Eco-friendly Yacht Takes Centre Stage At Classic & Wooden Boat Festival

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13th October 2010, 08:59pm - Views: 1386

Misc Miscellaneous Australian National Maritime Museum 1 image

Eco-friendly yacht takes centre stage

at Classic & Wooden Boat Festival 

A vessel employing ancient Micronesian sailing technologies but carrying up-to-the-

minute environmental equipment will be a feature at this weekend’s Classic & Wooden

Boat Festival in Sydney.

Built by Dutch Australian environmentalist and inventor Inigo Wijnen, the 71 ft (21.5 m)

dual-hull craft is intended to demonstrate that ocean-going vessels can travel free of fossil


Wijnen put the finishing touches on the boat, Gaiasdream, just in time for the festival

which will be held all day Saturday and Sunday (16/17 Oct) at the Australian National

Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour. 

Built at Urunga south of Coffs Harbour, this will be the first time Gaiasdream has appeared

on public display. 

In design Gaiasdream is inspired by the traditional Micronesian proa, a vessel with two

parallel hulls of unequal length where one of the hulls, usually the shorter “outrigger,” is

kept to windward. 

As with the traditional vessels, Gaiasdream “shunts” forwards and backwards to tack

across the wind; the helmsman steers from one end of the vessel and then the other.  

But to augment wind power Wijnen’s vessel carries environment-friendly solar panels to

generate electricity and a diesel engine that he has converted to run on vegetable oils. 

The inventor says Gaiasdream is big and powerful enough to carry 12 passengers or cargo

of up to 6 tonnes weight. 

To demonstrate its capabilities he plans to deliver a 6-tonne cargo from Sydney to Lord

Howe Island on the vessel later this year.

More than 120 privately-owned vessels ranging from graceful yachts to tugs and

workboats – all in great shape and clearly enjoying the love and affection of their owners –

will be on display at the two-day Classic & Wooden Boat Festival. 

Other features of the festival will include

Four tall ships: the HM Bark Endeavour replica, James Craig, Soren Larsen and

Southern Swan

A Tall Ships Forum (Sunday afternoon)  – where you can meet the masters of the

four tall ships and hear what it’s like to sail on them

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Misc Miscellaneous Australian National Maritime Museum 2 image

Traditional maritime tool display and expert demonstrations of blacksmithing,

ropework, caulking and sail making 

The exciting Quick and Dirty Boat Building Competition

The famous, hotly contested Deckhand Line-throwing Contest

Heritage vessel rides on Cockle Bay

Giant model boat and marine artists displays

Festive marketplace for all things nautical plus food stalls and live music

Tickets are $18 per adult, $9 per child or $40 for a family. The festival will be open both

days 9.30 am to 5 pm. For more information call (02) 9298 3777 or visit

Media Note:   Inigo Wijnen will sail Gaiasdream from Pittwater to the National

Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour, tomorrow (Thursday).  He will set out at

approximately 8 am and, depending on wind and weather conditions, arrive at the

museum some time between 11 am and 1 pm. 

13 October 2010                               Media information, Bill Richards 0418 403 472 

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