First Wind-Powered Ferry Planned for San Francisco Bay

Share Article

Wind+Wing Technologies today announced plans to build the nation's first winged and wind-assisted ferry vessel for public use in the San Francisco Bay Area. The fuel saving design could save up to 40 percent of the fuel costs compared to the ferries currently operating in the Bay Area. The company's timeline includes a demonstration vessel launching in the first quarter of 2011 and the goal to launch a public passenger ferry in 2015.

Proposed Ferry Design by Morrelli & Melvin Design & Engineering

The San Francisco Bay is blessed with consistent, powerful winds, and the Bay Area has a reputation for embracing new technology and being at the forefront of change

Wind+Wing Technologies today announced plans to build the nation's first winged and wind-assisted ferry vessel for public use in the San Francisco Bay Area. The ferry will utilize the wind, an inherent natural resource in the Bay Area, in conjunction with an innovative wing and clean Diesel motors to power and maneuver the vessel. The fuel saving design could save up to 40 percent of the fuel costs compared to the ferries currently operating in the Bay Area.

For more than a year, Wind+Wing Technologies has been in communication with the three major ferry operators in the Bay Area to formally present its plans to develop a demonstration vessel and eventually a public passenger ferry.

The operators, the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District, the Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA), and Blue & Gold Fleet, wrote letters of interest for the project, and members expressed interest in the development of more fuel efficient, cost effective and eco-friendly vessels. Wind+Wing Technologies is working in conjunction with Morrelli & Melvin Design & Engineering for the design of the boat, and with Harbor Wing Technologies for the design and engineering of the wing.

The first step in the project is a demonstration vessel allowing ferry service captains hands-on, operational experience with a winged vessel. The demonstration boat will utilize an existing trimaran hull with an installed, fully-functioning, automated wing. The vessel will only be for captain and crews to practice with the wing and test the vessel's maneuverability at the docks, mechanical reliability and handling in heavy or unpredictable weather. The test boat will be used on actual ferry routes at various times during the year to evaluate its feasibility and measure fuel and emission savings. After the demonstration phase, a full-size public passenger vessel is proposed; it would be designed and built to suit the specific needs of each route and ferry service provider. The overall design concept is a single deck, catamaran hull with a scalable design and a flexible floor plan to accommodate 400 to 750 passengers and storage room for 50 to 100 bicycles.

"Their next step is to develop a demonstration vessel that would ideally lead to the development of a full-size ferry for daily operations on the bay," said Keith Stahnke, manager of operations at WETA. "We are excited about any innovations and further development of fuel efficient vessels."

Wind+Wing Technologies is owned by Jay Gardner, Pamela Simonson, and Hans Korfin, co-founders of Adventure Cat Sailing Charters, which has provided catamaran sailing excursions for the public on the San Francisco Bay Area for more than 18 years. The management team at Wind+Wing Technologies is backed with several decades of experience in the sailing, boat building and public passenger boat industries.

"The San Francisco Bay is blessed with consistent, powerful winds, and the Bay Area has a reputation for embracing new technology and being at the forefront of change," said Gardner. "As the need and drive for sustainable energy, renewable resources and green transportation heightens every day, we plan to take wind-powered transportation to the next level by making it available to Bay Area commuters. Our proposed wind assisted ferry is not only possible, but could be a perfect complement to that gravity assisted system, the Cable Cars, in a more energy efficient San Francisco Bay area transportation system."

Wind+Wing Technologies is currently researching both public and private funding opportunities, including government grants for green transportation. The company's time line includes a demonstration vessel launching in the first quarter of 2011 and the goal to launch a public passenger ferry in 2015. For more information regarding Wind+Wing Technologies, the proposed ferry project or funding opportunities, please visit http://www.windwingtech.com

###

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Natasha Biasell
Visit website