“Andrew Karafa dreams of designing boats professionally one day. In the last year, he saw a trash problem he could use to his advantage and get a head start.
“It’s 1,154 12-ounce water bottles, two gallon jugs and 33 two-liters,” says Karafa. “I call it the S.S. Boattle.”
The junior at Forest Hills Eastern started the project last year, when he was inspired by a photo.
“I saw a picture in a third-world country, there were these fishermen who built a boat out of two-liters,” says Karafa. “And I thought that was the coolest thing ever.”
COVID closed down FHE’s water fountains, so the school bought the students water bottles instead.
“And they were being thrown away, just tossed out,” explains Karafa. “I thought it would be a good opportunity to do something about it.”
He collected the bottles from classmates and sold t-shirts to fundraise for other materials, like fishing line to keep the bottles stable and netting to hold them together after other methods failed.
“The only liquid nails that work to glue this plastic together dissolves in water,” he says.
He even 3-D printed joints for PVC pipes that don’t exist in stores.
And the boat isn’t just for show either. It recently took its maiden voyage and can hold three people while still floating….”