They’re Not Wooden; They’re Not Boats. But They Could Be?: the Strandbeests

Sometimes in the course of my trollings for new and noteworthy topics that might interest you…  I come across something SO different that I need to deviate from my primary (not “core”) mission.  And thus duty demands that I share with you.  Thus it is this week.


(Photos courtesy

But this video will give you a better idea of what it/they is/are:

The Strandbeest comes from the fertile mind of Theo Jansen.  I can’t find anything in his background — other than extreme versatility and creativity — to indicate that he is an advanced yacht designer.  But why not?

And the plastic tubes could easily be bamboo, no?

I can readily imagine that the locomotive innovations of his “clutch” of beach animals could be adapted to boating.


Perhaps he just needs our encouragement.

I believe I had linked a past video of the Strandbeest(s) on WB TV, at, a few years ago.

I love this type of innovative thinking.

More to the point:  What do YOU think?

Additional recent coverage at the NY Times (I’m not a subscriber, so can’t link) and Sailing Anarchy.

Next week — back to boats.  Back to wooden boats.

Thanks, Carl

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Oman Sailing

Jewel of Muscat

(Photo courtesy Lakruwan Wanniarachchi/AFP/Getty Images)

The photo above shows the replica, JEWEL OF MUSCAT.

This was the topic of a recent piece on NPR.  The JEWEL is a replica of a 9th Century wreck found off Indonesia.

From NPR’s website:

“These days, a visitor to the Persian Gulf sultanate of Oman is likely to be a pale European seeking some winter sun, or perhaps a diplomat seeking to broker a deal between longtime rivals such as, say, the U.S. and Iran. But Oman’s reputation as a go-between is well-earned and stretches back centuries.

Back when Northern Europe was overrun by Vikings, Oman had a vast maritime trading empire.
 Now the country is training a new generation of Omanis to care for that legacy, and along the way remind the world of its rich maritime history.

The group Oman Maritime devotes itself to re-creating some of the traditional wooden boats that defined Oman’s remarkable seafaring past.”

How are the planks fastened?

“A shipwright patiently hand sands part of a fishing boat as Staples points to an example of the intricate rope work that goes into traditional wooden boat construction — planks not nailed, but stitched together.

The preferred rope is made of coconut palm fiber. It’s elastic enough to survive a sea voyage, and prone to swell up when wet, so a wad of fibers underneath the stitching fills in gaps and improves the seal.”

Or, what they call “slow boat building.”

I have to confess I never knew much about Oman before I read this article.  It sounds like a pretty fascinating place.  Are any of your familiar with it?

To read the article in its entirety, here:

Thanks, Carl





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