The Silakka – a sailboat built of scavenged parts

I’m going to cross-post from for a little while, I hope you forgive me. This version will be more image heavy though.

Raising the sails of the Silakka

Last week I had the privilege to witness (and photograph) the first sailing of The Silakka (silakka is Finnish for “baltic herring”), a boat built almost entirely from scavenged materials. Only the rope and some of the screws and bolts were purchased. The pontoons are made from empty drums, the platform is woven with firehouses. The frame is scrap metal and wood, the mast and sail are secondhand. And of course, it’s powered by the wind. They aim to prove it seaworthy this summer (though I believe their plans are sea-, not ocean-, worthy).

These same people built a river raft entirely out of debris in the past, in Lithuania. They collected empty plastic bottles into wooden crates to provide buoyancy. And that journey was photographed by an intensely capable artist.

Lest you think that they are doing this purely for fun, the Silakka’s mission statement will clear everything up for you in a rather surrealist way:

Unreasonably cheap energy is running out, climate conditions are changing radically, paradoxical economy of constant growth will bankrupt itself, governmental fascism will be declared, racial breeding is practiced to embryos, genetic manipulation will get out of hand, Coup d´état of racistic red necks will happen in the name of revolution, the language loses its meaning, virtual schizophrenia is getting pandemic among the Internet users, obsessed disciples of Tony Robins will get at each other´s throats in the search of lost childhood, fourth world war is waiting at the gates, psychedelic-communistic revolution will fly in the ring like a freshly whiten towel in a heavy weight boxing match while the master is beating the breath out of his competition, heavenly escalator is transporting Jesus down in between the supermarkets while aliens will return to planet earth to complete their work of creation, dystopies and utopies will shake hands, up and down will change the place, emerged birds will withdraw back to the shells. Shit is about to hit the fan, even though a good life needs just bearable conditions and a hand full of material mixed with a drop of good will. We are living strange times – are we? But why?

At the moment we are building a wind powered rescue boat out of waste that our contemporary lifestyle is producing. During the summer 2010 we will sail to Baltic sea and archipelago, far from rectangular conventions and dusty tasting logic of the mainland, to rescue some leftovers of endangered wisdom we are still able to rescue. Maybe we will find some time to think, maybe we will discover something that won´t leave us anything else to think about.

The rest of my pictures from the day below, of raising the mast and sails, and of the ungodly beautiful sky that crept up on us that evening.

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