PVC raft?

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by hossman777, May 29, 2007.

  1. hossman777
    Joined: May 2007
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    Location: Idaho

    hossman777 New Member

    My buddies and I are wanting to build an 8x12 raft that will hold about between 1000-1200 lbs of man and beer and float relatively shallow in the water. I'm thinking of running 12' lengths of capped PVC pipe on the bottom, a few 2x4's across the top of that, and finally some plywood decking on top. Now, my questions...

    *Will it work? (Kind of a dumb question, but is 1200 lbs expecting too much?
    *Will a simple rudder and/or a small outboard motor work for propulsion/steering?
    *Is there anything that would work better than PVC and still be fairly cheap to construct?

    Any advice/wisdom/tips/etc. would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!
    Hoss White
     
  2. TheRiffRaft
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    TheRiffRaft Junior Member

    It will work! My buddies and I just did this. We had four of us, a table, an umbrella, cooler full of beer, four chairs, sirius satellite radio playing through a Bose Acoustic Wave radio powered by a "booster box". My estimate put us at about 1000 pounds total, including the raft. We used approx. 84' of 6" sch. 40 pvc, construction foam caulked to the plywood and secured with some 2x4's, which run lenghtwise against the outside of the PVC pipe. The foam was attached in a tounge and groove configuration to each sheet of plywood for added stability. The decking is then tied front and back to the center section of PVC. It all comes apart for transport and three of us can assemble it in approximately 1 beer. Check out the pics...

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  3. jrl5678
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    jrl5678 Junior Member

    I am as strait as they come and I want to giv eyou guys a big ol kiss
    that looks like soooo much fun
     
  4. TheRiffRaft
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    TheRiffRaft Junior Member

    It was a lot of fun, and a thumbs-up would suffice. We are going to register it as a homemade boat so we can mount the engine on it and go, without being towed by the "Drunken Treasure".:D
     
  5. jrl5678
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    jrl5678 Junior Member

    true about the thumbs up
    I spend 80+ hours at work, I get excited a little easy some times
    so retraction
    thumbs up

    how will you mount the motor
    what size/kind are you planning on using
    and can you tell me a little more about the foam you are using
     
  6. TheRiffRaft
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    TheRiffRaft Junior Member

    We're not sure how to mount the motor yet, but I don't think it will be to complicated. We're going to use our existing Minn Kota 50 lb. trolling motor with our two batteries in parallel. There's also talk about adding some railing around the corners and lighting, but that's low priority right now.
    My buddy got the foam, and I'm not exactly sure what type it is. He just refered to it as "consruction foam". Check Home Depot for the blue stuff. I'll find out what type it is and post it.
     
  7. jrl5678
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    jrl5678 Junior Member

    Thanks
    the same kind of deck mount for a trolling motor on a bass boat should work. Seems like it would mov eyou around smartly.

    Fast easy no need to clutter it up with railings and lights
    if you really need lights you can get chem light sticks in white red and green once broken they last for almost 6 hours and they are 2 $ a piece more or less
     
  8. TheRiffRaft
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    TheRiffRaft Junior Member

    We'll most likely just fab a mount like this one....
    [​IMG]

    And the talk about lights and railings was mostly drunken banter. There was also talk of a "bathroom"!
     
  9. alaskamokaiman
    Joined: Oct 2006
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    Location: Palmer Alaska

    alaskamokaiman Junior Member

    GREAT BOAT... raft but I see no life jackets.

    A drunk does not revive when drowned please be safe wear a PFD and make your friends do the same it would be a bad ending to the fun we had.
     
  10. TheRiffRaft
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    TheRiffRaft Junior Member

    Thank you for your compliment and concern.
     
  11. Pericles
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    Pericles Senior Member

    Very very ingenious.

    That's really thinking outside the box. Looking at the design I was wondering if two more sets of pvc pipes were constructed and interlaced in the manner the first three as shown on the trailer, whether the construction foam is necessary, as the original three seem to float high in the water.

    Congratulations. I'm off down to Wickes.:D :D

    Pericles
     
  12. TheRiffRaft
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    TheRiffRaft Junior Member

    The piping layout is as shown in this pic....
    [​IMG]

    The pic of trailer shows how we had to load the pipe for it to fit best.

    We did a "dry" run in my friends pool without the foam. With four of us on the raft water was coming up and over the wood. That is when we decided we needed to add the foam.

    On a side note, we used 6 inch schedule 40 pipe only because it was free. Although we paid an arm and leg for all the connectors and caps! I would suggest cheaper 6 inch pipe. Cheers and good luck! :D
     
  13. Pericles
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    Location: Heights of High Wycombe, not far from River Thames

    Pericles Senior Member

    TRR,

    Agreed. I was just wondering whether you had considered two more sets of pipes to link between the three you already have. However you also mentioned the pipes were free but the fitting and closures were expensive.

    I'll let you know how I get on. I need a small raft to maintain the edges of my Koi pond.

    Pericles
     
  14. captaintrue
    Joined: Dec 2007
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    captaintrue Junior Member

    You might consider pressurizing the pipes with air a wee bit.
     

  15. TollyWally
    Joined: Mar 2005
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    TollyWally Senior Member

    In this same vein National Fisherman had an article 10 years back or so about a guy who had successfully built a PVC/ RIB style boat. Using 10 or 12 inch pvc tubes (fairly spendy but cheaper than store bought) for the "inflatable tubes" and a plywood/epoxy hull. It was 25 ft or so and looked pretty good.

    I always wanted to build one, LOL like that will happen.
     
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