Future of ships


Sails (or “rotor sails”) are not likely to be the only mode of propulsion on large ships in the future.
They will help reduced the fuel consumption from conventional engines.

The requirement to reduce green house gas emission is the driving force behind the development of alternative ways to propel ships, cars, truck, buses etc., not cost of crude oil.

At least that is the case in most of the world and for responsible multi-national companies, like Maersk etc. Even some oil companies are getting on the band wagon in deed, not only in talks.

Whether they are doing so from guilt, newfound conscience, public pressure, or because it is good business can be debated. But it doesn’t matter as long as they do the right thing.

One thing for sure, countries and companies that lag behind will loose out in the long run.


The cost of wear and tear and maintenance on conventional sails is not a lot less than the cost of fuel.


I don’t know if “conventional sail” is in the running.
Lots of ideas out there to research and more coming out almost on a daily basis.
Personally I think all these “aux. solutions” that will reduce emission 10-30% is a dead end.
Fuel cells and hydrogen as the only source is the way to go. Solar, wind and wave power can be used on some ships and in some cases, but I don’t think we’ll see ships powered fully by such means, except in very special cases.


MAN betting on hydrogen, it will ultimately need large scale solar arrays to harvest it. The world’s deserts could become assets?


wont shipping die once all countries have 3D printers for most manufactured products?


Just a minute I’m just going to 3D print a steak sandwich.
It will probably be more tasty than a MacDonalds.


The bigger questions should be what happens when the 3D Printers start to print copies of themselves!


Printers print printers… that may not happen, inbreeding leads to genetic disorders.

Moreover, who will transport the “ink” for the billion of printers?


Oh maybe they’ll just print some??


All I know is that you will never go fully unmanned using the unreliable maintenance hog that is the combination of a large two stroke and heavy fuel.


A milling machine can make a milling machine, add some machine learning and…


recycled plastic?


Shipping is more than just containers full of manufactured goods.
Try printing iron ore, oil, LNG, grain and other commodities.


Actually, I was hoping to print gold bars and diamonds! Why bother with ship spare parts?


More on the subject of sail on ships of the future:


The modern day alchemist?


i reckon working human organs will be worth more?