Hello and welcome to our Water Bottle Raft Project.
This project is made out of scrap materials that would otherwise be thrown away (except the duck tape)
We made this raft when we were on holiday and were lucky enough to have a pool to test and use it in for the remaining few days.
I hope you enjoy! Please check out the really awesome video that we made, it is linked above and at the bottom of this instructable. The video contains a cool time-lapse of the construction of the raft and some awesome action footage that we recorded whilst using it.
This instructable and video took us hours to make but most importantly we had so much fun making it, which I think is the most important thing.
Have a good summer : )
Step 1: What You Will Need.
A long rope (which you are happy to cut)
Water bottles - 5/6 litre (we collected a total of 20 water bottles.)
Foam mat (added comfort)
Nice summary towel
Empty coke bottle
Nice summary drink!
Step 2: Gather Your Water Bottles.
We collected our bottles over 10 days.
The more bottles you get, the better, so you can make the raft wider and more stable.
Step 3: Arrange the Bottles
Make sure that it is wide enough for you to relax on with enough stability. We used a total of 20 bottles (4 bottles down the middle and 8 facing out on each side). Make sure that the surrounding bottles on the perimeter of your raft have their lids and handles facing out so the center of the raft can be as densely packed as possible.
Step 4: Duct Tape the Water Bottles Together
Starting with the underside of the raft, we strapped the outer bottles onto the middle ones using lengths of tape which ran along the width of the raft.
We then cut the tape up into smaller strips which would strap just two bottles together at a time. In hindsight, it would have been more effective if we had applied longer strips of tape down the length of the raft on each side.
If you have enough tape, a long strip running down the middle would certainly help increase rigidity. This is because water tended to seep into the smaller pieces of tape causing the strength of the raft to decrease. We found a solution by tying some of the looser bottles more tightly together.
Step 5: Apply Tape Onto the Deck of the Raft
This is very important because, if you don’t do this, the raft will act like a jellyfish and just sink in the centre.
To overcome this problem, I laid three long strips of tape down the length of the raft on both the sides and the middle - Pull these tight as you lay them down as it will help to compress the bottles together.
In order to hold the sides together. We applied tape across the width of the raft, but due to the lack of tape we had at that stage, we decided to lay them down diagonally across the width of the raft missing out every other bottle on each side. This surprisingly worked really well and held the structure of the raft together rather firmly. We actually had a small amount of tape left over which we mostly used on both the front and the back of the deck.
Step 6: Accessorise
When we looked for supplies to make the raft, we stumbled across an old broken sunbathing mat. We decided to salvage it. It made an excellent, and comfortable top surface for the raft.
Any similar rubber or foam mat would work.
We had a few foam bars left over, which we decided to make into a headrest - piling them up and taping them down into position.
Step 7: Decorate
For decoration, we decided to add a summary towel, which not only made the raft look more presentable, it was also more comfortable to lie on.
We constructed a cup holder made from the bottom of a coke bottle, which we used to hold our homemade mocktail.
As the bottom of a coke bottle isn’t flat, we inserted a piece of decorated cardboard (laminated with Sellotape to keep it splash proof!)
Step 8: Thanks for Reading.
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed this instructable.
Please check out the really awesome video we had fun making above.
Have a nice day and don’t forget to wear sunscreen!