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Ferry pitched for Squamish

Company developing fast ferry concept

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Bill and Graham Cocksedge of Powell River have developed a high-speed ferry concept that caught the eye of one Squamish mariner. The innovators on the Sunshine Coast were invited by former Squamish councillor Tom Bruusgaard and the Inside Edge group to share the vision for a vehicle they are developing that could one day ferry commuters between Squamish and Vancouver.

The brothers visited Squamish on Thursday, July 11, and presented details of a vehicle they call a Slipstream. The vehicle is designed to travel on water but has the ability to also travel on flat land surfaces as well. It's battery-powered, fan-driven, reaches speeds of 60 to 65 knots and creates no wake.

"I followed this for a few years," said Bruusgaard as he introduced Bill Cocksedge at a gathering of those interested in the vehicle being developed in Powell River. "The technology caught my eye as a former Norwegian naval officer."

Bill Cocksedge presented details of the vehicle design and showed pictures of a small prototype. The vehicle was originally a vision created by his father, called a "thrust cushion vehicle (TCV)." The brothers have been working with Transport Canada on the vessels.

High-speed catamarans create waves that can be potentially damaging to shore areas. That was the major flaw of the infamous fast catamaran ferries created by the B.C. government in the late 1990s, which cost $460 million to build and were eventually sold for under $20 million.

Cocksedge described a vessel in his presentation as one powered by a fan mounted under the vessel. The concept is similar to a hovercraft.

He said he and his brother have built three vessels to test their concept. They are now working toward designing and building a 32-metre (150 foot) prototype. Once that is built Cocksedge said his company can start taking orders and full commercial production of vessels could follow very quickly after the prototype is completed. More online at www.piquenewsmagazine.com.

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