plastiki arrives in sydney plastiki arrives in sydney
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.

‘plastiki‘ 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, including: 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

  • That´s a very interesting project to promote recycling and use of clean energy.

    [url=]Nathan Rodriguez @[/url]

    Nanoverso says:
  • [url=] designboom [/url] bravo…san francisco celebrates this eco success too

    zahid sardar says:
  • …am quite amazed that it was impossible to design in centre-boards…..but oh-boy and crikey!: what a remarkable achievement……….’tis interesting to speculate how many individuals have been ‘turned on’ (environmentally speaking); how does one measure that??…..

    jayzhee says:

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