Reaction ferry crossing the Rhine, Basel, Switzerland
In Basel you can cross the Rhine without motorized assistance, using only the natural power of the river's current.
A reaction ferry is a cable very that uses the reaction of the current of a river against a fixed tether to propel the vessel across the river. Such ferries operate faster and more effectively in rivers with strong currents. This historic ferry of Basel have no motors, hand-operated by tiller, they cross the Rhine by tacking against the current, held in position by a rope suspended above the river and letting the current push them across from landing to landing.
The ferry in Basel “ LEU” operate using an overhead cable suspended from towers anchored on either bank of the Rhine. A "traveller" is installed on the cable and the ferry is attached to the traveller by a bridle cable. Controlling the cable or the rudder the ferry is angled into the current, and the force of the current moves the ferry across the river.