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Easiest raft ever, it seems.

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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'.
 
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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

Picture of 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.
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
blodefood1 year ago
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?
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
thanks!!
LucDaRocka12 years ago
try craigslist 4 those plastic drums....................
SIRJAMES093 years ago
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
maybe for the canoe design u could try attaching a weight underneath it so it doesn't roll
ktirdil4 years ago
how would you launch a 10x12 barrel raft?
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
=(l)
Exable ble? Oh you don't like it when people talk giberish? Me either! AMERICA!
where do you get the 55 gallon barrels?
I find them all the time in junk yards, and even the side of the highway.
maybe try taking a, say 6inch wide band from the center of the 55s to make them more oval or add a 33 as an out-rigger. just some thoughts
bigpig4 years ago
Just a thought, but perhaps the wooden keel was too bouyant?
MN218 (author)  bigpig4 years ago
I'm thinkingit was just too top heavy, as my brother said when I sent a link to this instructable "for clues to why this didn't work, please consult your local physics textbook."  Smartass...
runcdm4 years ago
tested it.  i think it's a hobbit design.  there is no way anyone over 5feet tall can fit in those barrells for more than 10 minutes.  ended up building my own from 6 barrells 8 ft x 12 ft, carried 1200 pounds down a river for 3 days
MN218 (author)  runcdm4 years ago
I agree, it's really just for getting to islands not too far from shore,
dung0beetle4 years ago
add a keel to each barrel, that should fix the waddle.
MN218 (author)  dung0beetle4 years ago
each barrel has a keel, they might should be larger tho'
gmoon4 years ago
Me like :-)

If you separated the two barrels, the second one might act as an outrigger. Should be more stable for going solo...

It also might effect the tracking negatively...but I doubt it tracks well anyway.
MN218 (author)  gmoon4 years ago
I made one where the barrels were further apart, thing sucked real bad.  It's actually not sketchy unstable in solo mode, it's sketchy bad tracking, you just sort of waddle, but you can get around if you're patient.
gmoon MN2184 years ago
I guess that the barrels spread apart just tracked in a circle...
ve2vfd4 years ago
Le SS Tabarnak? :) 
MN218 (author)  ve2vfd4 years ago
c'est a cause de la croix en bois.
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