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Old 05-29-2018, 11:36 AM   #1
LiftAndShoot
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Default Engineering Help - Raft/Barge

Howdy GS -

Been a while since I've been around the forum, but apparently life gets real busy with irish twin girls under 2. Who knew?

Anyway - a new 'opportunity' has arisen for me down at our hunting property. In the interest of not being overly verbose and telling too much of a story like I normally do; the long and short of it is that I need to build a simple floating platform to cross a canal. It's a good 60 or 70 feet (guestimate) and far too deep to wade. I'll need to float a treestand, feeder, and corn (not all at once) and myself, obviously, across in some kind of smooth/easy fashion.

Now, a kayak would do the job, as would a canoe or jon boat. But, these are things I don't want to leave at the portage site because it's semi-public. That is, folks can wander upstream and easily 'make off' with it. So, I've got a cheap idea that I'm pretty sure I ripped off from a season of Survivor. Or something.

What I want to do is use 3 or 4 plastic drums (55 gallon) and attach a simple plywood frame to them. I figure this much space and a pulley-rope to get me across will work just fine. But, I also know that 220 gallons of air is a truckload to get 'under water.' I'm thinking the way to keep this thing stable is to half-sink it, but I don't know how. Should I half-fill (or quarter fill) the drums with sand, or even water? Hopefully the visual I'm painting is making sense.

I'm thinking something like this: Floating Dock

But smaller, and I don't want it to sit so high out of the water that it's unstable. Am I worrying about nothing?

Thanks,
LaS.
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Old 05-29-2018, 11:43 AM   #2
StrayDog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiftAndShoot View Post
Howdy GS -

Been a while since I've been around the forum, but apparently life gets real busy with irish twin girls under 2. Who knew?

Anyway - a new 'opportunity' has arisen for me down at our hunting property. In the interest of not being overly verbose and telling too much of a story like I normally do; the long and short of it is that I need to build a simple floating platform to cross a canal. It's a good 60 or 70 feet (guestimate) and far too deep to wade. I'll need to float a treestand, feeder, and corn (not all at once) and myself, obviously, across in some kind of smooth/easy fashion.

Now, a kayak would do the job, as would a canoe or jon boat. But, these are things I don't want to leave at the portage site because it's semi-public. That is, folks can wander upstream and easily 'make off' with it. So, I've got a cheap idea that I'm pretty sure I ripped off from a season of Survivor. Or something.

What I want to do is use 3 or 4 plastic drums (55 gallon) and attach a simple plywood frame to them. I figure this much space and a pulley-rope to get me across will work just fine. But, I also know that 220 gallons of air is a truckload to get 'under water.' I'm thinking the way to keep this thing stable is to half-sink it, but I don't know how. Should I half-fill (or quarter fill) the drums with sand, or even water? Hopefully the visual I'm painting is making sense.

I'm thinking something like this: Floating Dock

But smaller, and I don't want it to sit so high out of the water that it's unstable. Am I worrying about nothing?

Thanks,
LaS.
I'm no raft expert but the lower the center of gravity (i.e. keep things close to the water) the better. Why not use some 12" PVC pipe instead of barrels?

However, keeping the raft "wide" and "long" relatively speaking and keeping your load low and in the center will keep it from tipping. This is basically the same as a cheater bar on a lug - the lower the load and the further from the edge the bigger the wave/gust of wind that will be required to tip your raft (make your moment arm large and it makes it harder to tip).

Personally I'd try and make my barrel's where I could fill/empty depending on the load. That way you can adjust as needed - might need to rig up a little battery pump to drain the barrels so you could get it back out of the water.

Last edited by StrayDog; 05-29-2018 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 05-29-2018, 11:53 AM   #3
Rescue1
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I was just given a floating platform from a neighbor. it's 8' x 8'. with 2x8 down the sides. there are 4 large Styrofoam blocks keeping it afloat. this thing is stable! my fat butt can stand on the very edge of one side no problem. even trying to seesaw it back and forth to try and knock someone else off isn't going to happen. it's just that stable.

down side... it's heavy!!!!! you would have to have a rope strung. we tried to paddle it around and it's a no go.
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Old 05-29-2018, 11:59 AM   #4
Rescue1
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Found some pics

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Old 05-29-2018, 12:22 PM   #5
hunt247
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just make sure to video it on it maiden voyage.
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Old 05-29-2018, 12:24 PM   #6
LiftAndShoot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rescue1 View Post
Found some pics

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Yep, this is exactly what I'm talking about. Probably less large, but this is what I need. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hunt247 View Post
just make sure to video it on it maiden voyage.
Ahaha. "And this is when it all went wrong..."
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Old 05-30-2018, 06:28 AM   #7
cvanbrunt
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If you figure it out I can get you all the empty 55 gallon drums you need. Just shoot me a message.


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Old 05-30-2018, 08:41 AM   #8
dmk
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Here's one made from a ladder rack. Not sure if it will open, but if not got to farmshow.com and search for ladder rack.

https://www.farmshow.com/a_article.p...us=&nav_next=1
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Old 05-30-2018, 09:55 AM   #9
batmaninja
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The only think I can add is timber mats. They use they to get heavy equipment though boggy/swampy areas. And are made to be placed end to end. May be easier to pick one of them up, versus trying to build something.
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Old 05-30-2018, 10:36 AM   #10
BrianL
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https://dallas.craigslist.org/ftw/bp...586811086.html
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Old 05-30-2018, 10:58 AM   #11
stickbowcoop
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I am no help but I was bored so I google'd diy small raft lol.



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Old 05-30-2018, 05:14 PM   #12
hebegb
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Default Here's another way to go

https://youtu.be/KJQZ6i8Q7jo

Instructions for build is on his website: CatsandCarp.com
titled: How to Build the Ultimate Fishing Raft
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Old 05-31-2018, 10:09 AM   #13
Quackerbox
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Thinking out loud here....but, if the place is 'semi public' and say someone is cruising up the canal and runs into the pulley line across the water?
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Old 05-31-2018, 10:14 AM   #14
Matt_C
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rescue1 View Post
I was just given a floating platform from a neighbor. it's 8' x 8'. with 2x8 down the sides. there are 4 large Styrofoam blocks keeping it afloat. this thing is stable! my fat butt can stand on the very edge of one side no problem. even trying to seesaw it back and forth to try and knock someone else off isn't going to happen. it's just that stable.

down side... it's heavy!!!!! you would have to have a rope strung. we tried to paddle it around and it's a no go.
You could get the styrofoam blocks at Tractor Supply or Northern Tool. They have them when they receive a truckload of trailers.
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Old 05-31-2018, 10:39 AM   #15
Devin
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My engineering advise: catapult..... one each side of the canal.
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Old 05-31-2018, 12:28 PM   #16
ChickenWilly
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devin View Post
My engineering advise: catapult..... one each side of the canal.
Definitely video the maiden voyage if you go this route!

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Old 05-31-2018, 01:15 PM   #17
knighttime
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stickbowcoop View Post
I am no help but I was bored so I google'd diy small raft lol.


My grandfather was an engineer for Exxon and actually built something similar to this when we were kids for us to play on. Instead he used three 4" PVC pipes stacked in a triangle and then fitted a "raft platform" on top of it...it was stable as kids however I got on it not to long ago as a much heavier man and no wood platform anymore and it was a bit tricky, but I didn't fall into the water!!!

He went on to building floating piers.
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Old 06-02-2018, 07:35 PM   #18
GrapeApe
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I dont think a catapult would work, you should tunnel under.
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Old 06-03-2018, 03:17 PM   #19
Hammerdown
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I just built this 10x8 platform for my duck house.


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Old 06-04-2018, 11:25 PM   #20
Dale Moser
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Quote:
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I just built this 10x8 platform for my duck house.


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Please start another thread and post many pics with ducks!

That looks fun.
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Old 06-05-2018, 05:11 AM   #21
catslayer
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pretty sure I saw a jon boat poasted for sale on here for like $50
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