Entries from Down Chicago’s Drain tagged with 'trashboat'

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...

Return of the Guerilla Flotilla

Its been several years since the last Guerrilla Flotilla, but I just heard that Carl Boyd is reviving the DIY boat party on the Chicago River! Time to make a new trashboat from recycled alley finds!...

Covered in Dust

Here's our sturdy Water Bug trash boat, covered in dust. What to do with it? For the last two years it has been resting in a storage area at JPUSA, but Mike tells me the area will soon be...

Mississippi Trashboat on Stage

Sunday night the bluegrass band Tangleweed held a CD-release show at the Hideout. One of the tracks on their new record Most Folk Heroes Started Out As Criminals is an instrumental tune inspired by our 2007 trashboat journey down...

Trashboat, the Musical

My friend Kip's band Tangleweed wrote a song called "Mississippi Trashboat" inspired by the launch of the Water Bug, which they've been playing at their concerts. I haven't had the chance to hear it myself yet, but am looking forward...

Launch Photos

A few extra photos of the boat launch, taken by Jeni and Ellen:...

Our Route

The short voyage of the Water Bug: View Larger Map...

Big River - Day 5

Another muggy night of restless sleep thinking of the dangers ahead. Another thunderstorm in the middle of the night shaking the tent wildly and then disappearing off into the night. We were up before the park opened and packed our...

Obstacles - Day 4

In the exurbs the morning rush hour begins at 4am. The booms and bangs I'd taken to be thunder in the night increased and revealed themselves to be traffic over the plates of the bridge above us. It was a...

Down in the Flood - Day 3

Finally we'd made it to the Des Plaines River. I was surprised how high the murky waters were, but there wasn't much to do about it. Now it was starting to rain, and the mosquitos had found us. Initially we'd...

The Portage - Day 3

All night long the rain fell by the cupful and bucketful, but we felt clever at finding this little hiding place under the bridge. The humidity was so high nothing really dried out, but at least it didn't get wetter....

Combined Sewer Outflow - Day 2

Sunday morning dawned with waves of drizzly clouds. From our camp we woke early and decided to go across the river to Maxwell Street Market to look for some odds & ends, like a new lighter, batteries, a 15mm socket...

Churning flatwater - Day 1

Saturday morning started off cool and clear. The weather for the last few days was such an improvement over the heat and humidity of the previous week. The boat was pretty much ready to go from our work on Friday...

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...

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....