Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Tethership

Giant inflatable speedboat runs ahead of ship, anchors and pulls boat
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A giant inflatable remote-controlled speedboat runs out ahead of the ship while trailing a cable connected to the ship behind it.

The speedboat anchors itself, and then the ship pulls itself to the speedboat with a cable.

The speedboat removes its anchoring and runs ahead to the next point.

The process is repeated, allowing for high speed with much less wasted energy than the ship's propeller.

Using two rafts, you get continuous propulsion.

pashute, Jun 19 2019

Saltwater does not affect climbing ropes. https://www.reddit....s_or_slings_unsafe/
[pashute, Jun 19 2019]

Prior art Undersea Ropeline BoatRail
I thought there was another idea that was more similar to this one than this one, though [notexactly, Jun 20 2019]

[link]






       Clever. This is not a small amount of cable, however, and it is salt water. Material challenge.   

       The anchor for this speedboat is some kind of monster, as is the winch.   

       Could lower shipping costs a fair bit to select places with shallow, anchorable sea-floors.
RayfordSteele, Jun 19 2019
  

       Sea link.
pashute, Jun 19 2019
  
      
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