Young French engineer Corentin de Chatelperron had a dream. A dream that came true in Bangladesh, where he built Tara Tari, a sailboat made using local jute fiber.
His goal was to demonstrate that natural materials found around the world could replace fiberglass. During the voyage back to France, the jute held firm.
NauticExpo e-mag: Tell us how the Tara Tari project began.
Corentin de Chatelperron: In 2009, I left for Bangladesh to work in a boatyard building fiberglass boats. I rapidly began looking around for an alternate material because fiberglass isn’t very ecological. I looked into jute, the natural local fiber. Jute is a tall plant that resembles a nettle. It’s in the same family as hemp, and grows mainly in the Ganges delta in India and Bangladesh. The plant has a central woody stem surrounded by fibers used to make rope, string and potato sacks.
In France, people have been replacing fiberglass with flax fiber for some time. That’s why I asked French specialists for research help. There were also several Indian and Bangladeshi scientists who had done research into using jute fiber in composite materials. That was my starting point for looking into using jute on an industrial scale in Bangladesh and building boats with it.