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.