Capturing the power of the wind through sails has been around for centuries and at one time was the primary way to propel a boat.
The dominance of the sail faded with the invention of the engine at the start of the 19th century.
However it might become commonplace again to see sails on large shipping vessels. A supertanker, the New Aden, took to the seas last fall with four 40 meter (130 feet) sails that will help to reduce fuel use. It is estimated on a trip from the Middle East and the Far East that the sails could help reduce diesel fuel use by close to 10% and avoid 2,900 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
This savings is equivalent to 625 gasoline-powered passenger vehicles driven for one year.
What's old is new again and hopefully more sails on ships will be spotted on the waterways.