Easiest Raft Ever, It Seems.





Introduction: Easiest Raft Ever, It Seems.

Hello, here's another type of raft I've built for small explorations, this time for the purpose of exploring islands in the rivers north of Montréal.  Both rafts took only an hour or so to make and were totally fine for short little journeys.  It is not the most seaworthy design, but would be totally good for paddling around in a lake or calm river.  These first pictures are of the smaller raft, the S.S.Tabarnak!  It was made from two 33 gallon barrels, some broken hinges, and about five feet of an old 2x4.  It was technically the better raft, but I don't usually find those 33 gallon barrels.  Good for at least 320 pounds, seems like it could take some more tho'.

Step 1: Second Go

So the Tabarnak was eventually lost, thrown down the river by someone I suppose, no biggy as it didn't cost me anything.  I wanted to try again and started with two 55 gallon plastic barrels.  Yeah, it's sideways...

Step 2: Cut It Up

Cut some good sized holes in your barrels.  I drilled a hole big enough for my jigsaw blade and freestyled some people-sized holes.  There will be some shaggy plastic around the edge which can be taken off with an exacto or whatever.

Step 3: Failed Experiments

So ya, we tried to make it sort of like a canoe, but it didn't work worth a damn, maybe with some out-riggers...but like this it just rolls.  So we cut it in half and went back to the original design.  Note the keel type board along the bottom, I thought this would make it easier to go in a straight line, but it didn't seem to help much.

Step 4: So Ya, You Get the Idea.

and there you are, just like that a raft!  there are small (1x3) boards in front and back and that seems to hold it together real nice.  Navigating this thing requires some practice and coordination between paddlers, so give it a try on a pond before tackling the whitewater.



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    Just made a very cool Buoyancy calculator for barrels , water level is adjustable with a slider or with manual input .


    maybe for the canoe design u could try attaching a weight underneath it so it doesn't roll

    1 reply

    He could also make balancers that just out of the sides of the boat

    Without sinking and keeping enough buoyancy to float

    I am making a raft like yours except it has a deck and is lightweight and I wondered how much weight a single 4" PVC pipe could withstand

    S.S.Tabarnak, LOL! Great 'ible!

    You need a deeper keel for the canoe style to stay upright and not capsize.

    forgot to mention... i'm on a tight budget...where can you get them for like under 20 bucks... or free?

    6 replies

    Check local car washes. That's where I get mine. Most of the time they are happy to get rid of them without having to pay. Some that want to make a quick buck will say they could sell you some for varying amounts of money.

    good luck. I have been looking for months & found nothing.

    if you find a place that sells cheap or free, pls post

    Try Coke or Pepsi plants. The syrup comes in them. Sometimes they give them away for free.

    and how can you contact them/ pick up the barrels?

    call, number is in the phone book, or online

    try craigslist 4 those plastic drums....................

    they say there is a VERY thin line between lunacy & genius....I'm not going any further on that one, but yeah, this is a nice idea. :)

    TY for sharing

    10x12 barrels?!?! 120 55 gallon barrels? each can lift about 400 lbs what are you lifting that is 48000 lbs?!?!

    10x12 is the size of it not the number of barrels

    Exable ble? Oh you don't like it when people talk giberish? Me either! AMERICA!