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NZ inventor creates world's first boat made from wool

A New Zealand inventor has created the world’s first boat made from wool.

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The catamaran is a combination of wool and biodegradable plastic. Source: 1 NEWS

Logan Williams launched his catamaran on Lyttelton Harbour for the first time with 1 NEWS in tow.

It is made from a product that he’s developed called Keravos, which is a combination of acid derived from corn starch and so-called strong wool.

“Just in this boat alone we're preventing 40kg of plastic being used, that’s 7000 plastic bags just in one boat,” said Williams.

A Hamilton factory combines the ingredients, which are then turned into pellets. The pellets can be used in different molds for different products.

“We've made injecting molding products like a medic alert bracelet, a cup, a flower pot,” said Williams.

Merino New Zealand chief executive John Brackenridge believes the technology could be a game changer.

“Around the world consumers are looking for natural fibres over plastic,” said Brackenridge.

Despite the growth of brands like Swanndri, strong wool has had five decades of decline, unlike fine wool which is more popular and wearable.

“So strong wool might be at $2, fine wools up around $20.

“The reason for that is fine wool is connecting with consumers and strong wool should be but needs greater stories and needs greater innovation and that’s where we're coming in,” said Brackenridge.

Logan Williams was named in Force top 30 under thirty last year, for his revolutionary mind and inventions.

Now he runs Shear Edge, which aims to “revolutionise how people think about wool and accelerate the worlds transition to natural materials”.

Williams is confident his latest project will go global.

“I think it has a huge chance not only for the sustainability purpose of replacing plastic but also for the performance.

“It's stronger lighter stiffer and good for the environment as well,” said Williams.