A Fair Wind: The Past and Future of Sail Technology

Essential information

Event type: 
Date and time: 
12 March | 5.15pm, wine reception from 6.30pm
Talks & courses

Join us for a free panel discussion in central London about wind power and sail technology, featuring Professor Ian Buxton (Newcastle University), Frank Scott and Andrea Grech La Rosa (UCL). All are welcome and there is no need to book. 

Concerns about climate change and the environmental impact of shipping have put wind-assisted transport back in the spotlight. This event will address the technological, social and environmental issues surrounding wind-assisted and wind-powered ships, both historic and contemporary.

The 150th birthday of Cutty Sark, one of Britain’s most famous ships, provides an excellent opportunity to reflect on wind power. Built in 1869, its cutting-edge sailing technology was soon challenged by faster but coal-reliant steamships. As sail gave way to steam, it quickly lost its place in the lucrative tea trade.

Join our expert panel of historians and naval architects to discuss the key issues. How can wind-assisted ships help combat climate change? What can the transition from sail to steam teach us? Is there an ongoing role for wind and sail in the future of maritime transport?

Maritime History & Culture Seminars 2018/19:

All seminars start at 5.15pm in Wolfson Room I, Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, London, WC1E 7HU.