How To Build a Boat From Recycled Materials in a Day and Why

Join us on Governors Island this Saturday as we build a true water-ready 15-foot boat from scratch in an afternoon—made from discarded plywood!—and learn how you can build one yourself.

Dylan Gauthier of Mare Liberum, a free-form publishing, boat-building and waterfront art collective, will walk you through the boat-making process and discuss what it takes to make viable aquatic craft an alternative to life on land. Dylan’s lecture will compliment other events that will take place on Governors Island, and the contiguous waters thereof, as part of CityofWaterDay. During CityofWaterDay, commercial vessel traffic will yield to kayaks, boats, and canoes as thousands of Tri-State dwellers avidly paddle their way to Governors Island for a free day of good food, music, and Dylan’s lecture.

Mare Liberum Dory / Neuberger Museum performance-build from dgoats on Vimeo.

Mare Liberum Dory / Neuberger Museum performance-build from Dylan on Vimeo.

The events taking place on Governors Island this Saturday point to important sustainability principles relevant to all cities located by the coast. To remain vibrant, economic activity must accommodate recreational access to the waterfront. The difficulty with adequately checking undesired economic externalities, such as waterfront degradation found in many cities around the world, and maintaining a healthy environment for people to enjoy, equitably, while maintaining a vibrant economy, is a fundamental challenge for urban sustainability–as all are equally important, but difficult to provide equally.

Dylan’s lecture symbolizes the approach that will allow people to develop solutions to sustainability challenges. Constructing a boat from discarded scrap wood demonstrates the creative spirit necessary to revitalize otherwise derelict objects. The same creative spirit needs to be increasingly applied to city coasts to drive the discovery of solutions for sustainability.

Pack a picnic, bring your bike (or boat), and use this as an excuse to enjoy one of NYC’s quietest and greenest open spaces. If you don’t have your own boat, be sure to catch the noon ferry (free) because the event will begin at 12:30. And if you do have your own boat, get going by 10 am to get a good seat.

Dylan’s presentation is part of a summer-long series (every Saturday) put on by the very same Institute that has brought you this blog. You can check out the full list of events on our website.

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