Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Post-Apocalyptic Boat Building Stamp of Approval

One of the insights I recently had was that any boat that was built outside of an industrial society in the past could also be built in a post-industrial society of the future, with some reservations.  The reservations are primarily about building materials available in the past may not necessarily be available in the future.
Since I build skin on frame boats in the manner that was developed in the Arctic before it came in contact with industrial civilization, I am also partial to any kind of technology that could be sustained in a pre- as well as post-industrial society.  Actually, I must correct myself.  I do not build kayaks using pre-industrial technologies.  I mostly build replicas of pre-industrial kayaks with the help of industrial tools and supplies.  Every once in a while I go primitive and use mostly scrounged materials to build a kayak just to prove to myself that it can be done.
In any case, what gets the post-apocalyptic stamp of approval is any technology that could have been built using pre-industrial methods and materials which supposedly would also work in a post-apocalyptic or post-industrial society.  Of course we are not in a post-apocalyptic situation here in the developed nations, so we can only speculate what is possible, but if we look at any so-called third world or "developing" nations we can see that people there have to improvise and get ingenious with what they can lay their hands on, all of which gets the post apocalyptic stamp of approval.

Kayak and umiak of St Michaels. Note steam boats in the background and local residents with European clothes.  Obviously, these people had access to industrial technology and materials but at the time, still made their own boats of pre-industrial heritage with the help of industrial tools and materials.  Nevertheless, if they were still around building boats in the manner shown in the photo, they would get the post-apocalyptic boat building stamp of approval. 

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