plastiki arrives in sydney
original content
jul 26, 2010
plastiki arrives in sydney

‘plastiki’ arrives in sydney’s darling harbour
image © designboom

plastiki‘ sailed its way into sydney’s darling harbour today after traveling 130 days
and 8000 nautical miles from san francisco.

the boat made from 12, 500 recycled plastic PET bottles was the brainchild of british adventuer
david de rothschild – founder of adventure ecology. ‘plastiki’ began her adventure nearly
four years ago after taking inspiration from a report issued by UNEP (united nations environment
programme) called ‘ecosystems and biodiversity in deep waters and high
seas’ and thor heyerdahl’s
epic 1947 expedition, the kon-tiki. david
de rothschild and his five member crew sailed from
sydney to san francisco hoping to raise awareness about the amount of plastic floating in
the world’s oceans.

image © designboom

adventure ecology commissioned company exploration architecture to design the vessel.
it is engineered almost entirely from the 12,500 reclaimed plastic bottles that provide 68%
of the boat’s buoyancy. a recyclable plastic material made from srPET makes up the
super structure and the mast is made with a reclaimed aluminum irrigation pipe.
the one-of-a-kind sail is hand-made from recycled PET cloth and the secondary bonding
is reinforced using a newly developed organic glue made from cashew nuts and sugar cane.

image © designboom

the plastic bottles attached to the catamaran
image © designboom

image © designboom

the plastiki is ‘off-the-grid’ relying primarily on renewable energy
systems to function including:
solar panels, wind turbines, trailing sea turbines, bicycle generators, a vacuum water evaporator
for desalination, a urine-to-water recovery system and rain water catchment, a separating toilet
and waste storage with evaporative technology for weight reduction, hydroponic vertical garden
and an electrical system based around a bank of six 12 volt batteries.

‘plastiki’ – solar panels
image © designboom

‘plastiki’ – solar panels

the boat’s overall design and sail plan only permits it to sail with the wind just forward of
her beam – she is a down-wind vessel. in keeping with the design ethos there are no
centreboards so the boat sometimes goes sideways, as well as forward.

image © designboom

plastiki will be on display in front of the maritime museum, sydney for a month.

image © designboom

david de rothschild
portrait © designboom

the plastiki crew with 14 year old parrys raines who supported the ‘plastiki’ voyage
image © designboom

‘plastiki’ departing san francisco

the bottles underwater

the bottles underwater

the boat’s hull

detail of the plastic bottles

adventure ecology has worked with a number of experts in the field of boat building,
architecture, sustainable design, engineering, materials, and innovative design technology,
michael pawlyn – concept architect
andy dovell – naval architect
andy fox – boat builder
nathaniel corum – cabin architect and sustainability consultant
jason iftakhar – solar array designer and consultant

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