Samuel’s Hobart-Sydney voyage on a rubbish raft was barred. After a win, he’s set sail

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun5,2024
A raft made entirely of discarded waste has left Hobart, with its owner hoping to sail to Sydney to raise awareness of marine pollution.
Samuel McLennan is behind the vessel Heart — a two-year labour of love made from materials collected from the shoreline and waterways around the Tasman Peninsula in southern Tasmania.
Authorities earlier this month. But he’s now had a win, having been given the green light to sail a limited distance, with hopes he’ll be able to complete the full journey.

McLennan left Hobart’s Constitution Dock on Wednesday morning.

A man pushing his yacht out from a dock.

Samuel McLennan spent two years building his ‘rubbish raft’. Source: SBS News / Kerrin Thomas

Some 14 million tonnes of every year, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

“This vessel is a demonstration of what’s actually happening out there in the marine environment, this is only a small amount of the material that’s out there,” McLennan said.
“It’s been incredible to build something out of it.
“That rubbish comes from commercial practices, but also recreational practices.”
McLennan said his vessel includes pipes from fish farms, oyster bags, and fishing ropes and lines.
As he sails north, McLennan will stop in communities and wants to use the vessel as “a structure for conversations”.
“The conversations that can show up can be about environmental sustainability, it can also be about creating something from nothing when you’ve got very little, but it can also be about creativity and innovation.

“About what we can do about rubbish that’s in the environment — how do we get the rubbish out of the environment and what can we do with it?”

A yacht made of rubbish sailing on the water.

Samuel McLennan sailed out of Hobart’s Constitution Dock on Wednesday. Source: SBS News / Kerrin Thomas

McLennan said he has experienced homelessness, and hopes the boat also can give hope to people who are struggling.

“One of the key messages is for people that are struggling in life, people that don’t have any money or a home, with rubbish materials and no money you can still do something amazing,” he said.

“You can create a home; you can create something that is valuable and that’s what I’ve done here.”

A second attempt at setting sail

Earlier this month, McLennan was prevented from leaving when Heart was de-registered by maritime authorities.
They described the planned ocean journey as “foolhardy” and said they’d need written confirmation from a qualified marine surveyor or naval architect that the raft could handle ocean conditions.
On the advice of marine surveyors, it has now been given conditional registration to sail in sheltered waters no more than two nautical miles (about 4km) from the coast of Tasmania.

He plans to sail to St Helens, on the north-east top of Tasmania, where he hopes his yacht can be re-assessed and secure full registration to enable a Bass Strait crossing.

McLennan said he’s not in a rush to get to Sydney, and will work with his support team to prevent being out in bad weather where possible.
“We’re looking at the weather charts, we’re reading them, seeing where the weather is coming from, where the safe locations are, and we’ll be harbouring up in those locations,” McLennan said.
Among the team is Steven Palmer, from Victoria.
“I’ll be around or not far away, a bit of comfort for him,” he said.
“It’s a pretty brave thing to do … I’ve got a steel boat that’s built like a battleship, he’s got a thing made out of plastic.

“I want to see that thing go under the Sydney Harbour Bridge and people go, ‘Ooh, wow’.”

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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2 thoughts on “Samuel’s Hobart-Sydney voyage on a rubbish raft was barred. After a win, he’s set sail”
  1. I believe Samuel’s initiative to raise awareness of marine pollution through his rubbish raft voyage is truly inspiring. It’s commendable that he’s utilizing discarded waste to build something meaningful and sparking conversations around environmental sustainability. We need more innovative projects like this to shed light on the pressing issue of marine pollution.

  2. It’s inspiring to see someone like Samuel McLennan taking action against marine pollution with his ‘rubbish raft’ voyage from Hobart to Sydney. Hopefully, his journey will spark important conversations and raise awareness about the environmental issues we are facing.

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