What would you suggest for a rank novice female to build as a boat with very young children ages 5 to 13?

It needs to be light enough for us to maneuver by ourselves with very clear instructions.
I wanted to build a pontoon boat with 55 gallon plastic drums and duct tape, but it sounds too heavy.

We have a garage we can use in which to build it. For inland lake use.

Any ideas out there?  What about a paddleboat?,

Grandma                                            jozann@cox.net  

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jozann (author) 7 years ago
YOU GUYS ARE ALL WONDERFUL! Thank you each and everyone of you for taking the time to help me with this. I am thrilled and will let you know what we end up doing. How terrific of you to answer me. This is unbelievable. It's the first time I've even looked for any answers. I'm so glad I found this web site. Grandma
l8nite7 years ago
if you already have the drums, build a frame from 2x4's that the barrels fit in, attach the frames together with a deck. For more of a paddle/row boat follow ricks link to the pdracer, there is also the mouse boat and onesheet wonder sites you can find on duckworks
cvianna17 years ago
I am assuming this is a joint activity with the kids and the finished vessel is not going in the ocean or a river with currents? Here are some ideas that might work. Instead of trying to create large water tight compartments, try filling your "drums" or better yet large diameter long plastic pipes/tubes (pvc or hvac) with bubble wrap or some other inflated packing material. Even if the compartments leak, the water will not displace the air in the packing material. Plug and caulk the ends. Long pontoons running the length of the craft will be more stable. Build a strong rectangular frame to support a platform. Use metal strapping and bolt the pontoons on.
rickharris7 years ago
Addition to all below - a quick test indicates that the duck tape we get here in the UK isn't water proof. Things may be different where you are but test first rather than find out in the middle of the lake.
Re-design7 years ago
Some wood, lots of nylon cord and a bunch of truck inner tubes makes a great raft. Even if one tube deflates the others still carry the weight.  Lots of fun to play on a raft.

FIRST RULE NEVER TO BE BROKEN AND NO, I REPEAT, NO EXCEPTIONS IS THAT EVERYONE, CHILD, KID OR ADULT MUST WEAR AND APPROVED LIFE VEST.  EVERYTIME.  EVERYTIME.


lemonie7 years ago
This is a pretty good one, you might get some ideas:


L



Kiteman7 years ago
The best bet is some form of raft. There are several rafts described in the site, but (as onrust says), duct tape is not a good material to hold a raft together safely enough for small children to use.

You will need to use drums held together with properly-fastened timber.
rickharris7 years ago
bhoating and boat building are not to be undertaken lightly for lots of safety reasons.

I will assume you will ensure your grand kids ALWAYS wear life jackets no matter how well they can swim or how much of a grump they think you are!!

Water rivers and lakes are all dangerous places to be. If you want quick and cheap then some kind of raft is perhaps the easiest although IMHO limited fun.

you may be much better off buying a second hand canoe.

The following links may help you.

http://gaboats.com/boats/

http://www.woodenwidget.com/index.html

http://www.pdracer.com/

http://www.duckworksmagazine.com/02/articles/yakoo/index.htm

http://www.countryplans.com/vintage_farm//boats/FoldingKayak.pdf

http://koti.kapsi.fi/hvartial/stab/stab.htm


onrust7 years ago
I think the most important issue here is saftey. The logical answer is an inflatable boat and pump. Young childeren and duct tape.......NOT GOOD.