Solar Sailor and “Loon” updates

I’ve written about Solar Sailor before (click here), but here’s an update on plans by San Francisco to use the Australian company’s solar hybrid ferries to transport tourists to and from Alcatraz island. “Ferry operator Hornblower Cruises and Events won the contract with its bid to incorporate wind and solar power into a diesel ferry that also has electric motors,” according to an article at “Hornblower has been working with Solar Sailor, an Australian company that operates a similar ferry in Sydney. Hornblower expects its first vessel will be built within two years and the second within five. The ferries could be each large enough to accommodate 600 passengers.”

BTW: Here’s an update on the progress of the “Loon,” a solar-electric pontoon boat developed by Canadian EV-pioneer Monte Gisborne. I first wrote about the Loon last August in a Toronto Star column. Monte, founder of the Tamarak Lake Electric Boat Co., wrote me an e-mail earlier this month about how things are going:

“CBC Venture is doing a piece on my business… we filmed my first customer coming up to pick up his Loon and ‘test drive’ it last week. The episode will air in the summer. In all I have sold 13 boats, which is three more than my business plan called for and the year is nowhere near over. My main problem now is finding skilled labour and other associated growing pains.”

I should point out that ran a story on Monte’s Loon project last December, four months after my article originally appeared.

Good to see things working out for Monte…