the floating workspace

Photography: Coboat/Pilar Schacher

SO, who likes their office? we thought not. Enter Coboat, a green coworking catamaran invented by a crew of sailing fans and business nomads
Knorr, 48

The ideas man who combined work with passion

After living and working in Sydney for 12 years, Karsten Knorr began a nomadic lifestyle, working in coworking spaces. It was only a matter of time before he combined this with his passion for the waves.

THE RED BULLETIN: This is essentially an office on water, then?

KARSTEN KNORR: Not exactly. Coworking is a new and innovative culture exploding around the world: the opportunity to work in an environment with like-minded people, where you can share ideas or create things. Into this creative mix, we’ve added one of our passions: sailing. So it’s coworking on a boat. In essence, we want an adventure trip around the oceans. But with high-speed satellite internet.

Why should this float my boat?

Like so many great ideas, this one was born on a beach. I was using a coworking space in Thailand, during which time I met James [Abbott], the owner of that space. While discussing a love of sailing over a beer on the sand, the idea of combining all these great things set us in motion. Who wouldn’t want to bob on the waves while working?

The Catamaran:

- Marine satellite-based tech ensures a seamless internet connection anywhere

- Energy generated by solar panels and harnessing wind power

- Fossil-fuel engines switched for eco-friendly electric propulsion

- Capacity for 20 passengers in modern shared accommodation

A crazy pipe dream, surely?

Cowork barco flotante

Not to the bubbling social community and determined founders. The ship is almost built, and coworking enthusiasts from all over the world are ready to board. There’s still work to be done, for sure, but the launch date draws ever closer.

Has it all been plain sailing?

Like the maiden voyage of any business startup, this one has been rocky. People invested in the project wanted results quicker than we’ve been able to deliver. Keeping everyone motivated is challenging, but essential. We’ve celebrated every ounce of progress while reminding everyone of the end goal. We want to make use of this experience with any future profits. We’ll ‘think outside the boat’ to support the development of game-changing solutions to the world’s problems.

What’s waiting over the horizon?

We’re going nowhere. This isn’t a quick startup that we plan to launch then drop. It’s not for profit – anything we make will be reinvested. It’s a passion project. Aside from the obvious potential, the ship offers so much more for the future in terms of green transport. It’s going to be the largest sailing yacht in the world with electric engines.

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03 2016 The Red Bulletin

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