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Fulfilling a final wish by bringing a new type of renewable electricity to the world.
Galen Maloney
San Francisco, California
United States
9 Team Members


NEW:  Contribute to our campaign by donating your old smartphone.  Click on the following link and use the project code "TORQUE".  They'll send you a self mailer.  Great way to support us!  http://plantyourphone.org/info/projects/nautical-torque-lunar-energy-for-a-sustainable-future/


 Saving the World with Renewable Energy

In memory of my father, Cahill Maloney (1959 - 2012), I am asking for your help completing the prototype for his discovery and invention, nautical torque. This original, patented process for generating renewable electricity utilizes the slow and steady movement of large ships and vessels as they rise and fall with the tides. Because the process is easily scalable to utility levels and results in consistent output, it presents the first viable renewable alternative to fossil fuel and nuclear based power production. Read the story of Nautical Torque or visit Nautical Torque Technology for details about the company, our business strategy and management team.

Fulfilling a Blue Collar Worker’s Last Wish
Cahill lived a hard and humble life, but always had big ideas, inventions, and dreams. He lived and thought outside the mainstream, making a living as a sign painter, and developing an assortment of inventions. All of his inventions were aimed at making life better for people and better for the planet. Nautical torque was his last, biggest, and most ambitious project, and he dedicated the last years of his life to this idea; continuing to work on it despite countless rejections, homelessness and a stage IV stomach cancer diagnosis.  He learned of the cancer in mid October of 2012, and a month later breathed his final breath before realizing his dream. Telling his story, raising money for the prototype, and bringing nautical torque to the world will honor his life and hard work.  Read more about Cahill's story

Use of Funds
All funds will purchase specific pieces that will result in a full scale landlocked prototype, which will simulate the ship and tidal movement, and provide evidence and data that will spur further investment and lead to construction of larger seaside prototypes.  This will culminate in the commercialization of nautical torque as an electricity production process that can eliminate the need for nuclear and fossil fuel power production.  
Read more about use of funds.

The Story of Nautical Torque

container shipIf you live in San Francisco, you may have noticed the large boats gliding under the Golden Gate bridge, heading to the Port of Oakland to unload their cargos. One spring day in 2008, Cahill sat and watched these ships as he waited for the paint to dry on one of his signs.  Though imperceptible to the naked eye, he realized that each ship must move up (as the tide comes in) and down (as the tide goes out). From years of experience working on cars and building boats, he immediately grasped that the movement of this massive amount of weight, even if only a few feet, generated an incredible of torque.  The tide provided a free reload of each ship, and the weight of the ship could be harnessed to generate electricity.

sketch of seaside application of nautical torqueAttached to the stationary platform, the rise and fall of these ships creates an irresistible force that can drive a gearbox, and result in the spinning of a turbine, and hence, electricity.  While this “lunar” energy relies on the tides to lift the vessels, it differs from tidal, hydro and wave power in that they  use the actual force of water to spin tubrines.  Nautical Torque uses the lifting capacity of water to lift Mass, and the force of the falling mass actually spins the turbine.  Because the tides, governed by the moon, are constant and predictable, the gearing system can be designed for continous power production, and address the intermittency problem of existing renewables. Because bulk energy storage is very limited and society demands 24 hr power, intermittent renewables such as solar and wind must be backed up by coal, nuclear or hydro.  This dirty power, which continues to be developed to meet growing energy demand, is called "baseload" because it is always on and provides predictable, scalable and consistent energy.  Renewables cannot entirely replace these consistent, yet dirty,  baseload sources.   

Potential for Nautical Torque

A baseload renewable that can be scaled up to utility levels, and provide affordable and consistent high density power to the grid is the holy grail of the energy world because it means we can truly end our dependence on fossil fuel and nuclear based power generation. 

Convinced that nautical torque could meet the world's growing demand for energy, my father and I formed Nautical Torque Technology and filed a patent.  While I developed the business plan and website, he pitched the idea to everyone from NASA to PG&E to venture capitalists, hoping to sell them on the idea alond.  But he soon realized a proof of concept was needed to convince funders.  He attacked this challenging task and spent four years researching and building various models - piecing together information from a variety of industries:  construction, engineering, hydraulics, air compression, shipping, and electric.  On a shoestring budget, and with the help of his friend and research partner, Peter Collins, he finally completed an advanced proof of concept that used gearboxes, air compression and floating weights to simulate the tides and vessels.  This herculean effort used up the last of our money but was able to demonstrate the basic principle; a large particle of slow moving mass generates more electricity than anyone has imagined.   

At this point, we entered the 2012 Clean Tech Open, making it to the semi-final round even though we still lacked a full scale prototype and were considered very “early stage”.  The Clean Tech Open provided invaluable mentorship and strategic contacts that turned our big idea into a solid business strategy.  It also allowed my dad to exhibit his model at the technology fairs, where it garnered plenty of attention.  However, venture capitalists told us we were too early stage while angel funders said we were asking for too little.  Plus, everyone still wanted to see a fullscale prototype, not just a proof of concept. We needed a fullscale prototype that could be verified and tested by 3rd parties, before they would invest.  But our finances were stretched to the limit at this point, and we needed $15,000 to buy the final parts to complete the prototype.  It was extremely frustrating because we had come so far but funding remained elusive for the last half of 2012.  My dad grew frustrated while I continued to preach patience.  We just needed to refine our pitch videos, work on our business plan and go through all the hoops of the startup game.  We were “fishing”, I told him, for that one enlightened investor, who could see the big picture.  The idea was too good.  The need was too great.  And we just needed to persevere.  But time was not on his side. 

The Life of CahillCahill at Galileo High 1975

My father lived and thought outside the mainstream, making a living as a commercial artist, mechanic, repairman, ship builder and finally, as an inventor. The son of David Pearlman (who gained fame as the raft builder and explorer Poppa Neutrino) and Eileen Cahill Maloney (who worked as editor for the San Francisco Progress), Cahill was born and raised in San Francisco and attended Marina middle school and Galileo High School.   In his youth, he found direction in baseball and football, playing quarterback for Galileo High School with the ability to throw both left and right handed.  He was the only sophomore on Gal’s 1974 City championship team, and was the starting quarterback his junior year. 

Cahill building a raftInstead of returning to school for his senior year, he opted for the adventurous path, and joined his father and a group of fellow higher consciousness seeking travelers who built rafts, painted signs, and studied the teachings of G.I. Gurdjieff.  With this group, he mastered the sign painting trade, travelled throughout the U.S. and Mexico.  He even pursued a professional baseball career; earning a few tryouts as a "switch" pitcher for some Mexican and major league teams. 

Cahill and his son GalenDuring this time, he also became a father, having me at the tender age of 18.  The bond between a father and son is always strong, but even more so with young fathers, who have the extra responsibility of providing for a son while still becoming their own man.  When I was six, my dad left the group after disagreements with my mother and his own father.  He returned to San Francisco where, with the help of my grandmother Eileen and my Aunt Mandy, he raised me and settled into a working class life as a sign painter. 

dad on ladder at Gaspare

A major change occurred with the death of his mother in 1997, followed by the death of his sister a year later. Although he never talked about it, their deaths impacted him greatly and inspired him to give up drinking and the bar life to which he had grown accustomed.  Their deaths caused a great awakening, and he simplified his life.  Living out of a $600 a month room, he focused on playing golf and creative endeavors, such as designs for mattresses that would prevent bed sores and a single breath breathing device for big wave surfers and lifeboats. This thought pattern eventually led to his discovery of nautical torque.  

Unfortunately, the energy he put into constructing the proof of concepts took him away from painting signs, and he fell behind in rent.  Forced to abandon his single room hotel, he settled into his van and lived out of it for the last two years.  Although he was homeless and broke, he never faltered in his belief that nautical torque would change the world, and felt we were just on the verge of a breakthrough.  He believed all the struggle was worth it if nautical torque could succeed and make a difference in the world.  His ingenuity and creativity took him right up to the finish line but not across it. 

A Difficult Ending

Starting in September, my father began suffering stomach problems, which impaired his ability to hold down food.  Uninsured people tend to resist going to the hospital.  Plus, we assumed it was just a side effect of giving up chewing tobacco after 30 years.  But the pain persisted and grew worse.  In mid-October, he went to the community clinic for an appointment, and they immediately sent him over to SF General for a CAT scan.  They saw the tumor right away and diagnosed him with late stage esophageal/stomach cancer with a predicted survival time of six months.  Although the news shocked us both, my father refused to give up and maintained a hopeful attitude that he could beat it with healthy eating and exercise; that he needed to beat it in order to see nautical torque through to completion.  However, he lost all of his weight as the tumor closed the opening to his stomach. Still, he never gave up; making his walks up and down the hospital hallways, and telling the plethora of doctors and nurses that he had invented a new type of renewable energy.  He even checked himself out of the hospital to attend a meeting with an engineer in order to show and explain the proof of concept. 

final healing sessionAfter three weeks at SF General, he was transferred to Laguna Honda Hospital’s hospice unit.  In pain and unable to hold down food, he took pleasure from me wheeling him outside for fresh air to look at the farm animals and the gardens.  I’ll always remember our last little adventure around the hospital, wheeling him up the hill past the old buildings, while we talked of forthcoming wealth and future plans for funding rooftop gardens, organic food programs, new hospitals and other social programs.  The last time I spoke with him, he told me of his deep desire to do good, and leave something that would benefit all of humanity.  It was the most difficult thing in the world to watch the body of the man I admire and love slowly disintegrate.  Yet, I have immense gratitude for his life, for the last years I was able to spend with him working on this project, and for the fact that, before he passed, he worked through some deep emotional trauma, and was able to achieve an internal peace that will stay with him on all his future adventures. Undoubtedly, his last wish was to obtain the funding necessary to complete the prototype and demonstrate the revolutionary nature of nautical torque.

So that’s what this campaign is about.  It is as simple as fulfilling a blue collar worker’s last wish, as simple as a son being proud of his father, as simple as the fantasies we all have of becoming great. Or it is as complicated as introducing a new type of renewable to the world.  Whatever it is, your contribution will make it happen.  Thank you for reading. 

Visit Nautical Torque Technology for details about the company, our business strategy and management team.

Nautical Torque possesses a solid business strategy to get to market and develop customers.  We have made contact with the Port of Oakland, city of San Francisco, Port of Los Angeles, and many others who are ready to partner with us to develop this technology once we have built our initial prototypes to substantiate our estimates.  The initial funds will be used to construct our simulated landlocked prototype, which will provide the necessary validation to move forward with larger developments and projects.  This campaign represents an opportunity for the community to make its voice heard, and contribute to a high impact environmental venture.   

Use of Funds
Gearbox with 3,000lb weight capacity and reinforced bearings to mitigate shock (LFW Manufacturing)

$3,500 Skystream Wind Turbine (minus the blades) Turbine that gives 3kw/hr output

$2,500 Inflatable air lifting cylinder and airbag that collapses from 4 feetto 6 inches. (Matjack).  Simulates the tidal up and down movement. 

$2,000 Air Compressor, with muffler (McMaster-Carr Compressors)

$1,600 Grid Connect System (inverter, amp volt meters) breaker

$1,400 LPSM – weights that will drive the gear system and power the turbine. Simulates the rising and falling ship.

$500 cables, steel bars, connectors and miscellaneous hardware


Landlocked Prototype Construction:  April 2013
Landlocked Prototype Demonstration Party:  June, 2013
Seaside Prototype Construction and testing:  July - Nov 2013
20 Mw Seaside Facility Construction:  January 2014


We have compiled an eclectic assortment of perks that represent various aspects of the nautical torque story, and three generations of a unique family, including the group that traveled with my father called the Floating Neutrinos. They provide each contributor with a small relic of an incredible journey.


Find This Campaign On
raised by 95 people in 2 months
29% funded
No time left
$16,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on April 11, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $25USD

    Cotton t-shirt with the Nautical Torque Logo. Rock these 100% cotton bad boys and show off the fact that your actions are helping bring us closer to a sustainable energy future. Hell to the yeah!

    36 out of 150 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2013
  • $25USD
    Bernal Biz Gift Certificate

    Local businesses in Bernal Heights have agreed to support our campaign by offering $20 gift certificates for their store. Choose from Good Life Grocery, Rock Candy, Progressive Grounds, Moonlight Cafe, 29th Street Bicycle Repair, A.G river company wood repairs

    4 out of 10 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2013
  • $30USD
    Baseball Cards

    Whether or not they make the hall of fame, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens made us watch the game. This collection of cards includes 89 Donruss Barry Bonds, 88 Score Barry Bonds, 86 Topps Roger Clemens and a few other classic steroid questionables such as Brady Anderson, Jose Canseco, Juan Gonzalez and Rafael Palmeiro.

    0 out of 2 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2013
  • $50USD
    1968/69 San Francisco Argonaut

    Original 1968 or 1969 edition of the San Francisco Argonaut. Cahill's mother, Eileen Cahill Maloney, was the editor and wrote a column titled “Maloney’s Corner”. She wrote under the name E.C. Maloney so as not to give away her gender. These editions are an excellent way to travel back in time to visit the issues that San Francisco and California were dealing with in the late 1960s. Very cool stuff.

    1 out of 15 claimed
    Estimated delivery: February 2013
  • $50USD
    Cahill Photo and Collage

    8x10 Picture of Cahill with images of nautical torque diagrams and prototype pictures. This collage features some of Cahill's early sketches and designs for nautical torque as well as pictures of the earliest prototypes. Great for inspiring conversations and destined to be a collector's item. Yes!

    3 out of 10 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2013
  • $50USD
    Ingrid Lucia Package

    Cahill's younger sister, Ingrid Lucia, is an amazing singer based out of New Orleans. Package includes 4 cds (Almost Blue, Live from New Orleans, Fortune and Nightingale Review) and 2 passes to the Nightingale Monthly event at Preservation Hall in New Orleans. http://www.last.fm/music/Ingrid+Lucia

    4 out of 10 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2013
  • $75USD
    Mixtape and Music Package

    Every story has a soundtrack, and this mixtape provides the beats of the well understood struggle to achieve one's dreams in the face of adversity. Features original tracks from an allstar cast of local musicians such as Bayonics, Jairo Vargas, Trailer Limon, Sir Grizwald, and others. Package also includes 2 VIP passes to see Albarosie/Bayonics at the New Parish on April 20, or Katchafire at Mezzanine on April 21. https://www.facebook.com/EarshotEnt

    2 out of 5 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2013
  • $150USD
    Reading and Healing

    Value: $200 An energy reading and healing works with your energy, body and psyche. Powerful in shifting emotions/attitudes and stuck places and around money/ life purpose/health/relationships/life purpose in a very short time. Natalie is a modern mystic and intuitive healer/ teacher and a technology business woman. Trained and ordained as a Minister at Psychic Horizons. Natalie has taught and guided hundreds of clients worldwide nataliezeituny.com

    0 out of 1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2013
  • $300USD
    Poppa Neutrino Package

    This package highlights the life of Poppa Neutrino, Cahill's father. Includes Random Lunacy AND Neutrino Sutra videos, “The Happiest Man in the World” by Alec Wilkinson, Poppa's play, “Ilsa”, an e-copy of the Triad Manual by Poppa Neutrino’s wife, Betsy Terrell and a 15 minute phone consult with Betsy on Triads, NVC or any Neutrino-related topic of the person's choice. Truly a remarkable package with transformational potential. Sweet stuff.

    0 out of 4 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2013
  • $400USD
    Professional Sign

    Personal sign for your business or home. Includes an A board, window or an awning. Can be claimed in SF bay area, New Orleans, or the south of France. Sign Painting was a skill set practiced by the traveling neutrinos as they travelled the US in search of higher consciousness. Plus, it was how Cahill made a living. A great deal for a business in need of some fresh signage or a repainting of their sign. U - Reeebay!

    2 out of 5 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2013
  • $1,000USD
    Invite to Demo Party / Name

    You will attend the special VIP only demonstration party, when we will film and run the prototype for a select audience of investors, press, and advisers Contributors at this level will also choose from from a variety of nautical torque and memorabilia as well as have a piece of the prototype named after them. A drawing will take place to choose one contributor that will have the first seaside prototype boat named in their honor. Yup, a boat. Fabulous!

    0 out of 10 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2013
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