This Bay Commute Could Blow You Away | NBC Bay Area

This Bay Commute Could Blow You Away

Sails could cut ferries' fuel consumption by up to 40 percent

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    This Bay Commute Could Blow You Away
    Getty Images
    A local entrepreneur has an idea to fit ferryboats with wing sails similar to the one employed by the BMW Oracle Racing team in its America's Cup win.

    Could a new twist on ancient technology that helped propel the BMW Oracle racing team to victory in the recent America's Cup be coming to a commute near you?

    If Jay Gardner's Napa-based startup Wind+Wing can catch a breeze, it may well do so.

    Gardner, whose Adventure Cat Sailing Charters catamarans take tourists out on the Bay, has drawn up plans for a double-hulled ferry boat with a fixed "wing sail" that looks similar in design to the one on BMW Oracle Racing's world-beating trimaran.

    While the ferry would still have engines, assistance from wind power could cut energy costs by 40 percent -- which has the Blue and Gold Fleet, which operates many ferry routes on San Francisco Bay, open to the idea.

    Sail power has seen a resurgence in interest amidst high prices and dwindling supplies of fossil fuels, with a British company, B9 Shipping, planning to set sail with a wind-powered cargo ship in 2012.

    Gardner still needs financing, but has commissioned a design team and is looking to build a demonstration model next year.

    Jackson West has a fever, and the only cure is more sailboats.

     

    It's snow joke: The Vancouver Winter Games are here!Check out NBC Bay Area's full coverage, complete with amazing photo galleries, and more! Fan us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter