i. Wood-based Technologies: Three comparatively new technologies have been refined and adapted in order to build vessels with excellent strength to weight ratios and cost effectiveness. This includes Constant Camber mold utilization which allows identically shaped, mass-producible wood strips to be fabricated into compound curved hulls. Secondly, ep-oxies and wood veneers have been combined to create composite building materials which are strong, light, rot-resistant, and long-lived. Finally, vacuum bagging, a method for holding the strips of wood on the mold and providing pressure for the bonding stage in the fabrication of the wood/ epoxy composite boat material, has been developed to the stage where it can be employed inexpensively in small communities throughout the Third World.
ii. Boat Wood Forestry: In collaboration with NAISA in Costa Rica
Appendix B: Coastal Fisheries Proposal
»ve have established plantings of various trees to test as candidates for v. ood/epoxy composite construction. Melina, a fast-growing tree from New Guinea, has grown to a suitable size for boat construction within two years. Preliminary tests indicate it is epoxy compatible. Baromalli, an underutilized species from Guyana, has been successfully used to make the composite building materials.
iii. Naval Architecture: A prototype vessel, the first of the "Ocean Pickups," was launched in November of 1982. It was designed by Richard N'ewick, the creator of some of the world's fastest ocean-racing multi-hulls including the last OSTAR (Observer Singlehanded Trans Atlantic Race) winner "Moxie." He has successfully translated his skills into a working water craft. The prototype Ocean Pickup, a 32'-long trimaran which weighs less than a ton, has proven to be capable of carrying a ton and one half of cargo and of sailing at speeds up to 20 mph.
iv. Sea Trials and Fishing Gear Development: During the 1982/83 winter the prototype Ocean Pickup, the "Edith Muma," was given sea trials under a variety of weather conditions in New England. Trawling, trolling, gill netting, and long lining gear was developed for the boat and tested under difficult winter conditions.
v. Voyage to Guyana: During March and April 1983 the rig was modified, and the vessel was given a cabin and outfitted for the approximately 3,600-mile trip to South America. In May during the first leg, Cape Cod to North Carolina, and the second leg, Beaufort to Bermuda, the Ocean Pickup was continuously exposed to heavy-weather sailing and proved rugged and capable of handling the difficult conditions. The third leg of the journey, the 2,200 miles from Bermuda to Guyana against southeast headwinds, took just under fourteen days. This fast passage was made with the vessel carrying fishing gear, fuel, water, an auxiliary 15 hp outboard, supplies for Guyana, and provisions, attesting to its performance under load carrying conditions.
vi. Fishing in Guyana's Drift Net Fishery: In June and early July the Ocean Pickup fished in the drift gill net fishery of Guyana. Drift netters account for 40% of the artisanal catch. Because of their range and power requirements they are especially vulnerable to input cost increases. The Ocean Pickup successfully set, fished, and hauled one-mile-long gill nets under sea conditions considered unsuitable for existing boats. Fishermen had no difficulty sailing the multihull and were awed by its speed, effectiveness as a working platform, and its potential range. They told us they would willingly buy Ocean Pickups at our estimated in-country construction cost of G $35,000.
Our preliminary economic estimate indicates that each Ocean Pickup would save the fishermen more than G $20,000 annually and at least double their range. Based upon our rate of fish capture to date, Ocean Pickups in the drift net fishery could pay for themselves within a single year. The challenge now will be to create the infrastructure in order to cost-effectively build a fleet of Ocean Pickups in Guyana.
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Do we really want the one thing that gives us its resources unconditionally to suffer even more than it is suffering now? Nature, is a part of our being from the earliest human days. We respect Nature and it gives us its bounty, but in the recent past greedy money hungry corporations have made us all so destructive, so wasteful.