Introduction: How to Build a Boat Made of Trash & Recyclables!
We are hosting a Recycled Boat building contest @ Saluda Shoals Park in Columbia SC. This is a quickie guide on how to make a boat. This is just an example. Go out and find your own trash! Building a boat can be a great activity for the whole family to enjoy!! Check out my new blog at
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Step 1: Make a Plan!
Building a trash boat is the coolest thing since building pepsi can stoves. Everybody is doing it! The first step is to make a plan. How many people do you want it to hold? Where do you plan sailing this incredible vessel? Do you plan on sailing it? What about people power? What kind of junk are you going to use? Do you want to stick to strict "must be recyclable only" guidelines?
Our plan consisted of conversations, occasional drawing on napkins and late night brainstormings. Remember, you don't want to pollute the river or lake in which you plan to cruise. So whatever you decide - give a hoot! Don't pollute!
The picture here shows some old containers we are using for pontoons. But anything that floats should do fine. What about lots of milk jugs? or 5 gallon water containers? Don't buy 'em! Look around! Stop something useful from entering the waste stream!!
Step 2: Go Look for Trash!
Trash is easy to find! I like to look in dumpsters, behind grocery stores, recycling centers, my neighbors backyard. That grocery cart looks promising! Trash makes Allen super happy! Look at that grin!
We happened to find that perfectly good grocery buggy in the dump! I know!! Its a perfectly good buggy! Anyway, we haven't found a place for it yet but we are still in the prototype stage. We have many weeks to finalize our design.
Step 3: Get to Building!
Trash is great. You don't want to use trash to secure your boat though! Don't use trashy duct tape or old rusty nails to secure your boat! Buy new or steal from your parents! We used Gorilla Glue Duct Tape - its the strongest thing i have ever seen (besides Allen's biceps!) We also used those cool straps with buckles. You may also want to seal up any holes you might find. the "pontoons" you see in these pics are actually old containers (maybe for oil?) and one had a hole in it. We didn't realize this until it started to sink. Its a good thing I was tied to good old terra firma with such a sturdy line!
We are realizing that paddles must be made. Remember kids: don't buy 'em - make 'em! Old brooms or rakes make great handles. We might even make some sort of paddle boat design... this might take some good old fashioned Allen ingenuity! We call it STREET KNOWLEDGE!!!
Step 4: Keep Building!
Listen, building a boat out of trash takes hard work, dedication and a sense of humor! Don't give up! If all else fails add more trash! Remember: when documenting your hard work and creative endeavors take your finger off of the lens! Amateur mistakes like these can cost you time, cool points and possible friends wanting their well deserved 15 minutes of fame! I am sorry Ranger Heather!!.
Step 5: Put That Bad Boy in the WATER!!!
Dump your boat carefully into the water. Do not fling or catapult the boat from a distance. This is your pride and joy. Treat it like the tedious friendships you have with movie stars. Don't bother it too much or it won't like you anymore and may even leave you stranded.
The SS. P! To captain such a mighty vessel!!! If only there was room for everyone aboard. I am sure there are many who would like to share in my journey. But I must go it alone for now...
Step 6: Enter Your Boat in a Contest! Preferrably Ours!
Now that your boat has been tested and you are happy its time to show it off to your friends, family and prospective employers! Everyone will be so happy to hear of your success! Don't keep it to yourself my friend! Enter your boat in Saluda Shoals Park's first annual Recycled Regatta that will be held May Tenth in Columbia SC!
Email Park Ranger Jay firstname.lastname@example.org for registration info and more!