In 1980, when Spanier & Bourne Sailmakers was just formed, the
focus of the company was heavy duty charter boat and yacht sails,
rugged and tough enough to handle serious daily use in the harsh
conditions of the Hawaiian trade winds. All this work on these big
boats and the history of working with large vessels of all kinds drove
my interest in promoting the idea of manifesting the return of sail
power to our merchant fleet. I registered a company called Commercial Sail Associates with the idea of working as a consultant for the sails and rigs of craft such as imagined.
This effort began with some well considered hand written letters to the
senior Senator from Hawaii, ‘Sparky’ Matsunaga. He was very responsible
and quickly returned the correspondence, beginning a long relationship
by mail. His prompting motivated me to join up with the librarian from
Kahului, Jill Leveroni, who was also a personal friend. She was really
into helping and added her expertise to the research, and together we
created testimony and evidence to support our ideas.
Senator Matsunaga followed through admirably by supporting a Bill in
the Senate (SB 2992) that was delivered using our evidence as the basis
for consideration. As is usual with most bills, it went nowhere,
regardless of its quality or potential effect. But just getting the
idea in front of Congress was a good beginning.
Now, thirty years later, I found these documents, and re-read them,
finding them to be just as relevant as they were back then. To
demonstrate the concept was valid then as now, the whole communication,
proposal, and bill have been resubmitted to President Obama, Senators
Akaka, Inouye, Kerry, and Representative Pelosi for consideration. What
follows is the recent complete submission and I think you will also
find there is every reason to consider this as a meaningful way we
could demonstrate to the world our total commitment to reducing carbon
output, restoring American shipbuilding, utilizing our superior sailing
technology, and putting a large number of souls back to work again.