back to article Stripe commuters swap traffic jams for hydrofoil glam

San Francisco-based employees of financial services firm Stripe will soon have an alternative to their automotive commute thanks to Navier, a startup building electric hydrofoil boats. Well, a few of them anyway. Once Navier starts offering ferry services from Larkspur, California, on the north end of the San Francisco Bay to …

  1. RobThBay

    all with no carbon emissions

    As long you don't include the source of the electricity used to recharge its batteries.

    1. usbac Silver badge

      Re: all with no carbon emissions

      I was just going to post the same thing. Where does the power to charge this thing come from? Magic?

      I'm so sick of this "no carbon emissions" BS!!

      1. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: all with no carbon emissions

        They're in SF... so probably solar.

        And the transport itself will be without emissions, which is in and of itself an improvement over many other forms of transport.

        A 6 seat boat doing one shuttle a day seems mighty inefficient though.

        1. Lurko

          Re: all with no carbon emissions

          "They're in SF... so probably solar."

          As an additional load on the grid, any assessment should use grid average unless renewables are constrained by demand. About 44% of grid elec in California comes from gas turbines, wind and solar are about 25%, with coal, nuclear, biomass, hydro and geothermal the rest. So it's likely that average emissions are in the region 180-220 g/kWh.

    2. Catkin Silver badge

      Re: all with no carbon emissions

      And the crazy emissions from carbon fibre manufacturing (for the entire hull), and that's just hoping that all the composite waste was responsibly disposed of, rather than ending up as something in the environment that makes microplastics look tame.

      1. Tomato42

        Re: all with no carbon emissions

        Even if it was a tram (best option for metropolitan mass transit), it would still have plenty of glass fibre and microplastics.

        The perfect doesn't have to be the enemy of the good.

        1. Catkin Silver badge

          Re: all with no carbon emissions

          Glass fibre composite is quite reasonable, carbon fibre is an order more carbon emissions to manufacture.

  2. Eclectic Man Silver badge

    'Smooth and chop free'

    "Hydrofoil boats, for anyone unfamiliar with the technology, have propellers mounted on a set of wing-like foils that extend under the body of the craft. Once at cruising speeds the foils lift the boat out of the water, meaning the ride should be smooth and chop-free. "

    Well, not exactly. When a hydrofoil travels through choppy water, the waves hitting the struts connecting the hull to the hydrofoils transmit the impact to the craft. One of the bumpiest channel crossings I remember was in a hydrofoil. It was fast though, but not smooth.

    Still, best of luck to Stripe as hydrofoils create far smaller bow waves than conventional hulls.

    1. Bebu Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: 'Smooth and chop free'

      "Well, not exactly. When a hydrofoil travels through choppy water, the waves hitting the struts connecting the hull to the hydrofoils transmit the impact to the craft. One of the bumpiest channel crossings I remember was in a hydrofoil. It was fast though, but not smooth."

      Travelling on Sydney Harbour (AU) to Manly from Circular Quay (and back) on a hydroil as a child I recall it was about the roughest (bumpy) passage as any. The Jetcats that replaced the hydrofoils weren't exactly smooth but probably not as bad. The conventional Freshwater class ferries are?/were the comfortable, even elegant way to make the journey. You could enjoy a beer from the bar and watch the sun set on the homeward commute. I can also vouch that these old ladies were no slouches on the open sea having travelled from Sydney to Port Kembla on one.

      1. Eclectic Man Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: 'Smooth and chop free'

        Just remembered that if you want a really smooth ride in a boat, you should try the Steam Yacht Gondola in Coniston Water, Cumbria, UK. I was on it and it was so calm that it felt like I was still and the world was just passing by. It was designed to travel well into and down wind, so can get a bit rocky turning round. The interior decoration of the cabins is based on a royal railway carriage for Victoria, so very nice.

        https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/lake-district/steam-yacht-gondola

      2. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

        Re: 'Smooth and chop free'

        Yes Fairlight and her sisters were cool, but it gets tiring to waste 10 hours a week commuting. There are better things to do with your life.

    2. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

      Re: 'Smooth and chop free'

      A hydrofoil with deeper faoils that are completely under the waves does not suffer the bumps when the sea is angry. The US military worked thru this with their ocean hydrofoil programs in the 60s.

  3. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

    WHy not move offices to the ferry point with the most employees that would save considerable time for them and probably save money on an office in a more costly premises ?

    1. IGotOut Silver badge

      The Oat Lattes aren't as good. As for the artisan humus on Sour dough flat bread, just don't even go there.

      1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

        Maybe its me but i wouldnt pay a commuting tax of 2 hours of my life just for a slice of bread.

  4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    the N30 reportedly only costs $0.38 per mile to operate

    ...yes, after the sunk cost of the R&D and purchase price have been covered :-)

    Also, Up to 12 passengers, already operating in Belfast.

    1. ske1fr
      Thumb Down

      Re: the N30 reportedly only costs $0.38 per mile to operate

      Nope, I'm not registering to read that on the Irish News site.

  5. OllieJones

    Pride goeth ...

    Back in the 1980s a forgotten company called DEC had a company gate at Logan International Airport in Boston.

    Thought we were pretty special, we did.

    Just serve your customers, Mr. Colliton.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like