Thailand open-air houseboat

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by tramp, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. tramp
    Joined: Mar 2009
    Posts: 1
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    Location: thailand

    tramp New Member

    I'm an American living in Thailand in a medium-sized town along the Mun River. The Mun is generally 60-120 feet wide, it squiggles a lot, tightens and picks up speed and spreads into good-sized placid lakes in areas. There's no "frontage road", access is limited mostly to the occasional dirt road and bridge near towns. It's bordered by farmland and thick stands of trees and bamboo. I've seen one spill-over dam, maybe a 2-3 ft drop, so there are probably others.

    I've never ridden a raft/houseboat let alone build one, but I want to build a shallow draft maneuverable platform or open-air houseboat big enough for 4; myself, my Thai wife and her two teenage sons for a 4-day meander on the river. I want it to be powered but not overly muscled. Low tech is good as long as we're safe.

    I've seen an old platform boat once used for ferrying tourists, now a floating restaurant. It's 20x30 ft, wooden flooring over plastic 55 gallon drums, with a small truck motor driving a long pole propeller. It looks highly maneuverable. The plastic 55 gallon drums are readily available and I'm told fiberglass can be found in the nearby city. Local wood is very dense and heavy, and expensive. Most building materials are available now in Thailand, but you have to dig to find them.

    There are other farangs (foreigners) in my town who have an interest in rafting the Mun. They want to do it as a group. Besides being a lot of fun and the fulfillment of a childhood dream most Americans share, we'll be seeing the Mun and the surrounding area from a vantage point few if any Thais have ever seen.

    Can anyone point me in the right direction with basic platform raft/houseboat do's and don't's, river propulsion basics, plans and materials?
  2. alan white
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    Location: maine

    alan white Senior Member

    Make it long and (relatively) narrow, and orient the barrels with the direction of travel. Heavy nylon webbing can be used to lash barrels.
    Use enough barrels to carry the entire weight and still have half of the barrels above water.
    There has been a lot of discussion about rafts and barges that use barrels. You can use the search feature here to access them.
  3. brian eiland
    Joined: Jun 2002
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    Location: St Augustine Fl, Thailand

    brian eiland Senior Member

    Thailand Houseboat

    Did you ever follow thru on that houseboat idea?

    Have a look HERE

    Attached Files:

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