Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Plastiki and Plastic Boats In History

This Hubley Toy boat available at Vintage Lancaster on Etsy.
Plastic Boats Then

I was reading an old Cyanamid Employee Newsletter I had stuffed in my office that I had come across over the years,  and it made mention of a melamine boat.  I suppose back in a day and age when wooden boats were "the only thing" around coming out with a plastic boat may have only been but a dream and a crazy one at that.  Although it's safe to say the boat did float, but I can only imagine over time a heavy melamine boat may indeed crack or sink, so over time boats were indeed perfected into fiberglass, a lighter material that could go much faster but still melamine coating was used to protect boats for years.  Any old books such as engineering magazines or boat books will go into detail about   melamine and urea coating protecting boats from weather, wear, etc then eventually you would read that "resins" were used to protect boat hulls.  Technology advances made boats lightweight yet weatherproof thanks to resins like melamine.

Now the whole history of plastic and fiberglass boats is so intriguing to some that Daniel Spurr came out with a book, "Heart of Glass" which was all about the making of the fiberglass boats, the men who made them and how they helped in history.

The Plastiki made an 11000 mile journey being made of 12000 recycled bottles.
Boats Today

Today they have Inflatable Plastic Boats , fiberglass boats, and boats for everyone. What really got me thinking was a boat called the Plastiki which was made from 12000 plastic bottles which made a maiden 11000 mile voyage and charted the whole thing by Video and Photos on their official website. I'm surprised I didn't hear more about it sooner, this great eco friendly boat proves that man and plastics can still work hand in hand.   It's amazing what we can do with boats today.  There was also a $4.5 billion dollar super yacht that indeed, had plastic in it.

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