A European Union-backed wind-sail, the first ever to be fitted to a fishing boat, is to be scaled up in tiltable versions for a general cargo ship and larger merchant vessels.

A 12-metre-high eSail rigid sail has been installed on the first ever fishing vessel to have an auxiliary wind-assisted propulsion system fitted, and the 342-tonne Balueiro Segundo, built 1989, will start sailing trials with it in the days ahead.

The development of Spanish engineering firm bound4blue’s eSail technology and its monitoring system made by Norway’s Kyma have been co-funded by the EU in the framework of the Aspiring Wingsails.

CEO of bound4blue, Jose Miguel Bermudez, said: “Our eSail system is fully scalable. We’re already manufacturing a 17-meter-high unit, fully tiltable, which will be installed on a general cargo ship after the summer.

“We’ve also projected larger sails which are about to start being manufactured.”

Kyma will be responsible for monitoring and validating fuel savings and reductions in emissions during the boat’s sea trials of the autonomously controlled system in the Pacific Ocean.

Bound4blue, which was set up in 2014, said the project was a first step towards future installations on larger ships including tankers, bulk carriers and ro-ro ferries.

The Balueiro Segundo project was organised in conjunction with Spain’s Organizacion de Palangreros Guardeses (Orpagu), which regulates and promotes the activity of long-liner vessels in the fishing industry.

Orpagu received support from the European and Maritime Fisheries Fund and the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food over the eSAIL project.(Copyright)