Bajoran lightships were equipped with solar sails which could be individually ejected in the event of an emergency. It was discovered that these sails also made them capable of faster-than-light speeds and interstellar travel due to the presence of tachyon eddies in the Bajoran system. The Bajorans used solar sails as early as the 16th century, and continued to do so until as late as the 21st century. (DS9: "Explorers", "Accession")
During the Whale Probe crisis of 2286, the chief engineer of the USS Yorktown attempted to use a makeshift solar sail to focus and absorb radiation from a nearby sun, with the hopes of generating power to keep life support systems online. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)
In 2371, Benjamin Sisko built a lightship that employed a solar sail for propulsion after a visit to Bajor, and took it out into space with his son, Jake, as a traveling companion. (DS9: "Explorers", "Accession")
|Sailing vessel components|
|Sails and Solar sails: Course • Jib • Main sail • Royal • Spritsail •Stunsail • Topgallant sail|
|Spars: Mast • Yardarm • Rigging: Brace • Winch|
|Anchor • Ballast • Keel • Paddle • Plank • Porthole • Rudder • Sextant • Wheel|
For background information specific to the development of the Bajoran lightship, see Bajoran lightship.
In the novel Ghost Ship, set in 2364, Wesley Crusher suggests using a solar sail to escape from an alien creature without attracting its attention, but William Riker says the method would be too slow.