So a few weeks ago I started learning Blender (http://blender.org), a 3d modeling, animation and rendering package that is open source and free to download. If you have not heard of this I highly recommend that you check it out. I did this partly because 3D rendering software has always fascinated me and partly because I am a crappy artist and so am a little handicapped when trying to describe an idea. If there is one thing I have a lot of it is strange ideas... everything from personal derigables (air ship/blimp) made from trash bags, to a combination catapult/outhouse (I get tired of digging).
So I present to you my retirement plan. Click on the pictures for a larger version. If I can manage it in the next 30 years or so I want to build this, and then instead of going to a retirement home I will float around until I sink ... and that will be that. Hopefully it will not take 30 years... but that kind of depends on how motivated I can get to make some money.
The basic idea is that you should be able to make this out of a 40ft and a 20ft shipping container cut up and welded back together. The pontoons are made of bundles of plastic PVC pipes. The sail is a "junk rig" mostly for simplicity of construction and operation. It should be possible to make it out of common materials such as pvc or metal conduit pipes and tyvek without any complicated patterns. In the pictures the sail pivots on the rear axle of a truck. I wanted to try to reuse common cheaply available components as much as possible, but in retrospect it probably is not very practical in this case.
I would also like to add solar panels and have an electric motor for backup propulsion. I think a small greenhouse in front of the sail might be kind of nice as well. In any case this gives me a way to better plan this contraption and describe it to others.
If anyone else out there would like to make suggestions feel free to leave them in the comments. If you want the .blend file to make the modifications yourself let me know and I will setup a link where you can download it. If you think it is the ugliest most ridiculous thing you have seen so far today... well... yea, I already heard that.