Anyone remembers David Mayer de Rothschild’s Plastiki, “a 60 feet (18 m) catamaran made out of 12,500 reclaimed plastic bottles and other recycled PET plastic and waste products” that successfully conquered the Pacific Ocean last year?

Well, it seems this young man from Lamu (Kenya) had a similar idea and is in the process of building his own plastic bottle boat. Our reader Arthur Buliva from Kenya just sent us these pictures with the following explanation:

I was in Lamu recently and came across this man who was making a boat out of plastic bottles and old slippers. He was not yet finished with it yet but I took the few photos of the product that I could.

He says that he collects plastic water bottles that the tourists throw on the beach. He also wakes up early in the morning to collect bottles washed ashore from the sea. With these he has constructed the (in his own words, “first in its kind”) boat.

He water-proofs it by sealing the gaps with used slippers collected in the very same way. Then boils tar in order to glue the components all together.

Kenya believe it? 🙂

(all images kindly shared by Arthur Buliva under a CC-SA licence – thx!)

13 thoughts on “Lamutiki”

  1. It is very ingenious, but would you ride on a boat not made out of an homogeneous tree or industrially built? I wouldn’t…although I applause the creativity and spirit of initiative, it is only cute when you build things that your life doesn’t depend on.

    I remember growing up in Senegal we used to play with old tires, build small cars and trucks with recycled cans or recycled plastic bottles.
    I think it is in our DNA to create something out of nothing in Africa and as well in America.


  2. that vessel doesn’t look to seaworthy more of a testament to the trash that is washing up. I hope he is not planning to sail it to anywhere.

  3. i see great idea coming out of this. We go through many challenges before we get to the final and finer product. Innovators never criticize, they offer better ideas to improve what has been initiated.
    Let us feed him with great ideas.

  4. It is a great pleasure for me to visit your blog and to enjoy your excellent articles here. I like that very much. I think that you paid much attention for those articles, as all of them make sense and are very useful. Thanks so much for sharing. I can be very good reader & listener. Appreciate your work!

  5. You guys are stupid!

    What, is this the best stories you can get from Lamu?

    You are a bunch of clowns!

    There are many, better, stronger realistic innovations in Lamu. Innovations that are in use, that are employing people, innovations funded by profitable, sustainable businesses!

    are you trying to show that this is what the average visitor to lamu should expect to find?

    you should rename this blog to “SHOWCASE OF STUPID”

  6. @kiongozi: what makes you think this is the best story from Lamu?

    Please, if you have better innovations from Lamu (and it’s not the only one we’ve covered from there!), then share them with us!

  7. Wait a moment, people! And this thing is supposed to sail? You have to be a very brave man, if you decide to get a trip on it…

  8. This is great. I love this idea, and the great photos! I would give the boat a try, but make sure I had a reliable life vest too. I would agree that Africans have a great track record of making something out of nothing. And Americans too, as someone up above mentioned. We used to make our own paper out of unusable paper when I was little.

    On the topic of water, here’s a blog post to check out:,turning_on_the_tap_in_sub-saharan_africa,356.html

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