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Thread: Barrel Boat

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Gilmer,TX USA
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    Big Grin Barrel Boat

    I have asked about other DIY projects here before. Has anyone here seen or have a boat made of plastic barrels? I am thinking something along the lines of 3-4 barrels, screwed together some how, with foam shot into them. Any ideas?
    MIke

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Louisville Kentucky USA
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    458

    Default Re: Barrel Boat

    I made a raft out of plastic 55 gallon drums one time.The main problem was that they were so bouyant that the raft rode kind of high in the water causing it to have a high center of gravity which made it a little tipsy.Not good for a bunch of drunk people.We had to portage our raft which kept the overall dimensions on the small side but I would imagine if you spread the barrels out more and built a pontoon style configuration they would probably work pretty well.You probably wouldnt have to foam them because it would only add weight and you dont need extra bouancy not to mention that expanding foam can be real expensive.Be sure to know the origin of your barrels because you will be surprised how fast the EPA will show up and make sure that they never contained anything toxic.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Barrel Boat

    The epa in east texas? Ya right. The guy that i purchase my barrels from sells them on one of the main highways next to a football stadium. Suprised the grass is not dead in the end zone next to his house. His yard should be considered a nuclear waste site. He dumps the left over stuff from the barrels on the ground.

  4. #4
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    Oct 2009
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    Louisville Kentucky USA
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    Default Re: Barrel Boat

    Theres a factory right down the street from my business that creates food flavorings and they have a constant pile of food grade buckets and barrels out in back of their building that they toss in a crusher to go to the local landfill.I am going to try to get a contact there so I can start picking some of them up.Those buckets are real popular with the local beekeepers.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Barrel Boat

    You will definitely want to foam your barrels. The likelihood of your watertight seals (bungs and bolt-holes) staying watertight, over time, is small. Foam will not only increase the buoyancy, but will also prolong the useful life of your barrel. Use marine buoyancy foam since it is designed to resist the ravages of water better than, for example, expanding insulation foam. It comes in large bottles and you can just pour it right into your barrels.

    Pontoon boats of this general type are usually considered to have a weight-bearing capacity of about 500# per barrel, so plan appropriately. If you expect it to stay loaded (weight), you can get by with simply strapping your barrels to the decking. Nylon ratchet straps work well for this if the buckles are not steel (iron is better than steel in resistance to, specifically, briny waters; stainless is the worst BECAUSE of the nickel content) and do not contain dissimilar metals.

    Alternatively, you can buy large blocks of buoyancy foam and use them directly, without barrels, for the same effect. The barrels provide wear protection for the foam, however, so you will get reduced life by taking this option.
    The World Beehive Project - I build one of every popular beehive in the world!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Barrel Boat

    The reason I am using barrels over going and buying a cheap used jon boat is cost. I am going to somehow connect the barrels with 2x4s. I am looking at about 30.00 for the barrels and a few (one per barrel and 4 barrels so four cans) of spray foam. Plus it would satisfy my inner bubba.

    Oh, sorry to hear about your racehorse.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    BAINBRIDGE,GEORGIA,USA
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    11

    Default Re: Barrel Boat

    Back in the day we had Raft Races on the River with 55gal drum rafts having their on
    class. It was a lot of fun. Our object was never to win as the drum rafts were slow and hard paddling.
    Losing was mitigated by plenty of room for a big ice chest.
    Back to the question at hand. If you can get 35 gal food grade barrels all the better. Silicon the two plugs at the top and screw them in.
    Then we built a kind of yoke out of ply wood and strapped the barrels to it. Those would be connected to some 2x4s.
    Throw some plywood on for a deck, a couple of lounge chairs and an ice chest. Critical point here. Don’t forget an ice chest with your favorite Beverages!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Barrel Boat

    I am thinking about something different than what I said before. I was kinda thinking something like this-

    0 0 0
    0 0
    Foot 00 B1 0 and then mirrored of that on this side.
    0 Well 0 0 0
    0 0 0 0 0 0
    Screw them together with treated 2x4s on the top and bottom of the middle barrels, and screw on the foot wells (halves of barrels).

    What could I do for paddles? I am leaning towards raft poles instead of paddles. What do y'all think? Also, thinking of hooking it up to a 100' rope tied to a tree or something on the shore, so if we drift the neighbor or the VFD doesn't have to come after us.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Barrel Boat

    Well my "drawing" didnt work. What that was suppose to look like was a barrel half, 2 whole barrels, and them the other barrel have (split long ways). That would give you somewhere to put tackle boxes ex. You would sit on the uncut barrels, and set you feet in the halves.

  10. #10
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    Re: Barrel Boat

    Little brother AKA Bubba made a boat today out of 3 barrels, a pallet, and rope while I was working bees. Will post a pic tomorrow.
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Shoshone County, Idaho
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    Default Re: Barrel Boat

    I may have a 16' jon boat/trailer for sale in the near future?
    We could even work out a trade for some bees for the boat?
    Let me know if you are interested?

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Barrel Boat

    To far for me to drive. Thanks anyway.

    mike
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  13. #13
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    Jan 2011
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    Solano & San Bernardino Co., California
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    Default Re: Barrel Boat

    I saw an episode of junkyard wars, where they built a barrel boat in the Hawaiian style with an outrigger. I recommend using 2 outriggers as theirs capsized.

    Dave

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Limestone Co, Alabama
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    Default Re: Barrel Boat

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingfisher Apiaries View Post
    Has anyone here seen or have a boat made of plastic barrels? ...
    Why not go retro, get yourself two 1946 Chevrolet hoods and weld them togather, end to end. Makes a nifty boat. Use one hood and a 1x12 if you only want a farm pond... oops... seeing you are in Texas... a stock tank boat.
    Scrapfe---Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.--Otto von Bismarck.

  15. #15
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    Jan 2011
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    Athens, OH
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    Default Re: Barrel Boat

    I've made a boat/raft from PVC plumbing pipe. 4" pipe with caps on the ends and 4x2 tees in the middle to connect the 2 outriggers, platform lashed to the 2" pipe. Actually with all the available fittings, layout is very flexible.

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