Notwithstanding Michael Pawlin's claims, I can assure you that the structure of the pomegranate was not actually part of the design. The boat has been designed along principles of naval architecture.
The final boat is an enlarged version of the prototype, which I built and had a lot of input into.
The biology of various beetles is fascinating, but in fact none of it has been applied in this case, the desalination uses regularly applied principles that are pretty old-hat in the marine industry. Wind and solar power on yachts are absolutely normal and have been for at least 20 years in mass-produced forms. I don't believe the rudders on the Plastiki produce power. The toilet system is commonly used in areas without sewerage all over the world, the tradition 'long-drop' toilet is in fact a basic form of the same, and bio-cycle septic systems are really common. I know what the website says, I also know what actually happened in real life.
This does to some degree miss the point though. I am all in favour of the project and it's aims, particularly the 'discovery' of Comfil's product - srPET and the publicising of the possibility of its application in the marine industry. I also understand the need of a project such as this to get noticed. David de Rothschild's ownership certainly helps there. I do feel though, that the project has sufficient merit to stand on its own reality without inaccurate hype
- Having set up the Plastiki operation in San Francisco in April '08 and then built the prototype and discovered the srPET material being used, I can correct and add to the article. First, there is no bio-mimicry in the design; second, a good percentage of the bottles in the final boat are new and not recycled. Third, a lot of what is being touted as 'new' is in fact age-old standard marine practice - self sufficiency is a given on an ocean voyage, David de Rothschild hasn't introduced any new concepts in this area. Australian readers may be interested to know that the architect who has designed the catamaran lives in Avalon, Sydney - one of my big complaints when I left the project 12 months go was the lack of attribution to essential personnel.