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19th to 21st of May 2026
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MAY 2026

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The first rigid sail to be install in Vigo on a ship will be like this

Catalan company bound4blue reveals what system Astilleros Ría de Vigo, from Armón Group, will be installed on the mixed ferry for the French Polynesia will be like. Galicia has already use it for a first time on a fishing vessel: the longliner Balueiro Segundo tested it first in the Pacific

Vigo shipbuilding industry has experience in many different niches and engines, as proven, for example, with the electric ferry for Baleària built by Armón Vigo. Now, it will debut in a new one since Astilleros Ría de Vigo will build a mixed ferry (for passengers and cargo) for French Polynesia that will have a rigid sail, a system designed by the Catalan bound4blue, which has just revealed what it will be like: 22 meters high and a 10% saving in fuel consumption and emissions. Dubbed eSAIL, the system is designed for both new and existing ships. It is really a “suction sail”, with technology that takes advantage of wind energy to propel ships.

As the company explained, the sail is based on a very thick aerodynamic profile with an intelligent suction system to increase its propulsion efficiency, with holes for air intake that helps producing seven times more lift than a conventional airplane wing and generate this reduction in fuel consumption and emissions. "This is a very notable contract for bound4blue as it marks the first time that our technology has been chosen for a new-build vessel, having gone through a very competitive international tender process," explained bound4blue co-founder and CTO David Ferrer.

Regarding the ship that will be built by the former Hijos de J. Barreras, facility that nowadays belongs to Armón Group, it will be 89 meters-long. Naval architecture was carried out by the Valencian Cotenaval and the French consultancy ECO.

Under the name Na Pae and Hiro, the mixed ferry for 200 people and 111 containers will be equipped with engines capable of running on biofuel or e-fuel as soon as this is commercially available in the region. It also offers efficiency in terms of waste treatment, POD electric propulsion and autonomy in fresh water supply.

"This new generation of ships creates new opportunities for local communities and Na Hiro e Pae has been designed to maximize that potential," said Boris Piel, technical director of the shipowner who commissioned the ship, the Société de Navigation des Australes Tuhaa. Pae (Snathp).

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In late 2023, bound4blue announced commercial agreements with LDC for the installation of four of its 26-meter-tall sails on Louis Dreyfus Company's charter vessel, MV Atlantic Orchard. It also announced the installation of three 22-meter units at the Ville de Bordeaux, used by Airbus to transport aircraft subassemblies.

The bound4blue sail, however, is already well known in Galicia. The company participated in the first edition of the Kaleido Fishing Accelerator, in 2018. The company joined the Guardeses Longliners Organization (Orpagu) to test the system, which was finally installed in the Balueiro Segundo, in the Pacific.

(Source: Faro de Vigo)