homemade craft needed for tv-documentary

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by tv-documentary, Apr 7, 2009.

  1. tv-documentary
    Joined: Apr 2009
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    Location: Germany

    tv-documentary New Member

    Hello there,

    we are a TV- production company, our headquarter is located in Berlin. In order of a German broadcast company we plan to built a raft and travel down the Mississippi in June/July 2009 and make a documentary from it.

    We have just started to do the research and therefore I am contacting you. We are looking for someone who could help us to built a raft. Someone, who could be our "professionalist" concerning to the wood, the construction and so on. We don´t need a futuristic draft because we actually want to revert to the traits of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. That´s the topic of the film.

    What we want to know is:
    - If we want to end up in New Orleans- where is the best point to start our journey? We have 4 weeks to travel.
    - Is it allowed at all to travel by a raft on the Mississippi? If not- Where can we get an exceptional permission from?
    - We know that it´s a dangerous thing to do. Therefore we are trying to find experts who could help us not to risk anybody. We will prepare ourselfes as good as possible. Of course our two protagonists won´t be alone on the craft. We want an experienced captain to go with them and to manage it. Do you know anybody who is able to do that?
    - Is there an organisation for rafting on the Mississippi which we could contact? Is there any community or team or someone who would be interested in this project to be our counsellor?

    If you could help us and give us any hints it would be great. Are you experienced in building rafts?

    Let me know, I am looking so much forward for you answer.

    Best wishes!
  2. waikikin
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    Location: Australia

    waikikin Senior Member

    Your gunna need a couple of low down carpet baggers & a man called Jim for that trip, & watch out for steam boats too especially at night, & dont get cauth up in any feuds, & dont let the water moccasins get you, I believe theres some pretty heavy duty commercial traffic on that river & your raft is gotta be tough(like tug & barge tough) & also be powered so you can manoevour safely. All the best with it from Jeff
  3. ecflyer
    Joined: Jan 2009
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    Location: Green Bay, Wisconsin

    ecflyer Junior Member

    A raft should only draw 6"-8" of water. All the heavy barge and boat traffic wiil be in the main channel so you should have no problem avoiding them as you can travel in the shallows and edges. Unpowered vessels like sail boats are allowed on the Mississippi so you should not run into any restricting regulations. I doubt that you would need a captain for a raft.
    Have a Great Day!
  4. duluthboats
    Joined: Mar 2002
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    Location: Minneapolis,MN, USA

    duluthboats Senior Dreamer

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

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    There will be several organizations that will want to have a say in your efforts. 4 weeks of drifting will not be very far up the river if you expect to land at New Orleans 30 days out.

    I would suspect you'll need to do your filming along a relatively remote section, well above New Orleans, then motor down for the "big finish" shots. Possibility along the Atchafalaya tributary.

    The Mississippi is a very heavily traveled waterway. It's unlikely they will permit a free floating, drifting hazard to navigation, to clog up their shipping lanes for very long. You might get filming permission for a few hours per day, which isn't much, but could be enough to perform your shots piece meal.

    It's a beautiful route, in the remote areas, but has the typical look of a heavily traveled, commercial waterway in the urban areas.

    The US Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District will want to have something to say about the project. It's likely several other organizations will as well, such as The USGS, Louisiana Ecosystem Management, etc.

    Start you research with the US Army Corps of Engineers. I know a person swam the length of the river a few years ago and people have rowed or paddled the river too, so your request shouldn't come as a big surprise to them. I seriously doubt they'll let you "drift" down the river, without the ability to maneuver or be very quickly towed from a hazardous situation.

    Good luck . . .
  6. Daniel Noyes
    Joined: Feb 2008
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    Location: North Shore, Massachusetts

    Daniel Noyes Junior Member

    Sounds like a great project. I would also suggest some sort of small skiff or canoe, as a tender to the raft. The river rafts were actually maneauverable and could be navigated along the river. Here on the Merrimack river in Massachusetts rafts and scows navigated by skilled watermen could supposedly navigate against the tidal flow by using back eddys and crosscurrents.
    Please contact me if you need a hand with the raft construction or a river skiff.
  7. diwebb
    Joined: Jun 2008
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    Location: New Zealand

    diwebb Senior Member

    sounds to me like you are going to need a support vessel with a motor strong enough to tow the raft out of any dangers it may encounter, and to be able to see more of the river. It could also act as a base for filming the raft while drifting. The raft could then be towed from one location to another to follow the Tom Sawyer epic in the four weeks you have for the project.

  8. Guest625101138

    Guest625101138 Previous Member

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