Wind-Propeller Sails Proposed For Liners (Jan, 1935)

Wind-Propeller Sails Proposed For Liners

GIANT fan blades whirling rapidly in ocean breezes are proposed by an English inventor as a substitute for both sails and engines on ocean-going vessels. Mounted high above deck, the whirling propeller would transfer the wind’s unlimited power to the marine screw propellers of the boat.

A working model of the windmill ship was on demonstration at the Inventions Exhibition sponsored by the Institute of Patentees at Westminster, England.

Since the propeller could face into the wind regardless of the direction the ship is traveling, it is believed highly probable that windmill boats could travel directly into the wind.

A generator mounted on the windmill tower could develop current for electric motors mounted on the propeller shafts, or a shaft could be used to transmit the power.

  1. Rick Auricchio says: November 27, 20079:41 am

    “Since the propeller could face into the wind regardless of the direction the ship is traveling, it is believed highly probable that windmill boats could travel directly into the wind.”

    As the ship moved forward, this effect would be rendered almost useless. When the ship speed equals the wind speed, the windmill won’t turn.

    Of course, the ship could never go this fast, because of mechanical losses.

  2. jayessell says: November 27, 20071:02 pm

    Heading with the wind, set the brake on the turbine and use it as a sail.

  3. Jilly says: November 29, 200711:33 pm

    Bet the deck would be slippery with sea bird carnage.

  4. gaby de wilde says: December 17, 200710:41 am

    How upsetting is this?


    People seem to be filling up the Internet with lies about this as if it was Stan Meyers water fuel cell. Which was granted under 101 (meaning there was a working model displayed to the patent office) and it was classified under the national security act. Your guesses have no authority over this.

    But now people are claiming a sail boat cant sail close to the wind? That’s just ridiculous??????

    No wonder you didn’t understand the fuel cell! Cant even understand basic sailing.


    ANY normal sail boat can tack up the wind. There is no “but but but” in this. The windmill only makes the last 10 degrees possible.

    The rest happens though ancient means of sailing. Thousands of years old and you have all forgotten how it works? OMG??

    Windmill tech is at least a thousand years old, possibly a hundred times that.

    What is with all the self proclaimed sailing experts who have never seen a sail boat?

    The windmill is spinning close to the speed of the wind. By no means does it behave like a sail.

    In contrast: sails already allow sailing up the wind.

    Usually I hear people say “well build it and show us we are wrong!”

    Here is one.…

    At this stage I usually get a response like: “boo booo it’s fake! It has to be fake!!”

    Here is another one:…

    I usually continue to get responses like “booo booo it’s fake it has to be fake!!”

    If you would use it to make hydrogen you can move up the wind at 100 times the speed of the wind.

    Want to try to deny it?

    You would have enough energy left to power you whole country. But I guess peeps would rather pay for denial with their lives?

    The atmosphere went from 30% oxygen to 5% in 40 years. You better start thinking today, tomorrow you might be gasping for breath in stead?

    Lets ask a question:
    Does a boat capture more wind when moving up the wind or less?

    Ow wow? Really?

    I don’t know about you but I want the remaining oxygen to breath! Is that not important to you or something? Do you really want to buy it in bottles like we did with drinking water? 🙁

    Anyway, it makes me sad to see this exposition of lies. But I guess you got that picture.

    such flabbergasting sadness…..

  5. Lindsay Olen says: December 23, 20082:31 pm

    I modified “Thrippence” a 22 foot Trailer-Tri (trimaran) using a 6 foot windmill rotor hydraulically driving a 12X12 inch marine propeller. This craft easily powered directly into a 3.5 knot breeze at 7.5 knots with my outboard idling.

    A variable pitch turboprop airscrew would not need any other source of power to get started!

    This was a thrilling experiment carried out on Lake Hiawatha near Grafton in New South Wales, Australia.

    Purpose built Rotary Sails can easily power ships directly into the trade winds with a large excess of power available for storage or other porposes, such as marine factories…

    Cheers, Lin.

  6. Peter says: December 27, 200812:29 am

    Lindsay Olen is right. His work is well known and appreciated.

    I have also built such a boat, you can see a video on…

  7. Jerome says: April 3, 20092:49 pm

    Best site in world.
    I am from Cambodia and too bad know English, give please true I wrote the following sentence: “Kayak requires javascript to be enabled.”

    Thanks :-D. Jerome.

  8. Michael Muehlentrieb says: June 7, 20099:55 am

    If you cannot find Albert Goudriaan’s site, try these search terms:

    “autogiro boats – history”

    “design puts boat in a spin”

    – and be amazed about this “forgotten” knowledge.

Submit comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.