Wind propulsion may seem to be from the past, but there are now more large oceangoing vessels with modern sail systems fitted than ships burning alternative fuels.

It is a claim International Windship Association (IWSA) secretary general Gavin Allwright is happy to make as he cites major shipping and industrial groups such as Mitsui OSK Lines, Wallenius, Alfa Laval, Yara Marine Technologies and Michelin investing large sums in developing sail systems.