Kite-assisted ship to set sail in January

If you thought a solar-powered ferry was far out, get a load of this. Reportedly, a 132-meter long vessel will be making its maiden voyage next month, but rather than chugging copious quantities of diesel while traversing the Atlantic, it'll be sipping down fuel and receiving a good bit of help from the computer guided kite attached to its bow. The $725,000 device will be tethered to a 15-meter high mast and will fly some 300 meters above the ship in order to catch enough wind to actually aid in its movement. It's suggested that the SkySails kite propulsion system will slash fuel consumption by "up to 20-percent," saving the operator some $1,600 per day and reducing carbon emissions all the while. 'Course, all the company has to do now is make sure the January trip is a success and it'll have a list of to-be owners a mile long.

[Via Slashdot]