The U.S.S. Boatly

A story about a boat. A story about goodbyes. 

The greatest engineering minds of the past half century have catapulted humankind into unthinkable new worlds: space exploration, artificial intelligence, quantum computing. But some of those brilliant engineering minds have taken different, arguably more impressive paths…

… like that guy who built a boat out of Oatly cartons and sailed it down a Colorado river with his kids. 

This webpage is our celebration of an engineering genius, Nate, and his kids, Sunny and Dory. We’ve spent decades in the world of oat-based consumer packaged goods, and the most creative thing we’ve ever done with our cartons was put oat drink in them (or turn them into puppets, which was kind of cool). But Nate had bigger plans for our rectangular hunks of cardboard: “I shall float on them.” And so he did. 

Nate and his brave children raced this beautifully branded canoe-like object down the Uncompahgre River in the 2022 Ridgway RiverFest. They won.  

That was in June. By the time we visited them in October, the great U.S.S. Boatly--it’s a brilliant play on words--was rotting outside Nate’s Colorado coffee shop. The sweet, pungent smell of fermenting river water and oat drink is an acquired taste--one apparently not acquired by the townspeople of Ridgway. And so, it was time to say goodbye to the engineering marvel that once proudly floated down a marvelous river very few people have ever heard of. 

Join us in saying goodbye to the U.S.S. Boatly.