First it was the PVC marshmallow gun, then it was the willow tree kayak then came the PVC Kayak. I was inspired by the first two projects and they happily came together. I used {10} PVC pipes (1/2in) each 10ft long from Home depot, {28} 45 degree elbows, {2} rolls of duct tape, {1} 11' by 15' tarp, and {4} tarp clamps for a total price of $60 at Home depot.

Step 1: Outer Ribs x 3

Picture of Outer Ribs x 3
sept 2006 047.jpg
I used {2} 1/2" PVC pipes that were 10 foot long. I tried the 90 degree elbows first but the plastic was cracking, so I went to 45 degree elbows with a 5 in spacer. This worked great. I made a total of three outer ribs.
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Halphinian1 year ago

Do you use this often? It doesn't look very durable to me (I've seen everything when it comes to boating; a few examples include a brand-new canoe breaking in half when feeling the wrath of an enraged alligator and my kayak catching on fire while I was in it on the water), so I just need some reassurance

IanTrek2 years ago
When I made it, I used 12x 10ft 1/2 PVC pipes, the extra two for the ribs and spacing. I used gorilla and some kind of PVC tape, both waterproof. For the ribs I made it 30" and 6". It held pretty good too, and it was big enough to sleep in it, and since I had nothing under it, it was like a water bed. The tarp was waterproof, and only filled with water because it was splashed in, and when we tried to drain it, it scraped against the side of the pool, causing rips and leaks. Also I added a mast to it and one sail, so this caused it to have the rib I attached it to to be at an angle, causing the whole thing to bend. I recommend you use PVC cement to keep the frame together, and I think it will be best to find a way to connect the PVC pipes together besides figure eight taping it, it didn't work well for me, my second attempt will try to connect the inner/outer ribs with elbows instead of tape. This is all my opinion. Great way to spend your summer (even though it took about a day)
you can find all sorts of PVC fittings here:

Now, these are NOT your normal pipe fittings...these are some(for lack of a better description) wacky looking fittings...but the are furniture grade fitting(or so the website says).

There is also a link to different PVC plans....furniture, bicycles, sheds, greenhouses, etc.

I don't know if this will help but I hope it does...

cknaak2 years ago
Interesting. Two things: Life Jackets and PVC Glue would improve it.
Also, wet, thin cotton stretched on the frame will shrink when dry, then paint with polyurethane.

Good Idea!!
just 1 thing I do not understand....

How do you attach the cotton fabric to the frame? do you sew it on? Glue it on? what?

I know once you paint it with Polyurethane, you would have 1 heck of a cool looking boat...
SIRJAMES091 year ago
Cool Idea!! :)
gives me plenty of ideas for a boat of my own...

Granted, I'm not an educated man, but would it not have been easier to use PVC glue to hold the joints together? and better looking as well?

Like I said, I am not an educated man...

Also, you used a tarp for the skin....that's all fine & dandy, but using fibreglass for the skin would most likely made it stronger & helped to hold it together better...but that's just my uneducated opinion....
pfred18 years ago
What can't duck tape do?
You can't use it to hold mufflers on, It melts, That's why you need bailing wire.
Unfortunately most bailers now use plastic twine, so bailing wire is a lot harder to come by.
I use coat hangers. Of course metal coat hangers are going extinct also.
They really are...
That is what foil Ducting Tape is for. (specialized Duck Tape)
Is it used for sticking ducks together? Or maybe u mean 'duct' tape...
that is the same thing
Well it isn't called 'duck tape'. Or don't you know that either?
hellokeller (author)  mwwdesign6 years ago
ok so it is both Duck tape and Duct tape.
No it's not, that's incorrect also... The tape was created for use on DUCTS. Why the hell would it be called 'duck tape'? Think about it. Anyone who says 'duck tape' or even puts it on the label is seriously misguided and ignorant. Sorry, FAIL.
Calm down everyone!! It's just the brand name.
In WWII, marine macanics were given a standard issue tape almost exactly like modern duct tape. It was used to repare the floaters on those amphibious vehicles that had the balloon-like sacks to float. They were called "Ducks", thus the term "Duck tape" was coined. When the men got home, many just carried the name over. Considering that this IS a floating project, I think "duck tape" is more appropriate. Also, "Duck tape" as used in the above picture is a brand name that is oviously a play off of said widely used term. It's not ignorant, it's marketing.
Your spelling says you have no credibility here... Look it up on Wikipedia... Some people suggest such a thing as'duck tape' but 'no written evidence supporting the WWII story.[16] Some proponents of this view accept the idea that there was an earlier non-adhesive "duck tape", but claim that people have just confused the similar pronunciation of two similar but unrelated products through the process of elision, and that the rest of the "duck" etymology is folklore or fabrication.' 'Mechanic' and 'repair' are pretty simple words to spell... And for the record, I'm pretty sure I understand marketing - being a partner in an ad agency. :)
All spelling is difficult at 4am (the timestamp lies to me...) If you want to talk about discredible sources, I wouldn't be using wikipedia in an argument, as half the information on it is false or skewed. Of course there is no written evidence, it was slang and therefore it can't be expected to have evidence. Also, I know the above is correct as my great uncle was IN WWII in the navy. He told me the story himself when I asked him why he would call the stuff duck tape. Besides, I'm pretty sure that the article just restates part of what I say in my above argument. The term is just a case of mistaken identity. Nice line of work, by the way. :)
Haha, ok - let's call it Dark Tape from now on - see how many people catch on to that. I heard they use a black version in SAS night operations to stop reflections on shiny weapons. (I am making this up). It's a cool industry, but has its ups and downs - we call it 'champagne and suicide'...
I read that it was called "Duck" tape because the original tape was waterproof - like a duck.
I think the proper name for the "floating truck" is DUKW. According to the Wikipedia, this is what it says: The DUKW (popularly pronounced "duck") is a six-wheel-drive amphibious truck that was designed by General Motors Corporation during World War II for transporting goods and troops over land and water and for use approaching and crossing beaches in amphibious attacks.
actually it was orignally called duck tape and 2 peices stuck together can tow a car and later it wads changed to duct but is rated the worst thing for ducts
muffin1 pfred17 years ago
its duct tape
LiftAndLove2 years ago
Just an idea, but could you use duct tape to make the skin? would likely take a few layer, but maybe using gorilla duct tape? I think itd look better and be more reliable and water tight :)
In Britain its Known (colloquially) as "Gaffer tape".
Toga_Dan2 years ago
Back to the BOAT, the subject of this IBLE!!!!!

How well does the tarp hold water out?
hedgesci2 years ago
duck tape is actually the original name for what we call duct tape now. it was first used and made popular by the navy in the early-mid 1900's. they called it duck tape because it held against water very good. the army calls it 100 mile per hour tape.
Almost true!

The Navy used "duck tape" in the early 1900's to tape ducks together for covert operations. This was where the term, "Getting your ducks in a row" comes from. "Row" is pronounced like "Ow." Somewhere the term was misread and it just stuck (Pun unintended...)
Lifejackets, people! Please! Especially with a project that looks like this.
marxdarx4 years ago
Ah Ha! I KNEW it was done with child labour!

lol Just kidding! :P

Great 'ibble! I may try this once I move closer to a lake community.
dark0one4 years ago
wow duct tape master! i would think you could make it much more sturdier and durable with PVC joint and connecttions! was just just a fun project??
siafulinux4 years ago
I'm thinking that this could be made into a "portable" version since it's just PVC and tarp... maybe make a bunch of equal sized pieces (couple of feet ea) and use small bolts and a "coupling" to connect them together into longer pieces and then finally into the shape above.

For the tarp, I'm wondering if a strong glue like Shoo Goo would do the job of "welding" the tarp together into a predefined and cut shape so it fits neater? Then just tie it down onto the frame at the top around the edges? The PVC frame would obviously need nodes on top for "tie downs".

To package, the pieces could be wrapped into the tarp and strapped down into a bundle for the trunk?

Any suggestions?
ok maybe I am the only one... but I haven't seen any question as to why 4 way and T joins were not used with PVC glue instead of Duck/Duct/Dark tape... Dry fit everything and measure twice cut once an there is no question it would hold up better and longer. you may also consider reducing it's overall size to cure the steering issues. Lastly I have to agree that there may be better skins than the good ole' blue tarp. Great leaping off point though, a good idea only to be improved on by a community of DIYers like all of us! Happy Sailing!
Just a Hack4 years ago
Ok, I'm going to try this and send pics or make it a separate instructable. I think I might make the back more square/wide, with 90 degree angles for the ribs in the back. Kind of like a hybrid of the "PVC Johnboat" and the "PVC Kayak." Your design in the front, wider in the back. I'm sort of a "husky" lad and I may need a bit more stability in mine. Also, I'm trying to decide: Duct tape skin, tarp, or both?
McGyver24 years ago
This is just a suggestion for the skin, but couldn't you jut do a Duct Tape skin instead? I imagine it would be a bit more taught and look a little cleaner. Again, just a suggestion.
bikehack5 years ago
did you use pvc cement to attach the pipes together or just duct tape ?
i was wondering that too
pagosapig5 years ago
That's pretty awesome!
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