I remember a similar story on that PBS show with Alan Alda, around 1999 or so... and it was intriguing and I have tried to find out more since, with no luck... I couldn't even find it in the archives of the show.
but FYI I did a Google search for 'gausfin' and got one hit, a pdf of an issue of "Human Power" from 1998. However, it only mentions it once: "Another way to pick up energy to rival what a pedaler provides is to exploit wave action. An experimental craft called the Gausfin achieved 4 to 5 knots in a moderate chop."
... Ah-HAH, a search for "17-v5n3-1986.pdf" finds another issue of the same magazine, that shows something that looks alot like what I remember from that show, but again no details.