Wind+Wing Technologies (WWT) was started by Jay Gardner, who also owns and founded Adventure Cat Sailing, a 30+ year sailing tourism company on the San Francisco Bay. Backed with several decades of experience in the sailing, boat building and public passenger boat industries, Jay and his team began to develop a vision for a wind-assist system. The goal was to develop a plan for a wing that would harness the wind (an inherent natural resource they had learned to master over the years), in conjunction with traditional diesel or other efficient new propulsion in a hybrid system – the idea that would eventually become WingDrive™.
The team sought out the best minds in the industry and joined forces with Morrelli & Melvin Design & Engineering. 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.
The first step was a successful demonstration vessel in early 2014 completed with the State of CA, allowing for realistic testing of the wing technology and also allowed ferry service professionals a chance to see the wing in action. That early demo provided the data to prove that in fact the wind, combined with the new WingDrive™ technology, could provide up to 40% reductions in fuel use (and therefore related expense).
From there WWT has grown the team both internally with advisors and engineers, and externally through partnerships with public agencies and other industry stakeholders both in passenger transportation and shipping logistics.
Most recently, the WWT team launched our next generation demo vessel for the ferry market, an exciting 10m catamaran that is all-electric with wind-assist, achieving speeds of over 15kts. In addition, we have built out IP and patent rights on the application of WingDrive™ that is geared to the international maritime shipping markets, under the name Cargo Wing™ units.