Turkish shipyard RMK Marine has begun building the 136-metre sailing cargo ship Neoliner. The Neoliner will be the first vessel equipped with a SolidSail rigging system, supplied by Chantiers de l’Atlantique.

The first Neoliner is supported and co-financed by CMA CGM, ADEME Investissement, Neoline Développement, Corsica Ferries, Louis Hardy S.A.S, the Banque des Territoires and the Pays de la Loire Region.

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The 136-metre-long RoRo vessel Neoliner, with two 76-metre-high SolidSail folding carbon masts and retractable anti-drift plans, will be mainly propelled by its 3000 m2 sail area. For port manoeuvres and punctuality of service, the vessel will also be equipped with an auxiliary engine, MGO (marine gas oil) desulphurised generators and three transverse thrusters. Each exhaust will be equipped with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) to suppress NOx emissions.

Its loading capacity will be 1200 linear metres (2.8 metres wide), or 265 TEU, for a maximum weight of 5300 tonnes of goods.

Its crew will be composed of thirteen people (it can be increased to twenty in order to embark trainees and technicians) and the vessel will comfortably accommodate twelve passengers in six double cabins.

The Neoliner's sails are tiltable, which allows the vessel to pass under the Baltimore Bridge
The Neoliner’s sails are tiltable, which allows the vessel to pass under the Baltimore Bridge (credit: MAURIC).


To build this new generation merchant sailing cargo ship, the RMK Marine shipyard will carry out construction with the support of a group of innovative French partners including:

  • Chantiers de l’Atlantique, designer and supplier of the innovative SolidSail rigging system;
  • MAURIC, in charge of design studies, regulatory and performance studies for Neoline’s range of ships;
  • D-ICE Engineering, a Nantes-based deeptech company that develops advanced routing, navigation, piloting and monitoring systems specially adapted to wind propulsion systems;
  • Fouré Lagadec, designer and manufacturer of retractable anti-drift fins.

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Transatlantic pilot line

Jean Zanuttini, CEO of Neoline: ‘Through the construction and commissioning of this first Neoliner, our foremost objective is to demonstrate under real operational conditions the potential of main propulsion by wind for the merchant navy. Our second objective is to repeat this success as quickly as possible, by encouraging the creation of an entire fleet powered by the force of wind as a main propeller.’

Once completed, the Neoliner will be operated by Neoline Armateur on the transatlantic pilot line between Saint-Nazaire, Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, Baltimore and Halifax with a monthly departure starting in 2025. French flagship companies, such as Renault Group, Beneteau Group, Manitou Group, Michelin, Jas Hennessy & Co, Clarins, Longchamp or Rémy Cointreau are among the first customers.

Picture (top): The 136-metre-long Neoliner with SolidSail (credit: MAURIC).

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