Building a raft w/ pvc pipe?

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by Aberamonli, Mar 12, 2004.

  1. Aberamonli
    Joined: Mar 2004
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    Aberamonli New Member

    Hi,
    Could anyone tell me about any experience you've had building a raft? I want to make something open, flat, and simple: just to take down a small river. I've been thinking of using several lengths of pvc pipe sealed at the ends for flotation- could anyone tell me how much weight an 8-foot length of that will hold? (I was thinking of 4"-diameter pipe). I'm hoping to be able to take 3 people on the raft at one time. Thanks.
     
  2. duluthboats
    Joined: Mar 2002
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    duluthboats Senior Dreamer

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  3. Aberamonli
    Joined: Mar 2004
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    Aberamonli New Member

    thanks

    Thanks for the tip! I'm new here; I didnt realize you could search the site (altho I guess that makes sense, huh?) Thank you!
     
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  4. rhyrhy1
    Joined: Oct 2006
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    rhyrhy1 New Member

    Raft experience

    I don't know how big you were after but my son built one about 5 by 2 ft out of breadbaskets, plastic bottles, and a box full of polystyrene cemented by expanding foam that took about 8 stone +
     
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  5. djwkd
    Joined: Jul 2006
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    djwkd Senior Member

    yh,im building a 60' Raft for crew of 5,not much crew but not that big is it?!Im making the floatation out of plastic bottles and polystyrene too.
     
  6. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    Hi , I am buiding a 2400 foot raft out of used condoms contained in old cardboard boxes, do you think I should seal the boxes with epoxy or some thing to keep the water out . I am hoping to build a small duty free shopping complex on it so avoiding taxation. Does any one think I need psyciatric consultation before I go ahead.
     
  7. Jimbo1490
    Joined: Jun 2005
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    Jimbo1490 Senior Member

    Maybe we should talk. I'm building an ocean going heavy tug out of old wiffle balls and yogurt cups. It will be powered by a wind up motor using old bra straps for the elastic. Ship to shore will be with a tin can and a very long kevlar string.

    Do you think any of thses ideas will work?

    Jimbo
     
  8. lewisboats
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    lewisboats Obsessed Member

    You should make sure you use yoplait containers...the quality of the plastic is exquisite...and they use active cultures. :D :p :D
     
  9. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    Jimbo hows the raft coming on? I have been giving some thought on your communication system and I think there is a slight flaw. assuming that you were say 100miles offshore it would be near impossible to keep the kevlar wire tight. I feel that this would then drop into the sea and give interference in the communication being transmitted to shore. This would mean that you would need to say 'what' a lot,-- Oh and other radio words like 'over'. Although the Kevlar will handle a 2 way dual conversation.

    I have to admit that on your behalf I tried some experiments as follows.

    I tried a simple communication device from the wifes bedroom to mine. This is approximately 200yds as she lives accross the street with her friend.

    Result,-- Kevlar was ok but conversation was muffled and difficult to understand. it was thought the message from the wife was about my shirt ,---'Cuff off' or something she said. Electric telephone is much better.

    Conclusion,-- unsatisfactory, 20 yds off shore would be max for audible communication.
     
  10. djwkd
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    djwkd Senior Member


    I think that is crazy,c'mon be serious.


    Simelerily (i hate that word :mad: ) My raft is going to be only 30' long,but for my rafting trip down the tyne it will probably be only 20'
     
  11. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    I am allready on the 2nd floor of the fast food restaraunt.

    Should be completed when I can get enough toffee wrappers for the windows.
     
  12. djwkd
    Joined: Jul 2006
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    Location: Newcastle-Upon-Tyne

    djwkd Senior Member

    You are BONKERS! lol--no seriously you aren't really using tofee wrappers as windows,and youre not building a 2000 odd feet long raft are you?
     
  13. penguinman
    Joined: Dec 2007
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    penguinman New Member

    PVC pipe boat

    A PVC pipe boat is an excellent idea.
    Strong and low cost.

    I hope the people with silly suggestions aren't being sarcastic.
    Perhaps they are traditionalists, clinging to old designs, refusing to evolve or innovate.
     
  14. Jimbo1490
    Joined: Jun 2005
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    Jimbo1490 Senior Member

    PVC pipe works well as intended; to carry fluids at moderate temperatures and pressures. However it is barely serviceable in any way as a structural material. Look at PVC pipe furniture for instance. To retain reasonable rigidity, pipe of at least 2" and SCH 40 wall thickness must be used. Even then, these sometimes fail when a lardass decides to repose. Structural aluminum or mild steel tubing of 1" or less will be found more serviceable.

    But virtually everyone contemplating building a boat already knows this, so rather than present a straightforward explanation of why a PVC pipe boat is a bad idea, they choose to amuse themselves with silly responses.

    Read mine above. It's quite amusing, IIDSSM
    :D

    Jimbo
     

  15. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    PVC as has been noted, has structural limitations, in that it isn't self supporting. In long lengths or large sizes it will break under its own weight if supported at a single point. It's fracture prone, particularly when cold, It's heavy for its strength and is very difficult to strongly attach different materials to. This is why there have been so many sarcastic comments. Also likely because several times a year someone posts a similar question. I'm personally reminded about the guy that wanted to build a PVC raft so he and his friends could float (yep, powerless) down the Mississippi river, which I thought was cute, but pretty much insane. This was about 2 years back if I remember correctly.

    Personally, I'm exploring different building materials to utilize more common and less costly building products all the time. My research has lead me to conclude egg shells, which have an inherent strength, arranged in a boat hull shape, then coated with 30 mils of truck bed liner coating, should suffice to keep ones butt dry, while meandering down the local waterways.
     
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