Grow Your Own Boat

I found these two article fascinatings — a UK company that “manufactures” its furniture by molding young saplings to create the pieces it uses in the building of its products.

Grow boat(Photo courtesy of Fast Company.)

Full grown

(Photo courtesy Fabio De Paola and The Guardian)

Gavin Munro “.. uses specially designed plastic frames to mold young willow, oak, ash and sycamore trees into the shape of chairs, tables, frames, or lamps as they’re growing. Once they’ve matured, each tree has morphed into a fully functional furniture item made from a single piece of wood, no sawing or assembling necessary. Munro’s company, called Full Grown, aims to ‘rethink our relationship with trees and time.'”

Full Grown is currently growing 400 trees in this fashion near Derby in the UK.

“Using this method, growing an individual tree into a complete chair takes anywhere from four to eight years. ‘In essence, it’s an incredibly simple art,’ he says. ‘You start by training and pruning young tree branches as they grow over specially made formers. At certain points we then graft them together so that the object grows in to one solid piece.’ He likens the process to ‘a kind of organic 3D printing that uses air, soil and sunshine as its source material.’ After the tree has grown into the shape they want, they continue to nurture it as it thickens and matures before harvesting it in the winter. It’s then planed and finished to show off the wood and grain inside. Each piece is as utterly unique as an individual tree.”

It takes four years to grow a chair.

Links (original article in The Guardian):

(followup article in Fast Company):

So… Why is this a topic in My Wooden Boat of the Week?  Because I know our readers are an enterprising sort, and would rather grow their own boats than cut down 60 year-old trees.

Let’s have at it, then?

What do you think?

Thanks, Carl


Posted in My Wooden Boat of May 2015 | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Why No Wooden Laser ™-Style Dinghy?

Or is it that I am just unaware of one?

Those of us of a certain age can probably all remember the joy of sailing (and racing) Lasers ™ after their introduction in the ’70s.

Laser(Photo courtesy

Billed as the “world’s most popular adult racing club,” the boat is also just fun to sail in its own right.

The fact that it is strictly one-design and very controlled by the class; that it weighs 130 pounds; and that it is absolutely fiberglass….. one would think there would be wooden-style interpretations and improvements.  ($6,065 for a new one?)

When I’m looking for a modern adaptation, I typically go to to see if Jacques has some version.  But I haven’t found one there.

(The lines for the class were published in ProBoat No. 142:

And you might find my enthusiasm for this style boat a little peculiar, given my near-death experience with one last year ( — scroll down).

So, over to you — Do you know of any such variations?  Please comment below.

Thanks, Carl

Posted in My Wooden Boat of May 2015 | Tagged , | 2 Comments