Introduction: Duct Tape Canoe

Picture of Duct Tape Canoe

I made this boat to have fun and see if we could do a canoe with duct
tape and pvc tubes. The boat is effectively waterproof and allows to sail long. I tried it on a river for 4 hours and the only fault is the reduced dimentions. On the other hand, it is so small that it returns whole in my car.

This canoe is very fun but must be optimized to use it regularly. The back is too far back to be comfortable. The shape and dimensions make it not stable and sinks too much into the water.

I think a little bigger and stable, this canoe would be appreciable because it is very light and really cheap

The advantage is that it is a disposable canoe, you can make one or more and throw them after use because it does not cost much. If you are on vacation, you can make on the spot with only a saw blade as a tool then when you want to go home you put it in a trash. Mine cost me 15 $

In this video, I am having fun with friends and my family at first, then I synthesized the manufacture in accelerated and I see myself sailing on the river.

Step 1: Equipment

Picture of Equipment

150 meter minimum of 50mm duct tape

10x 20mm pvc pipe

a 30mm extruded foam plate

12x Long plastic clamps

Step 2: Framing

Picture of Framing

Look in the video, I show how to assemble the boat, but we do not see the beginning.

Assemble 5 whole tubes and securely assemble the ends together

Put a lot of tape by asking the pipes 1 by 1. Do not assemble them all at once, otherwise they risk slipping.

Cut pieces of tubes to spread the tubes and give the general shape of the canoe .
Tape to assemble the tubes together

Step 3: Putting Reinforcements

Picture of Putting Reinforcements

You must place enough reinforcements to prevent the hull from deforming. The main efforts:
On the ground, because of the opposing forces of mass and archimedes' thrust. -on the coast. Stiffness must be high due to paddle movements

Step 4: The Floor

Picture of The Floor

Cut a sheet of foam to the shape of the floor and one for the back. Then fasten them with clamps.

The foam should rest on as many tubes as possible so that it does not break.

Drill the foam with a drill and hang it with clamps

Step 5: Coating in Duct Tape

Picture of Coating in Duct Tape

Apply the duct tape to make the shell, the strips must be straight and overlap by about 25mm.

Apply 2 layers of duct tape and strips along the length to protect the edges

Step 6: Waterproof Skirt

Picture of Waterproof Skirt

Also put duct tape on the top of the canoe and overlap by about 25mm to prevent it from filling with water from the front and back .


GeoffKastel (author)2017-06-23

Sorry, but I have to agree with the comments on trashing it as being irresponsible. And this is design, not science. And these comments are designed to make you think and improve, not get defensive. No one is going to recycle a sticky mess, and even if you separate the tube and tape the adhesive crap, on the tape at least, would make it useless to recycle. Just think about a bit, and try to solve the problems, it's a good concept.

LukasFreeze (author)2017-06-18

Nice built, but I must say I am shocked by the "take home message" from the introduction! Just because something is cheap to make doesn't mean it's a good idea to trash and replace it whenever it gets inconvenient to transport, especially when it completely consists of materials that will take ages to break down :-(
Not saying it's not okay to throw something out now and then, but reading that statement made me cringe...

Marc Gyver (author)LukasFreeze2017-06-18

Sorry to shock you but this boat weighs around 3 kg of recyclable material.

On average, a Frenchman throws 350kg of waste per year. Not to mention professional waste. However I do not encourage to make them to throw them, it is only by way of example

JohnC430 (author)Marc Gyver2017-06-21

and the average american throws away more than 1 ton of waste material

LukasFreeze (author)JohnC4302017-06-21

Oh, I know this kind of waste is just another "little bit" on the pile but I'm saying as makers and creators it's our chance to change such impacts. Most "recyclable" plastics are burned or added to the landfills due to inefficient chains so I would only call things that you can compost or disassemble to reclaim (most) components "disposable".

Marc Gyver (author)LukasFreeze2017-06-22

Science deserves a few kilograms of waste ;)

deluges (author)Marc Gyver2017-06-23

Except this aint science

Marc Gyver (author)deluges2017-06-23

Did you know that this duct tape was sufficiently waterproof to be able to realize a boat with? Otherwise, you've learned something, so it's knowledge, so by translation, of science. If you do not learn anything with my instructables, others do. Instructables is a site focused exclusively on science and sharing. Thank you for avoiding this kind of comment.

deluges (author)Marc Gyver2017-06-23


I'll stop here, there's probably a hundred more. So yeah - I knew.


From : "Instructables is a place that lets you explore, document, and share your creations". No mention of science, I'm therefore a bit confused as to how you extrapolate that it's a website focused exclusively on science? You can take a look at, for instance, the cooking or woodworking section (or the duct-tape section for all that matters) and think about whether you think that the vast majority of the projects are part of "a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe". I personally don't think so. It's a lot of tinkering, and it goes great places but there is no scientific method.

Now I didn't mean anything mean with my comment. I can see how it could have been rude. My bad. Take it however you want, what I meant is I think that what you're doing is mostly tinkering. Fine tinkering, I'm sure. I just don't think you're using the right argument to make your point.

I don't want to get in an argument about what makes science or what the ontology of scientific objects is, because I'm not sure myself. And I'd rather not have this kind of discussion on a comment board, but you're french so you can pm me and we can talk on the phone. I'd be happy to discuss it, for realskies.

So please accept my apologies if my comment seemed rude, I should have added "in my opinion" at the beginning but I typed it fast on my phone. I'll reformulate:

"I do not think that building a duct-tape canoe qualifies as science, and I don't like that people encourage making one-time use things. It's wasteful and I try to fight this. I didn't like it when Hitler (godwin point!) used "science" to justify his genocides, and I don't like that you use it as an excuse to justify throwing away a couple pounds of plastic when you haven't made global knowledge progress even an iota.

Yours truly,

Just a guy online"

B1u1d1d1y1 (author)2017-06-21

really enjoyed it except for the 'trash' concept. I always come home with my kayak festooned in junk I have picked out of the water,lodged in deadwood or disgracing the shore. Really try to reuse and leave no trace. Otherwise, wonderfully creative. Is the interior sticky?

Marc Gyver (author)B1u1d1d1y12017-06-22

Of course, I intend to reuse it and above all improve it. The inside is sticky to allow me futur modifications

JohnC430 (author)2017-06-21

cool idea. really nice job.

dfabian (author)2017-06-19

Nice! This will be my next rainy-day project. Might sound dumb, but: I'm not very big (5'3", about 110), so would it still be necessary to construct a larger boat?

Marc Gyver (author)dfabian2017-06-20

The dimensions of mine are made for a person of maximum 60 kg.

SaralynnJ (author)2017-06-19

BTW this has been tested by the Mythbusters and confirmed it will work.

DreamDabbler (author)2017-06-18

This encourages me to proceed with my plans to try making a double pontoon boat using plastic milk jugs and PVC piping. I think I will want to use something besides duct tape to hold things together, as I want to be able to take it apart and put it together again easily. Some sort of plastic adjustable clamps, perhaps, and heavy-duty plastic bags to help keep the jugs together and give a unified, smoother hull.

DelaL1 (author)2017-06-18

I love it

marian39 (author)2017-06-18

Yes it is a kayak. Not bad but a lirtle deeper and wider. Yes life jacket needed!

rnshagam (author)2017-06-18

Life jacket?

Hans Pearson (author)2017-06-18

Very nice. Perhaps consider building it with an outrigger for balance. The Mythbusters did this some years ago but built a yatch that took two and they sailed it on San Francisco Bay.

Marc Gyver (author)Hans Pearson2017-06-18

And they were not very comfortable either :)

Cotekino (author)2017-06-17

Thanks a lot for the idea; it seems to be a nice work to do with children (making it, it would be half of the fun...); For the stability, I thought I could to do it as a catamaran, that is a 'double boat' side by side, just as the 'Sidecar' is for motorbikes;
I hope to do it one day with my daughter: in this case I'll be back with comment and pictures (and an Instructable, why not...).
Thank you again, great idea!

Marc Gyver (author)Cotekino2017-06-18

I will be very happy to see your realization, I hope you do, and if sela suits me, I may be the same as you :). Do not forget that it takes only 1 working day

TheMrCode (author)2017-06-18


JohnK250 (author)2017-06-18


gm280 (author)2017-06-17

Obviously needs to be larger and wider to offer a more balanced design. But all in all, not a bad idea either. You need to calculate the water displacement vs body weight. Always over build. I always say that. Thumbs Up!

seamster (author)2017-06-16

Looks easy enough to duplicate the idea . . although I'd need to make a much bigger version for myself!

This would be loads of fun for smaller kids to make some temporary boats to putter around in pools and ponds (with life jackets of course). Great idea, and nicely presented :)

Marc Gyver (author)seamster2017-06-17

Thank you, I'm glad you like it :)

Indeed a larger and stable version for an adult would be better

gunguru (author)2017-06-16

I watched the video and am very impressed with the little craft. It looks a little off balance because of the placement of the seat and could use a few refinements but, all in all seems pretty cool. I think instead of taping the sticky side to the actual frame it probably needed " ductape fabric" that way there is less stretch and also your leg hair doesnt stick to the inside. I like this idea alot though. Great ible! ............... Ductape fabric is where you lay the strips up the down to make a double layer with no sticky side showing. Also, you can alternate tape directions on each layer like plywood for more strength. :-)

Marc Gyver (author)gunguru2017-06-17

thanks. I kept the sticky side in case of modification. If I want to add something, I resume on the sticky side rather than on a non-sticky side.Even after taking the water, the sticky side always sticks as much. My legs do not touch the hull, only the seat and the tubes so it's not a problem : )

cobourgdave (author)2017-06-16

What a great way to have fun on the water! Great idea, nicely carried out. Leaking, imbalance, wet feet etc... who cares!!! You guys clearly had a great time. Do it again!

Marc Gyver (author)cobourgdave2017-06-17

Thank you very much for this comment, but to clarify, the boat is totally waterproof, the fact that it takes water at the beginning comes just from the imbalance. He was taking water from the top

gunguru (author)2017-06-16

Oh yeah........ great screen name!!!!!!

About This Instructable




Bio: I am fascinated by inventions and by do-it-yourself. I share with you to find other passionate people.I have hundreds of projects in head but ... More »
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