This Raft is meant to be sustainable, functional and cheap.
The Boxes used are not touched, drilled into or otherwise modified. Thus they can be used as they were intended to once you have lost interest in the raft as a standard storage container
easy navigation, easy transportation, less than 10 kg, can be carried by an 8 year old alone, fitting into a SEAT Alhambra (exactly by 2 mm ;) or on a pickup, can be instantly controlled by a 6 year old.
- Cheap: it will cost you less than 65€ if you shop around, 110 € if you don’t care and just pick the next DIY store.
It will take you approx. 4-5 hrs to do the trick including buying the materials from you nearest Hardware store.
Why did I choose EURO Boxes?
They are widely available, they are extremely cheap for the Quality they provide, they are big (60l) and practically indestructible & Child proof, they feel good and soft when you touch them - yet are rigid when it Comes to stability.No cutting edges, if they break (you need a sledge hammer ...) the Corners are soft like security glass.
The Raft made here will carry approx. 120 kg with the for boxes (30 kg / Box)
If you would like to carry more ==> just extend the sticks and Boxes by another 2 or four.
Note however that the raft will lose the ease of navigation a bit.
Enough said, let’s get going!
Step 1: Get Organised...
You need to buy or find :)
- 4 x 60l Standard EURO boxes See: http://goo.gl/aWCMQm - 40€
- 4x 2500mm x 450mm x 250mm Wood - I used spruce - 5 €
- 10m of 3mm thick rope - 15€
- 24 x 6mm pegs - 2€
You hopefully own:
- drill & 6mm wood drills,
- Boxcutter, marker, ruler,
- saw or better chop saw,
- Hand saw with ajustable depth or dreml device / shaper
Step 2: Lay It Out, Mark It, Chop It.
First, if you stick with the 4 box version, chop the Wood 4x140cm and 3x110cm using the chop saw.
Second lay down the Wood and test for the spacings to pass and fit:
- The Wood schould JUST pass between the two topmost edges in thickness.
- The Wood Needs to be marked for all vertical edges between the two topmost edges and a 2-3 mm wide notch wit a depth of approx. 5 mm be made by using the Hand saw
Step 3: Drill, Peg and Tie
Make a drilling template providing for 2cmx2cm Corner holes going THROUGH
all the top wood and THOUGH ONE of the bottom layers. Like this you can use 3 pegs per 4 hole drill for stability and use one hole with the rope for adjusting with the boxes.
ALWAYS check to the tight fit of the boxes and the wood within the notch between the two topmost edges BEFORE DRILLING yet another hole...
HINT: Kids make a great help and weight here :)
As you can see, I have tried multiple tying techniques - almost all where suitable, none went loose.
Step 4: Flood Test Before You Go for Pro!
In the Picture you can see a flood test. The raft will float levelled with
the waterline even when completely drowned with water.
In this case, simply inverse the raft under the water with minimum resistance. Then turn around. My 8 year old came up with this very effective technique - he can do it himself.
DO test it and prep your Kids for this it will save you stress when the raft does flood because of waves or dads clinging abroad.
Step 5: Optimize & Alterative Use
1) If you are alone, you can use the paddle in the middle (see pic)
2) And we have added 8 normal inflatable beach balls to have fixed bojant elements for safty.
3) We just found this raft - just for alternation .... it also looks cool!
4) This will be a possible extention to our raft this summer!