Woven Boat From Plastic Bottles

Last summer in Greece, I was a part of a project where our aim was to produce a boat made out of plastic bottles. Sounds hard or impossible? Well, it was interesting and challenging indeed, but we've proved it was possible!

Step 1: Making Strips From Plastic Bottles

We used a shredding mechanism to turn plastic bottles into strips, about 2 metres long.

You can view the process here:


Step 2: Making a Loom

We produced a simple wooden loom, where the plastic strips were connected to the strings by tying them up.

On the photos, you can see that the basis for the loom is metal, but we designed a second loom shortly after made entirely out of wood. It took about 1 hour to finish and install.

Step 3: Weaving Plastic

Criss-cross! We used the weaving method to produce plastic surfaces of about 30cm x 200 cm.

3 people were working on one loom at a time: 2 persons underpinning the shorter strings, and 1 person criss-crossing the weaving beam up and down. Underpinning can be done by 1 person, but we used it as an opportunity (excuse) to hang out, talk, play games, sing... :)

Step 4: Putting the Sheets of Plastic to the Mold

We shaped the plastic sheets according to a mold for an optimist boat. Then, we added an additional layer of liquid polyester.

It's a type of resin that we used to secure the plastic sheets.

Step 5: Our Final Product!

The final outcome: it sails! :)

We have managed to produce a fully-functioning sailing optimist boat! You can see a video of the process here.



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    4 Discussions


    3 months ago

    This looks like a fun build! I would love to see more of your documentation in this Instructable. Did you use any epoxy in your woven plastic? I'm not entirely certian what liquid polyester is :D

    1 reply

    Reply 3 months ago

    Thank you for your comment! :) It was very fun indeed. I'll add some more photos along with details for building. :)
    We didn't use epoxy. Polyester is also a type of resin, we used it to "secure" the sheets of plastic and make it entirely identical to the mold of the boat... I have also worked with this material for the first time here, it's very gooey and thick, like liquid laundry detergent. We mixed it with water.