Introduction: The Pop Bottle Boat (Fail)

Hello world of Instructables! In my experience making I have failed many times! Some are more glorious than others, but most of the time, I learn from it. Here is the story about how I created my very own self-sinking, recycled stand up paddle board. Click next to find out more!

Step 1: The Idea

Once upon a time I tried a stand up paddle board. I needed one. Being 12 years old, there was no way I could afford even a cheap one from my local outdoors store. Being me, I set out to make my own. My inspiration came from Mythbusters. In the episode I was watching, Jamie and Adam built a sailboat by making a steel frame, and duct taping the hull. I decided that this idea was perfect and set out to make my own variation, a stand up paddle board.

Step 2: Collecting Materials

Not knowing how to weld or build boat frames, I decided on the easiest method I could think of. Over the next month I collected every 2L pop bottle that came into our house, which turned out to only be 3 of the 50 I needed. After a month of searching our house, and asking for pop, my mom suggested that I go out on garbage day and search the neighbourhood recycling bins. This turned out to be an awesome idea and I scored big on a house that had twenty 2L pop bottles! However, every victory comes with loss. I wound up getting yelled at by some grumpy old retired guy at six o’clock in the morning as he defended his precious garbage. At least he lives a good three blocks away from me!

Step 3: Building the Paddle Board

For the next week I went through 5 rolls of duct tape (found throughout our house) , at least 30 pop bottles,and an IKEA paper holder box thing (the fin) to make my stand up paddle board. I only needed 3 different things!(pop bottles, duct tape, and an Ikea paper box holder)

Step 4: Testing the Boat (my Fail)

Now comes the part you have all been waiting for… My fail!

I needed to test my boat, but I didn’t live near a lake, own a cottage, or trust it enough to take it out on the open river. The lifeguards at our local beach had already given us a hard time for bringing an inflatable raft, so we devised a plan.

The morning of the test my whole family woke up bright and early, ate breakfast, and headed off to the beach before anyone, including the lifeguards, got there. When we arrived at the beach I quickly strapped on my life jacket and took my homemade stand up paddle board out to river (there was no sea nearby). I took the slow approach. I dragged it out until the fin cleared the ground, or so I thought, and sat on it. Then I watched my fin float by me on its way to shore. All was kinda-ish ok (it was taking on a little bit of water), until I stood up. When I stood up it worked for about two and a half seconds, I felt the joy wash over me, I had created a working paddle board out of recylcables! Then I shifted my weight and the whole paddle board folded in half with me in the center, and I sank. (Luckily the part of the river where I was was only one and a half feet deep)

Step 5: The Aftermath

I came home sad, but I still began work to improve it. Unfortunately, every single iteration after that failed to, but all was not lost! Over the next year I ended up talking about it everywhere, people love failure stories! I even went so far as to talk about it on stage while I was representing students on a discussion panel about maker education at the Ottawa Mini Maker Faire 2014. Even now I still talk about it, and even though it failed, it is still the best duct tape project any of my friends could come up with!

Step 6: Conclusion

All in all I am glad I built it, even though I failed, because I have learned more, and gotten more out of it than I would've if I had succeeded. Today the paddle board is two thirds in the recycling and the rest in the landfill, and I happily use my cousin's REAL stand up paddle board at his cottage every year when I go.

That paddle board was lots of fun, and I think that everyone should build one! However, I forgot exactly how I made it, so good luck to anyone who wishes to make there own!

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