50% slower? So double the transit time? I.e. double the prorated capital and variable costs for the crossing, including capital costs for the value of the cargo. And optimum wind conditions usually only exist in one particular direction between two ports, so this ship would need to do the other direction using conventional power, or make significant detours for efficiency. While notable, I'm assuming that the lack of a stampede to these ships means that the bottom line doesn't add up to its advantage.
Back of the envelope says that a $100M ship with a 20 year lifetime incurs about $10-20,000 a day in financing costs alone, so those fours extra days per trip would be $40-80K. Meanwhile, a big ship apparently burns in the neighborhood of 100 tons of fuel a day, at a cost of about $500-750 a ton. So if you could reduce the fuel consumption by 90%, in addition to the environmental benefit, it looks as it you might even be able to turn a profit on the deal.
Good idea but they should have made the principle power all electric at ports, etc. For 10 knots that should be easy. Just see how Norway and Sweden have done it on their boats.
This seems to be fully autonomous as there appears to be no bridge.
It seems the speed is not the issue. Plenty of product shipment is compatible with slightly longer transit times... heck, most of the time is actually in port on either end, not the actual transit.

There are other issues here that could use thorough (open) analysis. Such as the capital cost compared to conventional ships, and the NPV/ROI spread that all those costly innovative elements will imact.
As one who sails much faster than 10 mph on far smaller cruising boats , that is more than a bit slow.
I'd make it a smaller catamaran so smaller sails can be used or my favorite , the PlaneSail drive.
The extension sail might work with 2 sections but not likely 3 or 4. And should be controlled with a trim tab makes it automatically track the wind for power or to just point into to make no power in a storm.
And with EV drive when winds are good and transatlantic they usually are you can motorsail where is below a speed to motor keeps it going and goes faster recharges the battery can increase speed 3-5 mph on sail energy.
A cat can load, unload faster as only 2 decks and 4x as wide offramp.
I see passenger ships going to a sailing cat, trimaran as more roomy, comfortable, deck, cabin area as doesn't roll like a monohull ship does.
Though unlikely those germ factories will be sailing much for quite a while.
Aleksandra Wladyczynska
I've seen the sail concept a few times now. It will be interesting if NewAtlas revisit those concepts after a few years and see what progress have been made. (same with other concepts and research like with batteries)
The retracting still concept is pure genius.
@paul314 It's also not just the cap of the ship, but of its cargo. The article mentions 7,000 cars for a supersized RORO version. That's easily $140,000,000 of inventory sitting in a salty environment for several days longer. While in today's interest rate environment that's probably not a killer, when/if things get closer to normal again, that expense will go to $20,000 or more *per day* to whoever owns the cargo.
David V
Well I know nothing about boats or sailing but I love the retractable masts and the general lines of the ship.
But of course even the idea of putting all this money into a ship to carry 7000 cars across the Atlantic from one car-making country to another country that probably has the capacity to make their own cars is a no brainer for me anyway.