Welcome on board the Cordura Loco!

23 04 2008

It has been my goal for several years to find ways of combining my interest in green technologies and alternative energy with my love for yachting.  The yachting in itself tends to bring about thoughts of wealth and privilege and to further the notion that yacht ownership and operation is only for the rich.  Well, meet with most cruisers and you’ll likely find that many are far from rich.  The fact is that boating is a great hobby, sport, and lifestyle and it can be affordable and can be done in a way that does not negatively impact our environment.

One problem we have in yachting is that the initial cost of entry is high.  New yachts range in price from the tens of thousands to the hundreds of millions.  Also, anything for a boat with the word ‘marine’ attached tends to be immediately more expensive — sometimes for the same product as a ‘land’ version.  Basically it can be a really pricey venture.  As is often said, a boat is a hole in the ocean into which you can pour all of your money.

As yacht building practices and technologies have improved the lifespan of boats has also grown.  This leaves us with a market today in which thousands of well-built boats are available for sale for anywhere between $1 and $30-40,000.  These are your project boats.  They are the common man’s best chance to enter the world of sailing.  Unfortunately restoring a yacht can be a daunting task and can get very expensive very fast.

The goal of The Green Boating Project is to address these older boats — to use the mantra of Reduce, Recycle, Reuse to show that old boats are still good boats, and that the common hobbyist can restore (or build new) his own yacht with off the shelf components, basic tools, and within a reasonable budget without having to be trained as a marine engineer or naval architect.

Cordura Loco is our pilot project.  She is a 58′ Ferro-cement Ketch.  Her hull was designed by Samson and was constructed between 1974 and 1984 by her previous owner.  The boat is in overall good condition at her core — he hull and deck are in good shape and need mostly cosmetic repair.  There is mild rub damage that will need to be repaired, and she needs a new wooden deck.  The rigging is in good shape overall, but will need to be overhauled.  That’s the core of a good boat, and that’s what we’re starting with.

Cordura Loco is Hurricane Katrina Salvage.  The purchase price is $4000 and we expect to put quite a bit more into her.  This won’t be a profit-making venture, but yacht ownership rarely is.  What we do hope to accomplish is to show that we can take a strong shell — a boat with good bones as they say, and apply modern technologies and alternative products to build an environmentally friendly vessel that is simple to operate and fun to use an that will showcase how modern technology makes boating more open than ever to everyday guys.