PHOTO CAPTION: Hornblower Hybrid Ferry provides tours to Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay

Hornblower Hybrid Begins Ferry Service on San Francisco Bay

The vessel has undergone a retrofit, repower and refurbishmentover in a Bayside Boatworks in Sausalito, CA.

Published: 17-Dec-2008

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- Representatives from the National ParkService, Mayor Gavin Newsom's office, NOAA and Save the Bay were among the85 people to enjoy a breakfast gathering aboard the nation's first knownhybrid ferryboat.On Friday morning, December 12, at Pier 33 in San Francisco, AlcatrazCruises, the National Park Service concessioner of ferry service toAlcatraz Island introduced the Hornblower Hybrid, a wind, solar and dieselpowered hybrid vessel.

Alcatraz Cruises CEO Terry MacRae welcomed guests aboard and thanked manypeople for their support during the planning, design and construction ofthe vessel. He also noted that the innovation will continue as anotherhybrid vessel is being planned for San Francisco, as well as one thecompany's New York-based Statue Cruises, the National Park Serviceconcessioner of ferry service to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

Brian O'Neill, Superintendent of the Golden Gate National Parks welcomedguests aboard the Hybrid saying, "Alcatraz Cruises has demonstrated asincere commitment to the environment by creating the Hornblower Hybrid.Alcatraz Cruises has fostered a successful partnership, making them one ofthe best concessioners I've have the privilege of working with."

"The Hornblower Hybrid is not only the next step in Alcatraz Cruises' goalof becoming the greenest concessioner in the National Park Service; withthis vessel we hope to become a model of environmental innovation for thecity of San Francisco, the state of California and the United States," saidScott Thornton, Vice President of Operations and General Manager ofAlcatraz Cruises and Hornblower Cruises & Events.

The Hornblower Hybrid is a model of the potential power of alternativeenergies and creative engineering solutions. The Hornblower Hybrid is aplatform from which the general public will realize first-hand knowledge ofthe capabilities of solar power, wind power and other hybrid technologicaladvancements.

The Hornblower Hybrid uses power generated by two ten-foot-tall windturbines and a photovoltaic solar array covering the awning on the topdeck. That power is converted and stored in battery banks that then powerthe navigation tools, lighting and other electronics on board the vessel.Excess power is stored in the main propulsion battery banks.

In addition to solar panels and wind turbines, the Hornblower Hybrid alsohas Tier 2 marine diesel engines. These cleaner, fuel-efficient enginesreduce the amount of diesel fuel used, emissions and overall carbonfootprint. The customized drive system allows the captain to monitor theenergy needs of the vessel and select the most efficient power sources. Forexample, when the boat is idle at the dock the engines will shut off andthe motors will run off of energy stored in the battery banks.

The vessel also contains a number of other environmentally friendlymaterials. The carpeting contains post consumer recycled materials, isrecyclable and meets the US Green Building Council LEED criteria forrecycled content. A significant portion of the interior signage is printedon Plyboo, a composite material made from sustainable sources andcontaining no harmful chemicals. The countertops throughout the vessel aremade by Vetrazzo from pieces of recycled vodka bottles. The lightingthroughout the vessel is LED, which requires a fraction of the energy ofstandard bulbs and provide an equal or greater amount of illumination.

It will be a multipurpose vessel within the Alcatraz Cruises fleet,ferrying visitors to Alcatraz Island and Angel Island, as well as takingschool groups and other passengers on cruises around the Bay. The vesselwill also be available for private events. Information on chartering thevessel is available at

The Hornblower Hybrid is a 64-foot long catamaran, with a fully enclosedmain deck, and covered roof deck. The vessel, which was previously acommercial diving boat, has undergone a retrofit, repower and refurbishmentover the last several months in a Bayside Boatworks in Sausalito, CA. Thisvessel was designed and created in house and no grant or public money wasused.

Alcatraz Cruises' fleet already contains two of the greenestdiesel-powered ferryboats on the Bay. Alcatraz Clipper and Alcatraz Flyerwere recently repowered with the most fuel-efficient Tier 2 marine enginesavailable and use selective catalytic reduction units. This same technologywill be used on two new commuter ferryboats in the Bay Area, scheduled tobe in use in 2009.

Alcatraz Cruises offers daily round trips to Alcatraz Island as theconcessioner of ferry service for the National Park Service. The contractfor this service began in September 2006. Alcatraz Landing, the departureand return location, is located at Pier 33 on the Embarcadero, between Bayand Chestnut streets. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling 415-981-ROCK (7625).

Hornblower Hybrid ferry diagram

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