The Role of Wind Power in the Boating Industry

When you think of boating, you might think of it as a way to connect with nature. However, the energy needed to make it around a lake or ocean can produce some hefty carbon emissions.

We use boats and ships for activities like fishing and vacationing, but also for military operations, protection, and shipping. Lately, manufacturers have realized the benefit of investing in the oldest source of sailing energy: Wind.

The Power of Wind

You might think of wind energy as solely wind turbine farms. While those are doing a great job of reducing carbon emissions on land, they are far from the first technology that uses wind for power. Early seafarers used the wind to fill their sails and travel worldwide.

While, on land, turbines use heat to convert wind to energy, boats work differently. With modern technology, boats can harness the wind’s kinetic power to charge their batteries and keep them moving while nearly eliminating the need for fossil fuels.

The energy accumulates through the natural breezes you experience on the water and consistently charges the boat’s battery. The generator has propeller blades that spin and capture the wind’s energy. The turbines convert that energy to electricity, which is how the battery charges.

Current technology still has larger boats with backup engines because the wind power isn’t perfect yet. They operate similarly to a hybrid-electric car, utilizing non-renewable resources most of the time. However, ships relying on a more significant portion of wind energy recently came into production. The technology becomes more reliable daily, providing less fear of turbine failure.

Scientists have explored other options they can use to sustainably power ships, such as hydro generators and solar panels. However, wind energy is still the preferred method. It makes sense. The system is simple and frequent wind is almost a constant when sailing. Since the beginning of time, wind and sailing have gone together like sun and warmth.

The Future of Wind Energy and Boating

Wind turbines thrive on smaller vessels, but larger ships are beginning to use the wind to reduce carbon emissions.

In Sweden, Wallenius Marine AB is testing their new “Oceanbird.” The ship is one of the tallest sailing ships ever built and can carry up to 7,000 cars on board. The vessel relies mainly on wind power from specialized sails that collect the wind for energy. The ship still has a backup engine but aims to eliminate 90% of the carbon emissions given off by conventional boats.

Private companies aren’t the only ones looking to wind for large operations. The United States Marine Corps is also investing in clean energy to potentially power future vessels.

Choosing Wind Power

With wind turbine prices lower than ever, now is a great time to consider switching to wind energy for your boat. Marine wind power significantly reduces carbon emissions, allowing you to enjoy the environment and help preserve it for the future.


Author: Jane Marsh

by Editor

Wednesday, October 5th, 2022 at 16:49
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