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CSA Proposal to US Senate
Alternative Propulsion and Energy Systems
Commercial Sail Associates
March 1980

In the years ahead, men will find it wise to utilize sources of energy that are presently lying dormant.  Our dependence on fossil fuels for the transport of goods and people will soon become uneconomical, both in a financial sense and as regards the finite quality of natural resources.  We support the common sense of alternatives, providing they don’t use more resources and energy than they intend to save.

Our primary concern is the ship.  At present, it is a fuel guzzler and can still move cargo relatively inexpensively.  But with changing values effecting trade, the realization that resources have become more valuable than time, and the evolution of sailing ship technology, we will soon find sailing cargo and passenger carriers will be highly competitive economically and closely competitive in the same sense.  And, don’t forget the considerable savings in fossil fuels.

It is our desire to provide sails and sail hardware for the ships of the future as well as the ones that exist today.  We allow that there are only one or two sail lofts in the world today that have the orientation necessary to provide a ship with sails that are serviceable in a commercial sense.  Most lofts specialize in yachts, passing on the considerable expense of advertising and racing campaigns to the customer, all the while reducing labor time to maintain profits.

Only fifty years have passed since any significant number of large sailing vessels have been used commercially.  It has been a lazy and shortsighted approach to the problems of pollution and energy waste that allows the internal combustion engine to continue to be used so willingly.  The jet and the turbine are even worse.  The power economics connected with huge capital investments have so little to do with nature or the quality of life on our small planet.  Soon however, gracefully quiet vessels will ply the trade routes carrying goods and people across the seas, utilizing the power in the wind and leaving no trace but their wake.

This is not some antidiluvian dream, but a practical approach to a global problem.  At least to one important aspect of it anyway.  Ships such as these will have no rules to govern them except efficiency, function and sensible sea-keeping ability.  There is room for newness in every respect and it is this newness that is our interest.

Do you have an idea?  Perhaps there is a rig you want to try that is new, or maybe even very old.  We have some fine young dynamic minds available who are unafraid to be unique and inventive.  Does your ship have unusual sail requirements that a “yacht” loft might shy away from or attempt to discourage in lieu of something they are more familiar with?  Should you have to pay for an international racing campaign and expensive advertisements to guarantee creative input on your behalf?  Ships need sails for ships, not oversized yacht gear.  Hardware and construction must be up to the job to be done.

Our gear will not be patented, nor trademarks registered for once again it is the customer that must pay for this legal service.  We want to see ships sailing and to sail on them, not waste precious time and money protecting ideas that belong to all men.  The law will not guarantee quality in workmanship or concern with your problems.  We feel our products and services must be continually evolving to be the best obtainable, never living on a reputation, satisfying our desire to see a job well done.

Present projects include design consultation on a fifty net ton cargo schooner, two sailing fishing boats and small alternative ocean vehicles for individuals.  Production of several interesting sail hardware designs is underway along with constant research into alternatives.  Our new loft is constructed to serve the big ship first and provide the best service possible.  We also provide a mobile loft and riggers service for emergency major repairs in out of the way places.  Fee free to contact us for particulars.

Barry Spanier
Commercial Sail Associates
Maui, HI
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