Community Fund – Clipperton Project – January Update

In Dumbarton, a team of young people will sustainably refurbish a 1940s power boat learning skills, and making decisions about sustainable builds, along the way. The boat will then be used as a floating lab to be based at Bowling Basin on the Forth and Clyde Canal, as a new community venue. The Clipperton Project organises research and education programmes, expeditions and exhibitions all around the world, all with one ultimate objective, which is using exploration to energise and empower active citizens.

What’s a floating lab? We’ll eventually use the refurbished boat as a space for workshops, education, small events, meetings, as a potential artist residency space, as a laboratory space for visiting studies and as a vehicle for future expeditions, and for anything else that the local community would like to use the space for.

Clipperton Project Lancelot II is a classic 44 foot wooden 1940’s motor yacht. She was originally built in Spain. She was left unused for four full years before she made her way up to Dumbarton in October and she’s now desperately in need of repair. Looking through all the compartments for the first time was pretty exciting. We found an album of old photographs of a family in the 1960s, a pair of binoculars, a well loved book – Cosmacomics by Italo Calvino, plus a lot of water, a locked cabinet and many other things both exciting and daunting. We spent a full day emptying out as much water from her hull. Bucket after bucket after bucket. We took a photo of every black corner, every soaked through piece of wood. Take a look at the facebook page if you want to see the damage. Small females were sent into the engine crawl space like mice. And by the way, We were freezing cold, it was 4 degrees!

We have a good group of volunteers and we are on the look out for some more to come and learn while we work on the boat with our boatbuilder and various other local professionals. We’re also planning to get our local craft groups involved in some of the soft furnishings and decorations towards the end of the project, like cushion covers, curtains, lamps, artwork.

Currently we’ve been visiting the boat weekly to work on small jobs and to try to battle against rain and snow and wayward tarpaulin to keep her dry. A big thank you to our brave volunteers for facing the elements on these occasions. And to all the volunteers so far who’ve come on board to help with this.

We’re working in partnership with Depot Arts who are based in Possilpark in North Glasgow. They run arts, crafts, workshops, music, events and projects for young people, children and adults and everyone should take a look at their work because we think they are fantastic.

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