The SkySails-System consists of three main components:

  • A towing kite with rope

  • A launch and recovery system

  • A control system for automatic operation

Instead of a traditional sail fitted to a mast, SkySails uses large towing kites for the propulsion of the ship. Their shape is comparable to that of a paraglider.
The towing kite is made of high-strength and weatherproof textiles.

The tethered flying SkySails can operate at altitudes between 100 and 300m where stronger and more stable winds prevail. The tractive forces are transmitted to the ship via a highly tear-proof, synthetic rope.

The launch and recovery system manages the deployment and lowering of the kite and is installed on the foredeck. During launch a telescopic mast lifts the towing kite, which is reefed like an accordion, from its storage compartment.
At sufficient height the towing kite unfurls to its full size and can be launched. A winch releases the towing rope until operating altitude has been reached. The recovery process is performed in reverse order.

The entire launch and recovery procedure takes approx. 10-20 mins. each.