Entries from Down Chicago’s Drain tagged with 'boat construction'

Start Building Boats Now!

Carl Boyd has announced a tentative August 10 date for the 2013 Guerrilla Flotilla. Last year's Flotilla met on the Chicago River behind the Whole Foods near Kingsbury St. The narrow channel around Goose Island was picturesque, but access...

Messing About in Boats

Here are some photos from Saturday's Guerrilla Flotilla on the Chicago River behind Goose Island: There were seven homemade boats that made it to the river to go for a little float. Yly's trailer raft proved unstable and promptly flipped...

A New Trash Raft

Getting ready for the upcoming Guerilla Flotilla, I've been gathering materials for a new trash raft. I found some broken styrofoam squares blowing around a nearby construction site which will provide the flotation. My idea is to build a lightweight...

Plastic Across the Pacific

The Plastiki, a catamaran made from recycled plastic bottles, has finally arrived in Sydney, Australia after 130 days sailing from San Francisco. The boat will be open for tours for the next several weeks, and you can read about...

Bikes by Boat / Boats by Bike

Momentum Magazine #44 (page 48) featured a small item with a photo of Eric Parsons of Anchorage, Alaska, paddling an inflatable Pakraft loaded with a Surly Pugsley across an Alaskan fjord. On land the Pakraft can be rolled into a...

Plastiki Set to Sail

Inhabitat reports that the Plastiki is finally launched, and waiting to set sail this spring from San Francisco across the Pacific to Sydney. The catamaran is built from 12,500 recycled two-liter bottles and plastic sheets. The 7500-mile journey to...

12,000 Bottles for 11,000 Miles

Adventurer David de Rothschild is building a catamaran from plastic soda bottles to sail across the Pacific. The Plastiki is being made in San Francisco from mostly recycled materials, with over 12,000 2-liter bottles providing flotation for the craft....

Pedal vs. Paddle

While in Montana visiting relatives, I just missed witnessing a John Henry-like contest on nearby Whitefish Lake yesterday. Greg Kolodziejzyk rode his sleek bicycle-powered craft for 24 hours around a circular course to break the previous distance record set...

Books - Cork Boat

Cork Boat by John Pollack Anchor Books (2005) A funny and inspiring tale of a whimsical plan to build a boat from discarded wine corks. Since childhood, the author collected used corks for an imaginary raft. Years later he...

Homemade boats on the web

Some other boat building projects you all might be interested in: Punk Rafting on the Willamette River Rat Patrol Oz makes some astounding bike creations, including the S.S. Mitzie, a floating tall bike couch. Amazing. An elegantly simple homemade pedal...

It Floats!

Last night we tried again at a float test, hoping to slip into the park and down the bike path unnoticed. The boat is quite a lug to pull behind a bike, especially so because one trailer wheel is badly...

Gunwales

On Sunday we finished up bolting the deck to the framework and then Mike had to head off to work. So I started planning where the gunwales of the raft will go. We had some old 2x4s that a neighbor...

Adding decking

On Saturday we were ready to add decking to the boat. But first, some rearrangement of the flotation jugs. Our little excursion to the lake on Friday night showed that one of the floats was too close to the wheels,...

Busted

With the paddle wheels finally installed we wanted to take the boat down to the harbor to do a little float test. The evening seemed best to avoid getting in the way of any boaters. Working quickly, we hitched up...

Building the Frame

Some photos from last weekend's work on the frame of the boat. Mike welding supports between the parallel lengths of conduit. The conduit is very flexible and easily bent wherever we like Monday night we finished up the ends And...

Paddle Wheels

Before we can do a float test of the boat we need to finish the side paddle wheels. Once we put the axle in place on the boat it seemed that the first wheel that Mike had made would be...

Complications

On Monday it became clear that we would have to push the launch date back another week. Some of the steps to assemble the boat suddenly became more complicated than they'd first appeared. First of all, getting the pillow blocks...

Walk In The Water

After some deliberation we decided the boat should be propelled by two side paddle wheels instead of one rear wheel. This means abandoning the cool paddle wheel McD gave me, but instead we end up with a boat evocative of...

To Scally Island

Finally I towed the boat trailer over to Scally Island so Mike could help out. Here's some of the materials he'd collected already for his own boat project. Laying out the frame. Looks like we need more conduit....

The Chop House

For most of June, this was about all there was to show of the boat. Working alone at the Chop House with all the neighborhood kids dropping by to distract me, I didn't get much done....