Work will commence late January 2017 on building
The FlipFlopi Dhow - the centre-piece of a pioneering world
first project to construct the first boat made entirely out of
recycled ocean plastic and flipflops.
During a press conference which will take place on the shores
of the Indian Ocean at the build site in Lamu, Expedition leader
Ben Morison will officially launch the build phase of the
Accompanied by representatives from the County Government and
other members of the boat building team, Ben will show off the
first key parts of the Dhow which have been crafted by a unique
collaboration between plastic recycling experts in Malindi and
traditional Lamu boat builders.
Each of these parts weighs nearly 1 tonne, and in the next 12
months will be assembled using local expertise and 200,000
recycled flip-flops into a 60 foot ocean going Dhow.
Never before has a concept of this nature been attempted and
the launch of the build will reveal the pioneering techniques
and skill used to transform plastic and flip-flops collected
from Kenya’s beaches – into the ocean going Flipflopi Dhow that
will set sail for Cape Town in South Africa in January 2018.
The FlipFlopi Dhow is being built on the island of Lamu on
the Kenya coast – which has traditionally been the most
important centre for dhow building in the region.
Lamu is the oldest and best preserved Swahili settlement in
East Africa, having been inhabited since 1370, and boat building
is still dominated by traditional techniques.
Waste plastics will be used to construct the entire boat.
The keel, ribs and structural elements from recycled plastic
products including bottles and bags, and the hull and decking
will be covered completely by recycled flip-flops.
Despite the unusual materials, the vessel is being
constructed by local craftsmen using traditional methods.
This means no power tools and no computers … just centuries