Sealing of 55 Gallon Drums

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by amoe, Apr 15, 2019.

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  1. BlueBell
    Joined: May 2017
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    Location: Victoria BC Canada

    BlueBell "Whatever..."

    Amoe,

    If it's just a raft, you can break it into 8' sections, but it's got to be done right.
    It will add: weight, expense, build-time, complexity and anxiety...
    And will complicate trailer launching hugely, both in and out.

    You've got up to 8.5' beam on the roadway.
    Why not 8' beam? It's a raft?
    8x16 would be more comfortable.
    If the raft weighs 500 pounds, that leaves ~670 pounds.
    Wait... you can only have 3 people on board.

    I think we're getting ahead of ourselves here.
    How about an 8'x 8' raft.
    Use all eight barrels around the perimeter.
    1/3 less floor space, less weight, less cost.
    Improved stability and loading characteristics.

    A 30" square hatch opening in the centre could prove entertaining.
    Piano hinge each half to centre open 1/2 at a time and lay flat on deck.

    I don't know if 8'x 8' would meet your needs but it sure seems sensible to me.

    Cheers!
     
  2. BlueBell
    Joined: May 2017
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    Location: Victoria BC Canada

    BlueBell "Whatever..."

    No response despite a forum visit this morning.
    I guess that doesn't meet your needs.

    Well, good luck amoe!
     
  3. amoe
    Joined: Apr 2019
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    Location: Illinois, USA

    amoe Junior Member

    Sorry about that, I checked the response real fast but then had to get some stuff done and then forgot. I do like the idea, and do believe that may be better because of my transportation situation and that it will only be used as a raft. I'll look some more into and the numbers in a little bit. Thanks!
     
  4. ondarvr
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    Location: Monroe WA

    ondarvr Senior Member

    I have a dock that uses plastic drums, it’s been close to 15 years with zero maintenance or issues.

    I think I used silicone on the threads. It’s out of the water now and the drums do exhibit a bit of contraction when it’s cold, more than when in the water. For a few days floating around on a lake or river it would be a non issue.
     
  5. BRANDON D RONEY
    Joined: Nov 2021
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    Location: Prospect, Oregon

    BRANDON D RONEY New Member

    Hi guys. I am new to this forum. I am also a member of a Barrel Pontoon group on Facebook. Anyhow, I want to throw something out ... and get confirmations from as many who know -- or have a strong opinion.

    I am building a new 9 x 55 gallon 10' x 8' Heavy Cedar craft. I chose cedar because it has greater longevity (especially if you torch the wood -- which I have. Like 20 years!) I do not wish to have to flip this thing more than once -- for this set of barrels. It weighs a good 750 lbs in JUST wood.

    Anyhow, this is my first boat. The lids on these food barrels have a rubber washer and this is what creates the seal. But, a number of my barrels are missing the rubber seal. And a couple others have a rubber washer that looks a bit on the dilapidated side. Long story short, I have spoken extensively in my other group -- and everyone has THE solution concerning sealing these lids. But there is no one "decisively" good answer to my particular inquiry.

    That question is, what is the best way to seal these lids in leu of a possibly bad or dying rubber washer?

    The best idea that I think I have heard is to use PTFE Plumbers paste accompanied by some good quality PTF (Teflon) tape on these lids. Silicone is not the best solution as it does not cling to the polyethylene (nothing does with polyethylene). Some compounds are messy -- and others are not ideal for submersion. But this solution seems best to me because this is exactly what is used by plumbers on PVC and plastic piping! Thinking outside of the box is important -- and this really sounds good to me. I don't see much room for failure -- frankly. Those in the other group that said to do it like this have done their crafts this way -- and were plumbers and/or pipefitters. (yet not seasoned pontoon boat builders)

    What is the consensus here? What do you think fellas, and ladies (if any be present)?

    Thanks for listening -- and even more thanks for answering! LOL

    Cheers!
     
  6. Blueknarr
    Joined: Aug 2017
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    Location: Colorado

    Blueknarr Senior Member

    PYFE won't bond any better than silicone.

    Rubber gaskets are obtainable. Or can be fashioned from almost any rubber such as old neoprene wetsuit.
     
  7. BRANDON D RONEY
    Joined: Nov 2021
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    Location: Prospect, Oregon

    BRANDON D RONEY New Member

    Ah thanks for the reply. Yes, agreed. But between the two, 1) it is cheaper, 2) made for this exact application and 3) is easy to replace -- as it is non-hardening.

    At first I did some of my barrels with rubber Flex Seal coating, and it too holds very well -- but it is a mess to remove the lids and clean-up that set rubber compound from all the threads! It would take an hour per lid to get it all off.

    Sooo, though there are many solutions (as the sealing is via the rubber washer) -- I am wanting something to bypass the need of concern for a failing rubber washer -- and bring complete peace of mind (regardless of that washer).

    My tub weighs a ton -- like I was saying -- so for me, it is vital to do this once.

    I could buy some more rubber washers, but let's say I don't put them in right, or they are flawed, etc. There is still some room for failure. But, the tape or even the silicone is much more secure -- and lacks as much room for failure. If one coats all the threads, instead of relying on that gasket, it seems to me that better peace of mind is achieved.

    See what I mean? I just don't feel good about gaskets. Thanks a ton for responding!!!

    Ps. here's a pic of my craft in its current state (well I have since removed all the barrels). I am going to redo them all. But that Flex Seal is HORRIBLE! Sigh. Really wish I hadn't done that!! Ugggh.
     

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  8. BRANDON D RONEY
    Joined: Nov 2021
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    Location: Prospect, Oregon

    BRANDON D RONEY New Member

    Pps. Also, going to switch over to 2" Heavy Duty poly strapping from those metal straps! This is the bright side of taking all the barrels out. Metals straps are dangerous (sharp edged), and DO RUST -- come to find out (even though they are galvanized). Sooo , yeah, there is at least a silver lining in doing all this over for me.
     
  9. ondarvr
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    Location: Monroe WA

    ondarvr Senior Member

    I used Silicone, you aren't relying on it to bond very well, only adequately.

    It does well underwater and is very resilient, expansion and contraction due to temperature and other stresses don't affect it much.

    And if the bungs are set at 90 degrees they should never see much more water than from splashing.
     
  10. BRANDON D RONEY
    Joined: Nov 2021
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    Location: Prospect, Oregon

    BRANDON D RONEY New Member

    Good point about the bungs. Thanks a mint for answering. I am thinking either solution is about the same then, except the cost. The 3M is about $20ish on Amazon, and the plumbers paste is about $12 for a quality version.

    Blessings & happy winter fishing!!!
     

  11. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Location: Australia

    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    How hard is it to seal a drum ? I can't imagine the original material used would not be adequate.
     
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