Ship or boat? As long as it has an inflatable sail. Even Michelin says so


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The decarbonization of maritime transport and the reduction of its impact on the environment in general is a topic that has been debated for a long time, and various solutions have been imagined over the years. That of propulsion aid using a sail is not a new idea, but in this case what is innovative is the approach as well as the company that decided to invest in this field. At Movin’On 2021-a global summit dedicated to sustainable mobility-Michelin turned ambition into action, presenting an innovation created to meet the most impactful challenges to the future of mobility.

The project presented by Michelin is called Wing Sail Mobility (WISAMO) is an automated, telescopic, inflatable sail designed to be installed on merchant ships and private boats. Being inflatable, the wing will therefore have a kind of airfoil that will improve its aerodynamic efficiency. This project is the result of collaboration between Michelin R&D and two Swiss inventors who share the Group’s “all-sustainable” vision.


The inflatable sail is designed to be free, universal and inexhaustible propulsive resource. The sail profile generates thrust for the ship and allows it to consume less fuel and thus have a positive impact on the environment by loweringCO2 emissions.

Designed and developed by the WISAMO project team, the system can be installed on most merchant ships and pleasure boats. Particularly suitable for cargo ships, bulk carriers and oil tankers, it can be installed as original equipment or fitted to ships already in service.


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