Southern Spars is one of the leading sailing rig designers and responsible for the DynaRig systems used on the superyachts Maltese Falcon and the Black Pearl. The company is now bringing that expertise into commercial shipping while also joining the International Windship Association.

The DynaRig concept was first envisioned by Wilhelm Prolls in the 1960s but has now proven itself as an effective alternative to conventional rigs for superyacht owners who have been looking to reduce crew numbers and optimise sailing time. Southern Spars, a division of North Technology Group, has now announced that it has joined the International Windship Association (IWSA). This member driven not-for-profit organisation promotes and helps facilitate the uptake of wind propulsion solutions in the commercial fleet.

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Southern Spars recently partnered with Magma Structures to further develop the next generation of innovative rig solutions, with the aim of making the efficient, safe, and high-performance rig more accessible to commercial shipping.

‘With requirements to cut emissions and increasing fuel prices, there is an ever-growing demand for wind-assisted solutions for commercial shipping,’ says Andy Shaw, DynaRig Specialist. ‘We are working on several commercial shipping and workboat projects for various wind-assisted solutions and for DynaRig systems similar to the rigs installed on the superyachts Maltese Falcon and Black Pearl.’

Maltese Falcon and Black Pearl

To date, the DynaRig system has been installed on the two large yachts which have produced a huge amount of performance data and validated that the system is very effective for fairly large vessels. The Maltese Falcon, is a 88-metre-long self-standing three-mast square rigger with a sail area of 2396 m2 (25,790 sq ft) and larger still, the Black Pearl is 107 metres with 2900 m2 (31,215 sq ft) of sail and has a maximum speed of 30 knots under sail alone.

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‘It is a great pleasure to welcome such a specialist design team to the International Windship Association family and we are all eager to learn more about the commercial shipping projects that are currently in the pipeline,’ states Gavin Allwright, IWSA Secretary General. ‘This is a critical time in the development of commercial wind propulsion and we look forward to working with the Southern Spars team to help deliver a wind propulsion future for the world fleet.’