Friday, March 6, 2009
A person who wants to bring awareness to the Pacific Gyre filled with plastic garbage is funding a project that is making a catamaran out of recycled plastic bottles and alternative building materials.
Alot of similar efforts have been circulating in the backyard surfboard making circles for several years now and are even showing up in production levels to a degree. Fiberglass is being replaced with bamboo fibers and polyurethane blanks have moved to expanded polystrene and now to soy-based foams. It'll be a few more years until these new materials fill in the larger market share (oil prices will have to go up again, production infrastructure will have to come into place and most important - the mentality of the market will have to change to be more accepting of these products, which will be driven by the durability and user friendliness tests being performed today).
As an engineer, I am glad there are alternative materials popping up - each has properties you'd want to tap into. As a father who wants a better place for my kids to grow and live in, and a surfer that sees and has to pick up garbage all the time, to be able to take water/drink bottles and turn them into items we use everyday would be awesome.
La is really stoked to get to a warm water locale again (Okinawa-bound). She wants to crew on a racing catamaran and hit the circuit with me (Hobie Tiger...). So browsing the web I stumbled on this article. I think this guy is on the extremist side (he has a lot of money and time on his hands, and get this - he isn't even a sailor and he's looking to go transoceanic - what happened to work ups and risk management?), but the approach is interesting - from a marine architecture point of view.
Photos credited to:
Mark Costantini / The Chronicle
Main article is located here: