Future Automated Sails are automatic, freestanding rigs designed to capture the most wind at least cost for both smaller sailing-hybrid ships and to provide wind assistance for larger vessels.

FAST-rigs are for retrofitting

An early design iteration of FAST rigs

An early design iteration of FAST rigs

This technology is suited to commercial vessels with available deck space - dry bulkers and tankers - because freestanding rigs allows access to holds. FAST technology needs no additional crew to operate it. From a safety perspective all the sail area can be dropped in a moment should the need arise.

FAST-ships are fully optimised new build vessels


Small ships are not that small, it's a description that distinguishes ships with the particular capability to take smaller loads.

81% of the global fleet are small to medium sized ships, they account for about 4% of the total transport work undertaken across the world. They carry essential commodities and energy feed stocks without which our lifestyles would be severely compromised. But small ships are responsible for about 25% of the emissions produced by the whole fleet because they cannot benefit from economies of scale, are typically elderly and inefficient.

Small and medium ships account for almost

1% TOTAL GHG emissions

81% of ships in global fleet fall into this size category, some 10000 ships suitable for conversion to sailing hybrid (ie clear deck space, windy routes)

Small ships are the vital for an optimised interconnected global fleet. They act as feeder vessels for large ships providing access to local ports avoiding the use of more polluting, congesting overland transport. Small ships carry essential commodity and energy cargoes to underpin our economies and connect vulnerable island archipelagos with mainland resources.

Small ships are more vulnerable to volatile fuel prices.

And new regulatory pressures heap extra pressure on the sector.

Sailing hybrid propulsion is most suitable for small/medium sized ships where a greater proportion of operational costs are related to fuel. Wind propulsion can deliver a higher proportion of the propulsion energy required.

FAST ships have been model tested at Southampton University’s Wolfson Unit  for Marine Technology and Industrial Aerodynamics

Performance data analysed by Met Office and UCL. Conclusion that design would save 50% fuel on routes tested