Water Bottle Kayak With Outrigger




About: I'm a freshman in college studying towards Computer Information Management. I no longer really "make" things in my free time since I have no materials.

 Ok, ok, this is a first instructable that I'm going to be publishing here and I hope that it isn't my last. This is going to be something like a journal / part instructable, so please bear with me.

And now, I'm proud to present to you all.........


UPDATE January  9, 2010; Guam Time: I just found that this instructable just got FEATURED!! I'm soo happy :D

UPDATE June 26, 2010: Today, I finally received my Popular Science June issue and when I was just looking though the How 2.0 Section, guess what I found? I found my kayak!! :D I didn't even knew that it was going to be in this issue [ but I did have an idea of when it would come out ] this makes me so happy that I published this in Instructables. This update may seem a little late, but this makes me so HAPPY!!! :D

Step 1: November 9, 2009 - Monday

There I was, helping out with my old middle school's volleyball team, when, all out of a sudden, my Spanish teacher, Senor O' Connor comes out of nowhere and he spots me. "Oh, no, what did I do to make him come here?" In the past, I would ask him for anything and everything from a pen to a motherboard. Then he asked me " Hey Chris, I know that you like to make/build things. Would you like to enter the recyclable boat race? I already sent your mom all the information." After he left, my mind was running with all these ideas and I kept getting hit with the volleyballs for idling...

After I got to my mom's room (with is just about 100 ft from the gym), I asked her to check her e-mail. When we finally found Senior O' Connor's e-mail. Basically, it said that the race is on November 15, 2009 and it was going to be at the Marianas Yacht Club at 11:00 pm to 1:00 pm. It was Monday afternoon which gives me less than a week to plan and build a kayak. I was sooooo pumped from that I started to come up with ideas. I have been on Instructables for awhile now and I know of several rafts. Now was the planning stage of the legendary "HUNK O' JUNK!!!!" 

Step 2: November 10, 2009 - Tuesday

Ok, the first real day of building... or now.

I still don't have most of the materials needed right now and I'm still on the drawing phase. I was considering to build the raft, but I didn't want to go around in circles like they did and I wanted to build something that I say, "I built that uber-awesome piece of art right there!" My plan was to build a kayak shaped cage of chicken wire and I would have the water bottles to hold me above the water. I wanted to make it so that it would be light weight and that I could move though the water like a kayak or some other thing that moves though the water fast.

Step 3: November 11, 2009 - Wednesday

Today was (I�believe) the first day of real construction.

I finally found my old chicken wire that we had around from trying to build a small fence. It didn't work out as we planned, so I now have some chicken wire. Next, I have been collecting some bottles at school and my mom already had several trash bags full. My other teacher, Mr. Hollister, donated a large trash bag of bottles which I carried on the bus.  I laid out the first sheet of wire out on the floor and because it was curving up too much, I used some pots filled with water. That helped out A LOT. First, I measured out 10 feet of chicken wire, but after much time debating if that was good or not, I opted for a smaller 6 foot kayak. With the extra chicken wire that I had cut off, I used that for the front and the back for some support.�

Then, I started on the water bottles. I emptied them all out ( if they had water in them ) and then I capped them off. If they didn't have a cap, then I would set them aside for now. Next, I looked at my images that I had made and that was my reference. This was the start, and it was going somewhere.�

Step 4: November 12, 2009 - Thursday

After I got home from school, I started to work on the kayak again. I only had one layer of bottles where I was going to sit and about 3 or 4 layers of bottles at the two ends. I thought that the bottles would hold up my weight above the water (I'm 105 lbs.) so I stopped working on the bottles and I wanted something extra. So I found a trap, still in the packaging, so I was going to use the tarp for the skin. This turned into one of the biggest mistakes that I've ever did on the kayak.

After much trial and error, I got the tarp onto the kayak without moving any bottles. When I was measuring, I only measured it once and that cost me the whole tarp. After I pulled the tarp tight over the frame, I zip-tied it together, but when I did, the skin wasn't tight anymore. It continued until the very end. When I finally got to the end, I didn't have enough tarp leftover to zip-tie it together. So what did I do? I used a piece of scrap of tarp and patched up the hole.

Because I had some leftover tarp, I decided to build a sail just in case. I built it like a triangle and I used duct tape for the seams. It wasn't that pretty and it didn't really work that well. So I scrap that idea off of the game plan.

Now that I got the tarp on, I thought that it was finished and all that. I wanted to try it out tomorrow, but when my mom and I inspected the hull, we found sooo many small holes that we didn't want to try and patch up with duct tape. So that night, I removed the tarp off the chicken wire and I just thought that it would float now. Luckily, I found more chicken wire and we brought home several more bags of bottles soo I guess that I'm going to make the kayak bigger tomorrow.

Step 5: November 13, 2009 - Friday

 Today is Friday and I don't have any school today :D

I decided to stay home when my mom and sister went to go shopping. During this whole time, I forgot about my kayak in the patio and I just rested most of the time. I got up to watch some TV and to eat some food, but I didn't go outside because I said that it was just "too hot". So there I was, sitting on the couch, watching TV, then I remembered to feed the dogs and there it was, my kayak waiting for me. So after I ate my lunch, I set off to work on the kayak.

Because I didn't have the sail anymore, I needed to build a paddle. The paddle was made out of plywood we had leftover from a project and I used a dowel for the handle. I drilled holes in the sides and I used zip-ties to hold the two together.

Because we had more chicken wire, I decided to make the "hull" bigger. I measured a little over the bottom of the kayak so that the space could expand with the bottles. I started to work on that when my mother and sister came home. After we got all the items and put them into the house, I went back on working on the kayak. Finally, my mom helped me put the bottles in the kayak and my sister just watched. After we finished, I didn't think that it would hold me up anymore, soo what did we do? We added another layer of chicken wire and water bottles. In the middle of the kayak, we added some local trees (they're more like weeds than trees; they're like weed trees xD) to the bottom to make it hydrodynamic and all. Finally, we really finished our kayak but I wasn't that proud anymore. I wanted to build something on the kayak without anyone's help. As I slept, I thought of what I was going to make...

Note: My mom asked me what was the kayak called and I answered with "This wonderful piece of art would be called Hunk o' Junk."

Step 6: Paddle: Friday

 This was the first thing that I used for the pole. I used a PVC (I believe) and I capped off the ends with tape. After I put the wood on, I noticed that the paddle was too heavy for me and I didn't think that it would float much. So I scraped that plan and I used a dowel for the handle. First, I used string to bind the two together, but that wasn't a good idea so I drilled holes into the wood and I used zip-ties to hold them together. As you can see, I also drilled holes into the dowel itself so they are now together. Here is the final paddle: 

Step 7: November 14, 2009 - Saturday RACE DAY

 Yep, I know its RACE DAY, but I wanted to make something else. Something to help me with stability or I could overturn so I started to build the OUTRIGGER!

I started to cut down some more trees and I remembered that I cut down a very large one several days ago. When I got there, the wood was all hard and it would make echoing sounds, but its still usable wood. I got the wood and now I needed some buoyancy at the end so I found some empty liquid Tide containers and there was my buoyancy. I lashed them all together using some twine that we had at home and because I was in a hurry, I didn't know if it would expand wet or not. O' well.

Now, I'm officially done with the "Hunk o' Junk"

We drove down the the Marianas Yacht Club by 11 o' clock and what we saw was all REAL boats. We didn't know that there were any other rafts/kayaks entering. So we dropped the kayak off and what we saw was a wool blanket covering an object. All of a sudden a little boy comes to me and asked me,

Boy: "Is that your's"
Me: "It sure is!" 
Boy: "Well, why does it have a sail?"
(Note: remeber the sail? I brought it along just in case.)
Me: "Because I wanted to, ok?!"
Boy: Well, this is mine."

When the race finally started, it was the two boats ready at the starting line. As soon as the kayak went into the water, I really noticed that it had a lot of drag as I tried to move though the water. When we started, I went on a slow start, but the other team had two people... cheats :l

Even though that the kayak lost, I did get to get the Most Outstanding Award that day and I hope to rebuild it can compete new year :D

Step 8: Outrigger. .. I Mean Ama

  Something to help me with stability or I could overturn so I started to build any OUTRIGGER... amu :3

I started to cut down some more trees and I remembered that I cut down a very large one several days ago. When I got there, the wood was all hard and it would make echoing sounds, but its still usable wood. I got the wood and now I needed some buoyancy at the end so I found some empty liquid Tide containers and there was my buoyancy. I lashed them all together using some twine that we had at home and because I was in a hurry, I didn't know if it would expand wet or not. O' well.

Step 9: Conclusion

*This is a work in continuing progress and I hope to add more to this instructable like more pictures. I also found more bottles and I'm going to be expanding this into a twin hull so it can float even more.*

Until next time, bye bye :D 



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    55 Discussions


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Neat idea. I was thinking of doing something similar, just not an out rigger, as I am unfamiliar with that type of craft. I was thinking more of a pontoon type craft. I need a light weight craft I can get into my truck to take fishing. I can't deal with a regular boat due to a back injury.

    2 replies

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Agreed! I have carpal tunnel and it's impossible to find a lightweight, sea-worthy craft unless it's inflatable. Then you have to pump it up all the time, and worry about holes...
    Way better to have a recyclable alternative!


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

     Thanks. If you are thinking of build a water bottle pontoon, just to let you know that even though that this was only ~200 bottles (lost count), this was kinda heavy to pick up and move around. Even though that I could pick it up, it seems heavier that it looks. Well, good luck :D


    8 years ago on Step 5

    so much information of what your doing and all that


    8 years ago on Step 7

    i have like 700 pairs of those shorts, i am in the military and i am going to just have my buddys drink a bunch of water and take thier bottles.

    1 reply

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Wow, that's. . many shorts. I had several more of them, just that my dogs kinda got to them and now their no more. :3

    Right now, I'm going to be re-building my kayak so that it would be a twin-hull catamaran like vessel. And no, it wouldn't a bad idea to fish from it, I know some of my friends would like that. :D


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I like it, weird, fun,usefull and helpfull if i ever get stuck on a thai beach, good work fella!
    easy way to make a raft if you get stuck in the rain forrest,
    find a poncho or tarp, pile about 2' of sticks and leaves on it, cross brace with two long poles, pile on some more brush, another tarp on top (or fold one in half) tie it all togeather and off you float!


    i like this contraption, with vast amounts of plastics polluting the worlds oceans its make it seem all most impossible to be "stuck" on a dessert island!

    1 reply

    9 years ago on Introduction

    You might as well add a seat so your feet arnt in the water since youve got that far with it


    9 years ago on Step 8

    Lol. The "outrigger" is called an ama. an outrigger is a hawaiian canoe.

    1 reply

    9 years ago on Introduction

    Very nice. Thanks for posting!
    It makes me wish I didn't live in a desert, so I could try it out myself.