While we wouldn't recommend heading out on a boat in the bay right this minute, the Golden Gate Bridge transit district that operates ferry service from Larkspur and Sausalito to the city is set to test out new wind-powered catamaran style passenger ferries in April. The Napa-based Wind + Wing Technologies has been pitching the vessels, which use a combination of a hard "wing" sail and diesel power, as a replacement for the current diesel-only fleet for at least a year now and has finally gained enough interest from the bridge district to give it a few practice runs.
Starting as soon as next month Wind + Wing will operate daily, but unfortunately passenger-free, ferry runs from San Francisco to Sausalito using a Navy-built catamaran. While the trial boat is relatively small, Wind + Wing has pitched using 300 and 750-passenger ferries with 110-foot masts that top out at a speed of about 17 knots.
If the test runs prove successful, wind-powered catamaran ferry service would start right around the time the America's Cup kicks off in 2013 and is projected to reduce fuel costs and carbon emissions by 40 percent. If you're itching to get out on the Bay with a wing for a sail, Adventure Cat Charters, a sister company to Wind + Wing, already runs catamaran tours that use similar technology to the America's Cup racers we spotted the other day.