Green Boats

I know that this site often gets bashed for having many biased paddlers on it. But this post is not to promote one kind of model or brand of canoe. I just wanted to give credit where credit is due. The Kamanu guys have really gone out on a limb, at a significant financial burden to themselves, to test out new materials. They are making a push to become an environmentally friendly company in a petroleum based industry. So kudos to them. These pictures are borrowed from their web site. Bamboo cloth instead of fiberglass, cork and balsa core material, resins made from plant products. For a first time attempt the boat came out at 23lbs... not bad. I'm sure anyone could build one lighter if they experiment more with the materials. Looks like there is a viable alternative to a boat build from 100% petroleum based products. Good on them for going where I personally have not seen any other builder go.

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Submitted by jc9_0 on Thu, 08/26/2010 - 10:55am

Cool stuff

"Super Sap" resin ???

Have my bamboo and cork samples here to tinker with.

Balsa still rules in the strength to weight department too. Jus' gotta keep it dry.

Keep up the good work guys !!

breathing free-er

#1 Thu, 08/26/2010 - 11:25am

Red7 has been making a cork core surfski for a while. Check their website.

#2 Thu, 08/26/2010 - 12:47pm

yeah it is the "super sap"...

i've got a couple surfboards i wanna glass with the stuff so i'm thinking about ordering a bit to try it out myself. wow that's cool with the cork ski. guess that makes 2 builders. right on!

#3 Thu, 08/26/2010 - 1:06pm

This is huge, and I feel, long over due. We owe it to the ocean and our children to do everything we can to stop the poisoning of the planet.

Support the ban of plastic bags and plastic bottled water in Hawaii!!!!

Malama pono... takes effort

#4 Thu, 08/26/2010 - 3:43pm

Any idea of how durable it is and how it holds up in the water and sun? It sounds great, but if you shell out 3K for a boat that lasts 6 months, it ain't gonna fly.

#5 Fri, 08/27/2010 - 1:03pm

Onno you are on it man. the balsa was placed in an "oven" or dehumidification chamber to bring the moisture content of the balsa down below 9%, which is considered in the strictest of studies to be a safe level. Also as a precaution against water intrusion the green canoe was sealed from the inside with Super Sap epoxy.

The green boat is a happy sight! It is still very much in the prototyping stage but it's the first of its kind and the weight was 23.15 lb. w/o the rudder. Of course the most green canoe ever made was dug out from a tree; although that wouldn't be competitive in a channel crossing. To that consideration we could potentially have elite racers doing the next Molokai Solo in green canoes that have been more refined in design and performance. Perhaps these elite racers will be the role models to push our sport into a more sustainable future since they inspire a better paddler in all of us already.

For those of you interested in Super Sap Bio-epoxy the name of the business is Entropy Bio-Resins. The owners are two brothers Desi and Rey. Both are avid waterman who are dedicated to exploring the realm of eco-friendly composite tech. I'm sure they would love to answer any questions.

Also two other water sport and eco-friendly manufacturers are Kyle Bernhardt a surf board shaper on the North Shore of Oahu and Pure Paddles on the big island.

Here is contact info:
Desi & Rey Banatao,

Green Paddles

Green Surfboards

Check out pictures on the Kamanu Composites facebook

#6 Fri, 08/27/2010 - 1:24pm

Hey guys,

I looked up entropy..pretty cool...

My questions is that the website says that it can only be shipped ground in the 48 states or basically put down 'an arm and a leg' to ship it oversees on a consumer level. I tried emailing but have gotten no response yet. I know some people here in Hawaii are starting to use it, so anyone know of any retailers carrying the super sap? Anyone know anyways to pick it up locally?

#7 Thu, 09/02/2010 - 11:57pm

My deepest respect goes to these guys making a serious effort for change in the right direction!

#8 Fri, 09/03/2010 - 4:43am

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#9 Wed, 09/22/2010 - 7:42am

Eckhart, I generally agree with most of what you say on, but I am shocked by that comment.

The argument and analogy presented at is seriously flawed/skewed. The argument on the "environmentalist" side is that:

1) This is our planet. The only planet that we have. Nearly all of the evidence shows that we are causing a major environmental imbalance and that it is affecting us right now. What happens with climate change of this magnitude is unknown, but most likely very very scary.

2) Because of that, we have to do everything we can to minimize our individual impact.

3) Right now green technology isn't close to price-competitive with coal or oil burning. But the negative externalities of burning dirty fuels to support our lifestyle far outweigh the price benefits.

4) In order for green technology (wind, solar, etc) to catch up with the dirty fuels, we need massive investment. That massive investment won't come as long as oil is cheap. For example: Oil prices can go up and the whole world buys a Prius, so all of the car companies invest in making better and more efficient hybrid cars. But then oil prices collapse along with the world economy and then nobody cares about efficient cars anymore. Car makers stop investing in efficient cars. The negative externalities of oil need to get factored into the price (in the form of taxes) to make oil and coal permanently less attractive. (So the semi-truck driving across the country in the analogy at is more expensive than the price can account for. And there are more efficient methods (like a train) which aren't taken into account. And, if the price of the gas for that semi-truck reflected the actual price (including externalities) of oil, then the product it's carrying would reflect that pricing and not get consumed in the first place).

5) Everybody needs to take every step that they can to minimize their impact on Earth through every means possible. Our old way of life is not possible anymore. It's unfair for the developing world that they don't get a chance to live as we have since the industrial revolution, but what's the alternative? We need to take the lead and minimize our impact. We can't sit back and hope for the massive breakthrough that will suck out the CO2 or un-acidify our oceans.

The way that I see to do that is for everybody to:
1) Aim for a zero-waste lifestyle. Think about the energy that went into every piece of plastic that you throw away, or the energy that goes into recycling all of that.
2) Think local. Support local agriculture and local businesses. Our future, especially in Hawai'i, is with local agriculture.
3) Minimize your driving. Walk, ride a bike, use public transportation, buy a small car.
4) Vote for forward thinking politicians. A lot of our change has to come from the top-down.

In defense of the green canoe:
It's not a perfect product. Eckhart, you're right, the perfect product would be no product. The ultimate in environmentally friendly would be to not consume anything that you don't need to survive. But, we have to live a life. A canoe gets you into the water which gives you an appreciation for the environment and the will to fight for it. Every product that we buy should be able to last a life-time, and if it is of equal quality and made of renewable or low-impact materials, that's even better. Green products aren't saving the world, but they are minimizing our impact. Which is what we should all strive for.
The green canoe is still in its developmental phase. There is still carbon in it, there is still polyester gel coat, it still has an impact on the environment. But the point of it is that it is minimizing that impact.

I'll probably get reamed for this post, because I know that my views are not generally accepted. But oh well.

Edit-- anyone who has read "Hot, Flat, and Crowded," "The End of Nature," or "Eaarth," will recognize that I have been heavily influenced by those books. My Prius example came directly from "Hot, Flat, and Crowded."

#10 Fri, 09/03/2010 - 9:06am


That post was well formulated, delivered, and in my opinion 110% truth.

Having spent my last years in college studying sustainability within the business environment, it is easy (and frustrating) to see how slow it is taking "business" to change. This is due to their failure in quantifying how longterm viable sustainable practices can lead to inceased $$, profit being the key driver in this case.

I am only 25 years old, but in the last 5 years I have changed my consumption habits drastically due to my increasing awareness of what I will call "American consumerism" and what it has done to the environment. If lets say company A and company B are both selling me a product that I deem is necessary for my life, (big question to ask yourself before you support a company with your $$) and Company B's product is $2 more expensive but I know is more ecologically friendly, I will pay more everytime because I value our resources and the companies who strive to change the norm.

As long as people continue to support companies who produce negligently and without regard to our shrinking resources, the change towards lessening the carbon-footprint will be a slow one. I strongly believe positive changes can be made from daily decisions and the more this happens the more others become aware, my saying no to plastic water bottles spread to the rest of my family.

I would love to show any business out there the possibility for increased efficiency, decreased manufacturing cost, and increased profits by adopting a more ecologically friendly business model. It can be quantified on paper and people do want a change, they just need more viable options.

So yeah Luke... your views are accepted and I graduated with a class of 1200 in San Diego who would agree with every word you and I have said..

#11 Fri, 09/03/2010 - 9:48am

How eloquently put. !00% agreement with Luke and go Isotopez we have a lot of work to do.

#12 Fri, 09/03/2010 - 10:40am

I also agree with Luke and his steps and it would work in an ideal world.

The way that I see to do that is for everybody to:
1) Aim for a zero-waste lifestyle. Think about the energy that went into every piece of plastic that you throw away, or the energy that goes into recycling all of that.
2) Think local. Support local agriculture and local businesses. Our future, especially in Hawai'i, is with local agriculture.
3) Minimize your driving. Walk, ride a bike, use public transportation, buy a small car.
4) Vote for forward thinking politicians. A lot of our change has to come from the top-down.

I think #4 is where this gets really complicated because people and especially politicians don't necessarily do what's "best" for our country/world. They are heavily influenced by money, constiuents, lobbyists, etc. One perfect example is the ethanol farce in our country that is brought up in that article Eckhart references. There are smart "green" choices we can make, but some things that are purported to be "green" simply aren't.

#13 Fri, 09/03/2010 - 10:50am

slbrth, you're totally right with that, and Ethanol and Bio-fuel are perfect examples of "green" legislation gone wrong by the negative influence of lobbyists. It's so hard to know what to believe, and while we can each live with a minimal impact on our surroundings, it is much harder to "choose" the leaders who will enforce and cultivate that (through taxes and subsidies). I mainly meant that a lot of the change has to come from the top-down.

#14 Fri, 09/03/2010 - 11:19am

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#15 Wed, 09/22/2010 - 7:42am

'Think Globally,act locally'.

Even if just one day per week you catch a bus, ride a bike or walk to work instead of using the car you have made a difference.

Even if Kamanu just changed to a less toxic solvent to clean their paint brushes they would have made a positive step, to take on this whole project is another level. Congrats.

#16 Fri, 09/03/2010 - 3:49pm

to be ethical may not necessitate morality but it often comes close

#17 Fri, 09/03/2010 - 3:49pm

I don't think that we agree on this. I agree that there will be no such thing as a "green revolution" in the near future. I don't think anyone believes that Green technology is even close to where it needs to be to support our current way of life. But, while I may have read too much into it, I felt as if your post was a form of resignation. The idea that the only way for us to get out of this mess is for us to go back to the stone age. I can't agree with that.

While understanding that our planet is changing and that there will be catastrophic effects, we have to stay optimistic. We have to continually believe that we can make a difference. If our future is framed as a choice between complete "holyness" (zero impact lifestyle... i.e. hunting and gathering) or complete environmental destruction, then we will fail because nobody will care to try. I am optimistic that we can adapt to climate change, but it does take everyone doing their part. We can minimize the environmental effects of climate change through a massive overhaul of our energy policy (us, as consumers, paying for the externalities) and we can take huge steps to minimize our personal impact.

And I think that skewed his argument by ignoring the externalities. If we're not paying the true price of oil, then it doesn't make economic sense to adopt alternative sources of energy. But we're not paying the true price of oil, and it's important that everyone understands that. We're paying what OPEC has decided will maximize their profit. That works for Shell and Chevron but not for the consumer. We are the ones who are paying for the side effects right now and who will continue to pay for the rest our lives. That is my disagreement with

#18 Fri, 09/03/2010 - 4:13pm

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#19 Wed, 09/22/2010 - 7:42am

luke, i applaud your and Kamanu's effort to at least try and make this world a better place. if we all at least make changes in our lifestyles to better this planet, collectively it can make a huge difference! some people take things so literally and and believe there is only black and white on certain issues. oh well, everyone is entitled to their own beliefs. aloha to the kamanu boys and everyone else trying to do their part in taking care of Mother Earth.

#20 Fri, 09/03/2010 - 6:28pm

@kotahitanga - read the post of others with the intent to understand what is being said. Criticism is productive, contrary to what you write.
Let a different opinion stand without becoming dismissive.

@jc9_0 - You have got to stay fair to other companies in the business as well - they too invest to reduce their toxic waste.

#21 Wed, 09/22/2010 - 8:04am

I do praise those people who are not just talking rather than stepping up and do the first step in the right direction as the Kamanu boys obviously did here! It takes time, effort and money to do so! They are worth it and they need support . Your ever try anything in that direction eckhart? There´s allways people like you who know all the facts, criticize without contributing anything else than just that, critizism. What have you done, contributed so far to make a change? If you really havent i wont give a penny for a single word of yours in this discussion!
I changed most cars in my company to optimized biogas cars (not converted, build as biogas engines) going a 90% on biogas (the rest on a mix of biogas and natural gas, not to be confused with ethanol, biodiesel or anything like that). The biogas is produced out of greenwaste which we produce in our Company, wastewatermanagement and kitchenwaste from Restaurants. It took many years, nervs, money and lots of effort to get there and people where laughing about its me laughing about them cause i run my cars significantly cheaper as they do and i certainly have a better conscience! Plus for every tree we remove we plant at least two new ones..........
Preaching wont help but to show whats possible without preaching does make a difference! Fact! I changed so many more people than i would ever hoped i would! Well worth the effort! I´am not trying to praise myself here, i just believe its our personal responsibility to make a change! At least i have seriously been doing an effort to not be the destroying part in your horror scenario.
I do believe in the power of people fighting for this believe and i refuse to let such negative attitude/ideas such as your influence/get to me. You go on with your anti blah blah.....wont bother me! :-)
Go hard Luke!
P.S. Yes i do have a Carbon V1 ;-)

#22 Sat, 09/04/2010 - 4:56am

Kotahitanga, killer job! What's your company name? If I ever have occasion I'll use your services and tell everyone else I know to use your company. If you don't want to mention it on the forum, send me a PM. Thanks! Great to know there are other people working towards a sustainable future and not just ho humming the planet away.

#23 Sat, 09/04/2010 - 12:06pm

Yo Eck, you really got hammered there.
I have to say that it appears your post could be politically influenced, that being said, I believe to always question, and don't stop questioning, so yes we need to be sure we are not being herded like sheep by media and big business (which is what I think you are saying in so many words). A good example is when congress passed a bill mandating the use of CFL energy efficient light bulbs, turns out the bulbs are EXTREMELY toxic learn more and made in China (nice going congress) which has a major negative impact when considering the numbers involved.

When I find myself confused as to what to believe, I go back to what I know to be true, stewardship to the land and connection to nature, from there make your decisions.

Stay close to nature and its eternal laws will protect you.

PS: Food is one way for us to make a big impact, go organic, go with nature, say no to GMO

#24 Sat, 09/04/2010 - 2:34pm

The simple fact this is issue is being discussed on a paddling forum has to be encouraging for all of us that are interested in making choices that minimize our negative impact on our planet and it's dwindling resources.
It is very difficult to identify any action or choice that will have a 100% net gain for the environment as there is always a cost for every gain, but here is 1
Have less kids.
If you remove the impact of one single person and their kids and subsequent grandkids from the equation you will be minimizing your lifes carbon footprint in the most effective way possible.
I have 1 child only , by choice.
I applaud Kamanu for even attempting to make a difference.

#25 Sat, 09/04/2010 - 7:58pm

Tough love Kev, I've got three daughters by choice, not giving two back for anyone.:o)

I did watch Captain Planet with them when they were growing up!

#26 Mon, 09/06/2010 - 2:53am

Wait, eckhart, are you comparing what Kamanu is doing with changing an air filter? Sorry man but I have to say this green boat initiative carries a much larger significance than changing an air filter.

The problem with this whole environmental crisis is we have some groups that are very good at convoluting the issue enough so people don't take it seriously. The smartest guy on the whole planet, steven hawking, recently claimed the human race is screwed, the damage is irrepariable. Yikes!

That pajama thing was interesting. However part of the green movement is to eliminate the need to transport goods altogether. Some of you already mentioned the going local ideas. Seems very simple but will have HUGE impacts on our environment.

#27 Tue, 09/07/2010 - 7:45pm

Back to the Super-Sap resin if anyone is interested...

I heard back from Entropy and they are currently working on getting dealers here in Hawaii to carry their products. Currently to ship a 3 gallon kit (2G resin + 1G hardener) is about $100, so about $350 total.

#28 Wed, 09/08/2010 - 10:01pm

Cool for a bit of fun....

I'm a Forester and can grow as much Balsa and Cork (comes fronm the bark of the Cork Oak Tree) as you want....and any other wood for that matter.......................but hardly anyone wants us to cut them down to make these fine "Green" products...............

I commend this initiative, but as someone pointed out, so much of the politics is influenced by the "no footprint" brigade......... this is simply impossible................a new green Kamanu Paddling machine comes with an environemntal price tag...............I'm cool with harvesting the balsa or cork, but is everyone else??.......

#29 Mon, 09/20/2010 - 7:25pm

How much would balsa lumber cost landed in Hawaii?

#30 Mon, 09/20/2010 - 10:42pm

"Balsa LUMber" .... Man, i like the sound of that.


#31 Tue, 09/21/2010 - 7:58am

Balsa is pretty easy to source as its widely used for modelling etc.....there would be importers/suppliers in Hawaii.................I did a quick search and you guys even use it in the floor pan of your new Corvettes!.....hows that for reducing your carbon footprint of your Gas-Guzzler....hahaha

Most of it is grown in plantations in Ecquador. In Oz, most of ours comes from plantations in Papua New Guinea........its a fairly tropical beast.....when I said I can grow it I was speaking metaphorically, we dont have plantations of it where I live & work.................there could be some in Hawaii somewhere, in the early days your mob grew all kinds of useful stuff from all over the world....including our Macadamias, our Red Cedar and our Turpentine which is the best marine pile timber in the world for wharves and jetties.....your Navy wanted a secure resource to supply all its Pacific ports............dont think the programme did that well....but I digress.....

Most of the world's cork comes from southern Europe & Northern Africa....about half from Portugal.......the bark (cork) is harvested in a way that dosent kill the tree and you get 10 or 12 harvests out of a tree, ie 10 or 12 years between harvests....

#32 Tue, 09/21/2010 - 3:46pm

only reason I was curious about the balsa is I know a source in Honolulu. unfortunately it would be way to expensive to use as a core material for a canoe.

#33 Tue, 09/21/2010 - 5:25pm

Glad to see credible,differing view points rather than enviormentalist vs "corporate monster" arguement.

I commend Kamanu for going there & actually making the product unlike others who get on their soap box & don't do shit.

I work in Pest Control r&d while on the field & actually going"green" is alot harder than ppl say it is. A majority of "green", organic products require some of engineered chemical to activate them. Respect to those who can ACTUALLY accomplish their goal, those who complain need to remove sand from their vagina.

#34 Tue, 09/21/2010 - 5:57pm

Thats was a cracker post "justthetip"......

Keeping this thread alive, what do you all think would be the best way for the paddling community to reduce its carbon footprint?.......the way we build canoes?, our clothing?, what we eat/drink?....or how we get to training/races??

#35 Sat, 09/25/2010 - 11:55pm

/\ that's my opinion & the way I feel . Sorry it's not as educated as the posts above.I'll submit a draft to you before I post to this forum in the future.

#36 Sun, 09/26/2010 - 8:58am

Hey 'justthetip", Cracker means "good", "well said, funny, good point" in our language, so I'm not criticising......i think we may be making similar points

#37 Sun, 09/26/2010 - 9:12am

/\ A VERY humble apology from me:(

I just hate "getting flamed"( insulted on a forums) for being honest, again a very humble apology:(

#38 Sun, 09/26/2010 - 4:24pm

BTW, look up cracker on , that's why I took as insult.....also I'm
pretty white.

#39 Sun, 09/26/2010 - 4:25pm

I like our version of the word we're on the same side, lets have a crack at someone else here....hahaha

PS: this time a crack means "pick on"..hahaha...........I love living upside down :)

#40 Sun, 09/26/2010 - 5:20pm

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