It took about a week of pondering to design and (aside from drying
paint), only took a day or two to build. It has eight coats of marine
paint on it, so that took a while to dry. How it was made is not
readily apparent in those pictures, but it's not a complex design. My
tests indicate that it can withstand a category 1 hurricane on a river,
without turning over. It can safely carry two people to a maximum of
500 pounds and is positively impossible to capsize without extraordinary
circumstances. Since each bucket is individually sealed, it is
practically unsinkable as well. Before launching it on the river for
the first time, it was put through a series of three tests to measure
it's sturdiness. I tried everything I could think of to sink, capsize,
break and otherwise cause it to fail. It didn't even blink.

On the down side, I made it heavy. The sheet of plywood I
used for the deck is 3/4ths inch thick marine plywood. I don't have a
trailer for it, so it takes two people to get on and off of my car, and
about 15 minutes to tie or untie. You should see the reactions I get
driving with it up on top. LOL

I have since come up with a simpler design that should be able to
support 800 pounds of weight and be much faster in the water. All those
buckets make for a lot of drag, so even with the trolling motor, its top
speed is something like 1.5 to 2 knots. It can be paddled, but that's
not very easy. It's wonderful as a sunbathing platform, a fishing
platform (silent, slow) and corny as it sounds, picnics on it are lots
of fun.

It cost me about $300 to build overall, but that's because I made
several mistakes in my choice of building materials. Had I not done
that, the price would have been much more reasonable. Oh well, live and
learn. It was a wonderful learning experience. Everyone had always
told me that my dreams were silly, so it was good for self esteem -
which is half of the reason I built it.

Now I need to find some way to build my revised model and get it
legal...

Shannon Matteson

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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