sails, we can offer unprecedented fuel savings without sacrificing significant cargo volume.
Our second product line, planned for 2026, is a containerized wingsail for the commercial shipping and defense markets. Our wings will pay themselves off in fuel savings in less than two years. With Outsail’s technology, we can build a future where every existing transoceanic vessel – from a cruise ship to a John Lewis-class replenishment oiler – carries sails to save fuel.
Step Three: Zero-Carbon Shipbuilding
By the late 2020s, Outsail partners will be building 80-100 zero-emission yachts per year, equipped with retractable wingsails, intelligent fin keels, weather-aware planning software, and regenerative turbine propulsion systems. Outsail will be shipping hundreds of containerized retrofit wings per year to customers in commercial and defense.
We’ll have developed and deployed the key technologies required for a new age of sail, while gaining trust in the conservative maritime shipping industry.
This will be the time to bring the remaining technologies required for fully zero-emission wind powered ships from yachting to the commercial and naval logistics worlds. We’ll combine our technology with the know-how of experienced shipbuilders to offer the first wind-powered, zero carbon container ships. The first of these ships will be small, trial vessels, but the physical limit for sailing vessels is larger than the largest fossil-fueled vessels of today.
There is a bright, zero-emission future where every ship has a sail on it. Here’s how we will build it:
- Develop retractable wingsails by selling wingsail-equipped, environmentally friendly yachts
- Once wingsails have been proven in customer use, sell containerized wind-assist retrofit wings
- Scale the company while developing the additional technologies required for fully wind-powered vessels
- Prove these technologies by building fully wind-powered eco yachts which match the performance of fossil-fueled vessels
- Partner with leading shipbuilders to manufacture fully wind-powered commercial vessels
Wind energy is the only economically viable way to decarbonize maritime transport. Outsail has a plan to make it happen. Interested in joining the journey? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time,