Oceanfoil®’s fuel-assist aerofoil technology uses wingsails to capture effective directional thrust from wind power. Automatically controlled from a computer installed on the bridge and not requiring any crew resource, wingsails are a proven technology.

Oceanfoil®’s revised and improved design of wingsails will be available for retrofitting from the beginning of 2015.

Designed as a fuel assist technology to a conventionally powered vessel, Oceanfoil®’s wingsail technology allows a vessel to operate at the required speed with reduced engine propulsion.

Proven fuel savings

Oceanfoil®’s wingsail technology is based on aerofoil sail technology initially developed in the 1980s, the original version of which was sea trialled onboard the 6,570dwt bulk carrier MV Ashingon in 1986/7. These trials showed that acting as a propulsion assist the single wingsail installed on the Ashington delivered measured reduction in fuel consumption of up to 10%.

During the most recent trials in model testing, as well as in Computational Fluid Dynamic analysis, the new improved Oceanfoil® wingsail technology has been shown to deliver potential reduction in fuel consumption of up to 20%.

Short payback period

With today’s sustained high bunker fuel costs, Oceanfoil® is able to offer customers an estimated payback period of between 15 and 18 months.

How it works

By generating forward thrust from the wind, the Oceanfoil® wingsail reduces the output required from the engine, lowering fuel burn while still meeting the requirements of a modern commercial vessel.


Each Oceanfoil® wingsail consists of three aerofoils attached to a tail fin or rudder, with each sail resembling the wing of an aeroplane positioned vertically. The aerofoil is the ideal shape for capturing wind for propulsion as the curvature of the sail allows for the optimum generation of directional thrust.

Each wingsail is free to move on a central bearing, and when not in use remains in a feathered mode. There are two main wingsail position settings; ahead thrust or astern thrust. The astern thrust can also be used to slow the vessel.

A vessel can be equipped with up to six Oceanfoil® wingsails, ensuring optimal performance and effective directional force for propulsion to be harnessed from the wind.

The number of wingsails fitted varies as a result of calculations conducted by our team of expert naval architects and partners at UCL. Smaller vessels may perform optimally using two or three wingsails, while larger vessels may require up to six wingsails.

Automated operation

Oceanfoil®’s wingsails are automatically controlled via a computer from the bridge so do not require crew resource. Once turned on, the computer will automatically optimise the position of the wingsails relevant to the wind for maximum efficacy.