April 19/2021: When developing a concept vessel there’s really no reason to think small. Take this plastic-eating beast, for example. The Manta, a concept developed by the Sea Cleaners, a non-profit founded by Franco-Swiss sailor/adventurer Yvan Bourgnon, is projected to weigh in at 1,800 tons, with an overall length of 184 feet. Beam is 150 feet, air draft is over 200 feet, sail area is over 16,000 square feet.
It is a worthy idea, of course. With about 17 tons of plastic finding its way into the world’s oceans every minute, you certainly need a super-sized vacuum cleaner to pick it all up. The Manta will trawl nets from outriggers to catch plastic up to three feet below the water’s surface, plus scoop up everything on the surface that passes between its hulls on two huge conveyor belts. The plastic collected, up to three tons per hour, will be sorted and converted into electricity via a “waste to energy conversion unit.” A solar array of over 5,300 square feet, plus a couple of huge wind turbines, will also provide power.
You can see a nice animation of the monster at work in this viddy here:
Will this ever happen??? It sure would be nice, but I’m not holding my breath. According to the Sea Cleaners, they hope to launch the Manta in 2024.
A trivia question: would this be the world’s first square-rigged catamaran???
No, no. Kontiki doesn’t count. She was a raft.