Chick needs help!

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by CaptainTweak, Jul 18, 2006.

  1. CaptainTweak
    Joined: Jul 2006
    Posts: 12
    Likes: 2, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 16
    Location: Kansas

    CaptainTweak Junior Member

    Im building a raft, as sort of a challenge. Im a female that was told by her boyfriend that I couldnt do it, so now im even more determined to accomplish this. Im running into some roadblocks. Ive researched everything already posted here, and the internet extensively. Im going with the idea of either plastic barrels or the gallon drums. I have some concerns.

    1. I dont want to do any welding. How will i attach the barrels to my frame/platform? I want to use synthetic rope, but i have no idea how to go about rigging that up.

    2. I at first wanted to use PVC pipe for a frame, but someone told me that it wouldnt be sturdy enough and would buckle. What do you think? And then, as far as wood goes, im just afraid of it. I dont want it to rot, get waterlogged, sink, haha, anything like that. I dont want to deal with it if i dont have to.

    3. Also, ive heard a bunch about foam inside the barrels. Is everyone talking about foam that expands? That starts out kinda like a liquid and expands? or actual foam, like styrofoam, persay? Please reiterate on this point. I guess my "delicate female mind" isnt grasping it (joke)

    im having a hard time thinking about securing my barrels to my platform. The problem im having is that i dont want to pierce the barrels? But then again, if i have the foam in there i wont necessarily have to worry about it being 130% water tight, right? Then i could run a rope through there, have it sealed up with some cauk or something, as long as i had the foam inside? Does this make any sense?

    I know everyone has heard this a thousand times before, but i would appreciate serious input. Im really excited about this goal, it helps me get through a long day at work.

    It wont have a motor, it will be more like a casual floating raft, to fish on and drink on.
     
  2. marshmat
    Joined: Apr 2005
    Posts: 4,127
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    Location: Ontario

    marshmat Senior Member

    Hi Capt. Tweak, welcome aboard!

    If you're familiar with basic hand and power tools- measuring tape/square, hammer, circular saw, drill, etc- and can measure and cut straight lines, this is definitely within your ability. Welding, on non-motor rafts, is only really needed if you want it to survive being in the water in winter ice, for decades.

    Wood is definitely the way to go. Not only is it easy to work, strong, cheap, easy to find, and reliable, it also looks great. Modern pressure treated wood is pretty rot proof (wear a dust mask though), or use the exotic expensive cedar etc. Cottage Life http://www.cottagelife.com/ , a Canadian magazine, is always loaded with plans for floating docks, rafts and barges. Check out their index and dock plans books.

    Two main ways of supporting such a raft are plastic barrels, or styrofoam billets. I prefer barrels myself, more eco-friendly. They are usually secured with nylon rope or strapping, which is bolted to the wood on one side, wrapped around the bottom of the barrel, then bolted to the wood on the other side. The weight of the raft does 95% of the job of keeping them in place; many people don't even bother with tying them in. Foam (the two-part liquid expanding stuff) inside the barrels will just attract mildew, mould and bad smells; leave them empty so you can open them up to dry while it's hauled out, and they'll stay pristine for years.

    Useful document: http://www.cottagelife.com/htm/mag/primer/dockprimere.pdf is full of info on how to build solid docks and swim rafts that don't break your budget and don't destroy your fish habitat.

    Spending a few bucks on beefy hardware- ie. galvanized steel corner brackets, etc.- will make your raft last a LOT longer. Last summer we dismantled a 35+ year old section of wood floating raft; the decking had rotted of course, but the frame and corner brackets took a helluva lot of sledgehammer to dismantle.

    BTW- a swim raft and a floating dock are identical in virtually all respects, the only difference being one is tied to shore. So almost any good floating dock plan, is also a good swim raft plan.
     
  3. millrtim247
    Joined: Feb 2006
    Posts: 30
    Likes: 1, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 21
    Location: Florida

    millrtim247 millrtim247

    how much you want to spend? how long do you want it to last? how big?

    you can do a 8'x8' with no tools or measuring or any of that crap. go to home depot or lowes you will need 8 sheets of 2" styrofoam $12ea, 2 sheets of quarter in plywood $17ea and 1 gallon of titebondII $16. put 2 sheets of foam together to make 4 squars. stack the squars. put the lywoon on top. criss cross the seams when you stack them. use plenty of glue. paint the plywood with a few coast of paint. here is a quick doodle to help you understand. im not sure exactly what you need or intend this for.... im sure you will get some safety nazis replying to my suggestion. but i do these kind of things quite a bit for fun...
     

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  4. millrtim247
    Joined: Feb 2006
    Posts: 30
    Likes: 1, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 21
    Location: Florida

    millrtim247 millrtim247

    oops.....i meant put the PLYWOOD on top. not lywoon lol!
     
  5. CaptainTweak
    Joined: Jul 2006
    Posts: 12
    Likes: 2, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 16
    Location: Kansas

    CaptainTweak Junior Member

    i didnt even know what styrofoam billets were until you mentioned them. Thank you. I found many plans using these as a reference.

    What can they do to the environment that isnt eco friendly?
     

  6. marshmat
    Joined: Apr 2005
    Posts: 4,127
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    Location: Ontario

    marshmat Senior Member

    Oh, the foam itself is pretty inert. The manufacturing process produces a fair bit of nasty waste though. Styrofoam doesn't like sunlight a whole lot either, not that that matters under a raft.... But ya, millr's sketch is a great way to get something floating really cheap and with no real effort :)
     
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