The "Silenseas" project was born in response to the drastic environmental standards at sea. It was necessary to develop a hybrid ship, sailing by hybrid vélique-electric propulsion, thus offering a more eco-responsible cruising experience.
This innovation in the Naval sector was developed in St Nazaire in the business activity area of Loire Atlantique by the Chantiers de l'Atlantique.
"Silenseas" is the result of research work carried out over several years by Les Chantiers de l'Atlantique:
- 2007: "Ecorizon", an R&D program dedicated to reducing the environmental footprint of ships: development of the principle of sail propulsion;
- 2009: launch of Eoseas, a 305 m long five-hull liner with 12,440 m² of sails on five masts and which can, with sustained winds, "only sail forward";
- 2009 and 2017 "Solidsail" patent allowing to provide large sail areas in complete safety in to the ships, up to 1200 m².
The Silenseas’ concept is available in several sizes of ships which are all fitted with high-tech rigid sails called Solid sail.
A prototype sail has already been successfully tested on Jean Le Cam's 60-foot monohull. During summer of 2018, the half scale version was installed on the cruise ship Le Ponant as well.
Recently, a small-scale model (1/5) of a sail has been in the test phase, installed on the Pornichet dyke (44). This sail of 15 metres height, this self-supporting balestron rig offers the ability to orientate itself in relation to the wind in order to test a maximum configuration. The mechanism will be settled by the teams of Les Chantiers de l’Atlantique and of Multiplast.
This innovation is also part of the "Ships of the Future" programme supported by ADEME.
MECA is proud of having doing its bit in this innovation, especially in:
- The design of the articulation elements of the rigid sail panels;
- The design and strength calculations of the various prototypes and the final version;
- Design and calculations of the different operating mechanisms.
Silenseas the sailing ship of the future