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Nomad of the Seas, or the low-tech adventure.

Gold of Bengal

The Nomad of the Sea project has its origins in plant-life, where all is well and good.


White jute Corchorus capsularis

2009. Corentin de Chatelperron works in Bangladesh at a naval construction site and like all good engineers, is constantly thinking. The material which it seems simply has to be used in the construction of boats, fibreglass, is the root of the problem. Corentin dreams of replacing this imported, expensive, polluting composite material with jute fibre. Jute (Corchorus capsularis), a local, abundant foodstuff, possesses stunning technological characteristics.

Applied science requires Corentin to make his theoretical reflections into a practical reality and he did this by building the first boat made of both fibre and jute fibre. Applied science? He returned to France from Bangladesh on this little sailing boat all alone, on a journey lasting 186 days over 9,000 miles (16,700 km).

“The adventure of Tara Tari” helped him earn the credibility and fame to found Gold of Bengal. This research and development project focussed on jute led to the creation of a second boat in 2013 made from 100% agrocomposite materials reinforced with natural jute fibres.

Gold of Bengal

Expedition “Tambarat”, Simeulu, Aceh, Indonesia

During these different nomadic adventures at sea, Corentin became involved in a quest of total self-sufficiency (taking with him greenhouses, chicken coops, manual water purifiers etc). But a strong conclusion came from all of these experiences: what we have here is a desire for self-sufficiency that is found all over the world, it is a necessity, and that there has been little research and few available solutions which combat this daily problem for millions of people.

Gold of Bengal

Expedition “Tambarat”, Simeulu, Aceh, Indonesia

Therefore the Nomad of the Seas project (plant-based of course) is focusing on ‘low-tech’ developments (in contrast to high-tech). The poor parent of traditional research, low- tech technologies are the devices of self-sufficiency that cater to strong principles of utility, availability, and that also respect the environment. The project’s objective?

‘Create a platform for collaborative online research in order to bring together innovative inventors from all locations, cultures and specialisations to overcome the lack of financing, manpower and materials granted to low-tech research’.

In 2016, Nomad of the Sea will leave for a long expedition lasting 3 years around the world by sail to spread the word and encourage praise for low-tech technology. It’s about a question of experimentation, demonstration, exploration and promotion.

Corentin de Chatelperron, for Drive your Adventure, 11th June 2015

Which wandering adventure are you living at the moment?
I’m getting ready with my team for a great nomadic adventure around the world aboard a large catamaran. We want to see if we can get by self-sufficiently with low-tech technologies (ones which can be made anywhere). For that reason we are going to invite the MacGyvers on board who we will find over the course of our itinerary. At the moment we are getting ready, it’s another form of itinerant adventure 😉

What is your favourite kind of transport to live on?
A 60 foot catamaran (18m) converted into a true laboratory in order to raise edible insects, to grow plants in hydroponics, to recycle waste plastic, a chicken coop… everything for an on-board ecosystem!

What does travelling like a nomad bring you?
A sense of lightness, dynamism and freedom. Being mobile means you do not have to trouble yourself with meaningless things. Not being surrounded by meaningless things allows you to be less dependent on material, experiencing everything that life has to offer to the full and being freer. Being a nomad is also about not being someone who always stays at home, you’re constantly having to be dynamic and full of life!’

Have you ever travelled in a campervan?
There was the side of a furnished van, the equipment of a furnished van, even the spirit of a furnished van… but it was a boat.

What might be your next adventure by van?
The van is the method of transport that allows for the greatest level of improvisation, therefore I will wait until the very day of departure to see how I’m feeling, what the weather is like and what lies ahead!


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