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PVC Raft/Boat Motor

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PVC Raft/Boat Motor

Unread postAuthor: NatoHub » Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:41 pm

I'm bored and have a surplus of money. I want to build a PVC (or other pipe) raft that can be used to haul things. Like my friend's jetski could tow it and we could load coolers and maybe 1-2 people on it for island parties. I was wondering if there are any useful ways to maybe make the raft self-powered. Like where to look for a motor or how to make one? I've seen lawn mower engines used on boats??

Also, I might be able to get a johnboat (obviously better than pvc), but it doesn't have a motor.

I know this is a weird question, sorry.
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Unread postAuthor: THUNDERLORD » Sat Jun 20, 2009 1:03 am

Maybe a catamaran design.
for each side use (about 3-5) 4" pieces of PVC,
*edit:fill them with Great stuff before you glue the end caps.

-Tie them together tight at 4 or 5 places with nylon rope.

-Connect 4'x8' external plywood sections across them and tie the corners to the PVC through holes cut in the plywood.

-Add a thick board at the front center and rear of plywood.

-Flip it over and attach bearing like drive shaft bearings for cars or maybe wheel burrow bearings to the thicker wood boards.

-Find an axle (metal rod size that fits the bearings).
-Order a 1000cc sport bike engine from a totalled bike off Ebay.
-Remove the transmission and mount it sideways on the plywood.
-Find a propellor and ask them what RPM range it's for.
-Find a motorcycle sprocket that will give you that range but staying below redline of motor.
-Weld /mount sprocket to the axle rod.
-Cut a hole in the plywood and run the motorcycle chain around the sprockets.
-Go around and [obtain] all the solar panels off city stuff you can get.
-Get a few 4x8' pieces of that pink styrofoam at home depot.
-Glue them together, and mount the solar panels on top. You can coat them with fiberglass shetts and bondo and sand them if you wish.
-Tie it to the back with rope and run wires to an electric boat motor.
-Get an aluminum sail mast, the mounts and sail from a salvaged boat suitable., mount it to the deck.
-Build a cannon like mobile chernobyl's 10 gallon and mount it in front.

-Be careful not to get caught while being a pirate in your PVC Gas/ wind/ solar powered boat equipped with harpoon blaster etc. :twisted: 8)

EDIT: Maybe the john boat is a much better idea(?)
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Unread postAuthor: daccel » Sat Jun 20, 2009 1:25 am

About... wow 6 years ago now I guess, a buddy and I built a pontoon raft with two 4x8 sheets of plywood for decking, 2x4 cross pieces, and cut up sheets of styrofoam into pontoon shapes, then encased the styrofoam in fiberglass. In retrospect, pvc sounds like much less work than all that fiberglassing :P.

Apparently I calculated the displacement wrong, or he lied about his weight haha, because the deck ended up level with the water. Ah well, kept our feet cool.

Propulsion was... plastic paddles. So trolling was out, but it got us and a cooler out there 8).

Maybe a trolling motor and battery because I think they just clip on, though I've never used one and don't know if it would have the power. Admittedly not as exciting as Thunder's suggestion.
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Unread postAuthor: THUNDERLORD » Sat Jun 20, 2009 1:48 am

daccel wrote:About... wow 6 years ago now I guess, a buddy and I built a pontoon raft with two 4x8 sheets of plywood for decking, 2x4 cross pieces, and cut up sheets of styrofoam into pontoon shapes, then encased the styrofoam in fiberglass. In retrospect, pvc sounds like much less work than all that fiberglassing :P.

Apparently I calculated the displacement wrong, or he lied about his weight haha, because the deck ended up level with the water. Ah well, kept our feet cool.

Propulsion was... plastic paddles. So trolling was out, but it got us and a cooler out there 8).

Maybe a trolling motor and battery because I think they just clip on, though I've never used one and don't know if it would have the power. Admittedly not as exciting as Thunder's suggestion.


I know you're probably thinking "That dude ain't right"...
But I was adding "humour" to some actual boat building techniques I've thought of.
It would be a pain where I live because there's regulations, motorsize, registration and all.

John boats are great IMO, light weight for easy launching, etc.
IIRC they can only go up to 25HP near me though.
I was daydreaming of adding a classic looking wood deck to one and a steering wheel before.
Here's a Cool homebuilt boat
Here's the plans section It looks old like maybe these were pre-jet-ski even. Still Cool though.
They have little submarine plans on there too.
I love the James Bond type stuff. 8)
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Unread postAuthor: mobile chernobyl » Sat Jun 20, 2009 7:16 am

I built a raft about a year or two ago, it was going to be 18'by 12'. I had it figured I'd need 5 empty 55 gallon drums on either side to provide the buoyancy for 4-6 people at most (about 1000 lbs at most).

4 strips of 4" PVC on either side will prolly not provide the buoyancy you want, it will merely keep you afloat... and if you build your raft on top it will become unstable and tipsy.

The best route for what you describe is building a party barge like I had, and using the 55 gallon drums for their large buoyancy factor, and their (typically) ease of obtaining.
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