By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: April 18, 2014
Two Powell River entrepreneurs are hopeful a fast ferry they designed will be on water by next month.
Bill Cocksbridge of Slipstream vessels said they have done some static testing and the results have been quite good.
“We have had some delays but we expect the ferry to be on water by next month,” said Cocksbridge.
And it could very well be Howe Sound waters.
Last summer, the proponents, Bill and Graham Cocksedge, owner of Slipstream High-speed vessels made a presentation to the Inside Edge group about the TCV (thrust cushion vehicle).
TCVs are air cushion vehicles that utilize a single column of air to provide lift and thrust. A patented fan design lefts the hulls out of the water, adding lift to the thrust energy.
When in operation, the ferry would be able to hold anywhere between 180 and 200 passengers and will travel at a speed of 120 kms an hour.
The ferry could cut reduce the commuting times between Vancouver to 40 to 45 minutes, but would also be fuel efficient, the proponents says.
The ferry would use 50 to 75 per cent less fuel than competing crafts, will have negligible wake and no underwater noise, the proponents say.
As a comparison with Hoovercraft, the proponents say the ferry would use half the power, crate half the emissions, while travelling at up to twice their speed.
Transport Canada has given $500,000 to a fast ferry project that could be on Howe Sound waters transporting commuters between Vancouver and Squamish by next year.
Transport Canada is giving money to test the idea, but it’s not the only organisation backing the proponents.
The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and the University of British Columbia have also helped with the research.
As a naval engineer, Squamish citizen Tom Bruusgaard was interested in the project and called up the proponents last year.
Since then, he has kept track of the project and hopes they will turn to Squamish come manufacturing time.
Bruusgaard said district-owned water lots on the south-west corner of the Oceanfront property would be a good location for such a facility.
“The idea is to use an otherwise unusable property on the Oceanfront,” Bruusgaard said.
The proponents are also calibrating the size of their ferry service, hoping to design a 105 feet platform for the ferry.
Cocksbridge said they are open to the idea of manufacturing the ferry in Squamish.
“We have been certainly thinking about that possibility,” said Cocksbridge.