First voyage for ship equipped with Ventifoil wind-assist system

Dutch cargo vessel MV Ankie (3600 DWT) has made its first voyage with the eConowind Ventifoil wind-assist system installed. The ship sailed from Delfzijl to Hamburg, on to Norway and then back to Rotterdam. It is the first retrofit of the Ventifoil system.

The Ventifoil system was installed during the docking of the MV Ankie of Jan van Dam Shipping at the Royal Niestern Sander shipyard in January 2020. The contract had been signed six months earlier. For eConowind BV, located in Groningen, the Netherlands, it is the first commercial installation of their Ventifoil system. The wind-assist system was developed over the past three years supported by an EU backed grant.

The modular Ventifoil units are in the form of wings with vents and an internal fan that use boundary layer suction for maximum effect. This installation features two, 10-metre wings that are to allow the vessel to reduce engine power and thus save energy. In a second step, the units will be extended by a further six metres.

RINA carried out the design approval, foil production and construction supervision together with the commissioning protocol preparation.

Installation of Ventifoils at Royal Niestern Sander Shipyard on MV Ankie.

Towards low and zero emission shipping

This first voyage is a big step for Jan van Dam, who has been hoping to combine modern shipping with wind propulsion for almost forty years. ‘We are hoping to take the next steps towards low and even zero emission shipping with a new-to-build ship in the coming years,’ says Van Dam states.

Picture (top): The maiden voyage of the Ankie using the 2 Ventifoils sailing on a trip for Wagenborg.

Author: Mariska Buitendijk

Mariska Buitendijk is one of SWZ|Maritime's journalists as well as the magazine's copy editor.