Wind+Wing Technologies is owned by Jay Gardner, co-founder of Adventure Cat Sailing Charters, which has provided catamaran sailing excursions for the public on the San Francisco Bay for more than 20 years. Backed with several decades of experience in the sailing, boat building and public passenger boat industries, the team began to develop a vision for a wind-assist ferry system. The goal was to develop a plan for a ferry vessel that would harness the wind, an inherent natural resource they had learned to master over the years, in conjunction with an innovative wing and clean Diesel motors. The team sought out the best minds in the industry and joined forces with Morrelli & Melvin Design & Engineering for the design of the boat and Photon Composites Inc. for the design and engineering of the wing. In 2008, Morelli & Melvin completed a study: Feasibility of a Wind-Assisted Ferry for San Francisco Bay. The study found that the addition of sail power provides a substantial, 40% decrease in fuel consumption and pollution generation, and would save at least $100,000 on annual fuel costs per vessel.
Wind+Wing Technologies then began formal communications 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 first step was a successful demonstration vessel in early 2014, allowing for realistic testing of the wing technology and also allowed ferry service professionals a chance to see the wing in action on the Bay. The next step is to launch a fully operational, public passenger ferry in 2017.