KIDS BOAT, Looking for Ideas, Please Help!!!!

Ok, So I am a tinkerer

Last month we we're at the Lake and my 5 YearOld and my 4 YearOld decided that they want a BOAT..  So being the Father that I am, Became flooded with giving MY kids a boat unlike anyone's.
SO Began the Brain Storm.
Picked up a Cheap "BROKEN" Trolling motor, and a Toy Sandpit from a friend..
SANDPIT holds water, Must hold OUT water as well...
Want to build small "Transom" out of PVC fittings that will fit snugly in Aft.
Also would like to fashion a way to use the Steering wheel, that I don't have yet...
to Either turn the Motor or Manipulate a Rudder of some Sort..
Also a Throttle set up unfortionitely to turn the throttle into the forward position it turns Clockwise.. not counter clockwise, which would allow me to mount it somehow on the right side, Like a Real boats Throttle control..
have some Thick HDPE Sheeting, that molds fairly well when heated.. and Also the Trolling motor... Pictures Included..

Please ANY Ideas would be Greatly Appreciated..
My Son and Daughter want a TUGBOAT, which thankfully this lends itself to PERFECTLY!!!!


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chipper355 years ago
Kiteman offers some great ideas here!!
exerp (author) 7 years ago
Having a Problem finding a Steering solution.... Any ideas, please Post a link, a picture anything... I'm Drawing a blank
exerp (author) 7 years ago
Will be sure to make an instructable , Was already thinking the polyurethane, may see what I can find in the way of steering assemblies.. As far as Seating, I think I'm going to go with a molded Plastic bench rather than. drilling through the Bottom, and I have stood in this Boat while it is floating... A lower center of gravity, and it holds just FINE... Any more Ideas, Bring EM ON and I like the Mounting for the throttle Idea Flinger, Thanks
crapflinger7 years ago
for the steering, you could use an actual boat steering assembly. either the hydrolic kind or the rack n' pinion type. where turning the wheel makes a rod (or cable or something) move farther out of the end of a long sleeve (or farther in depending on which way you're turning)...if you've got a junk yard anywhere near you i'm sure you can find one pretty cheap (or free).

the throttle would be a little more difficult, but, it looks like you've already separated the motor pod from the throttle assembly on the trolling motor. you could mount the throttle part with the handle (the grip that you turn) pointing towards the OUTSIDE of the boat and mount a boat throttle style handle (basically just a stick that's shaped how you want it) to the grip...then when they push it forward it would turn it clockwise as expected
Kiteman7 years ago
First thought - fill all those spaces underneath with expanding urethane foam. It will make the boat more rigid (at the moment, all the strength comes from the ground beneath the flat bottom), and more buoyant, since it would not take much of a wobble to let the air out of those interstices and let water in.

(Google for local suppliers - it can be found in aerosol-type cans.)

Second thought - before adding the foam, slide as large a piece of wood as possible into that gap between the back layers, then you can drill and bolt through to fix the engine.

Third thought - the foam may need painting on the exposed areas to stop water soaking in - you'll need to check that with the supplier or manufacturer.

For the seating, something akin to a simple wooden bench would be fine - drill through the bottom of the boat and up into the legs to fix them in place. Make sure you use good-sized washers to stop the screw or bolt heads pulling through the skin of the boat. Before tightening bolts or screws, a squirt of silicon sealer around the screw-hole (between leg and floor) will be enough to keep the water out.

Final thoughts - forget the motor, fit rowlocks and give them oars (wet, tiring fun is more fun), and if you are letting them loose on anything larger than a small pond, you may want to consider attaching a long line to pull them back to shore. If they are not strong swimmers, consider buoyancy aids as well.
Kiteman Kiteman7 years ago
Very final thought - keep taking pictures and post an Instructable when you are done.