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Archive for September, 2008

Life Raft As Leisure Craft?

Photo from a Life Raft Review

Photo from a Life Raft Review

Why isn’t this a picture from the coolest camp ever? (Instead, it’s a photo from a life raft review)  I am tempted forgo the whole sinking boat trauma and just cast off in a life raft in the first place.  Though I’ve never dealt with life rafts in real life, they seem like potentially terrific pleasure boats for lazy river floating or perhaps anchoring out for a night.  Sure, a posh eight person raft will set you back about US$9000, but imagine resting your head on this giant floating pillow in the shade of the deployable canopy.  Maybe you go for a swim and climb back in using the attached ladder.  Grab your camera and a snack from a built-in waterproof pocket.  It seems like the ultimate ultra-light (90lb. boat holds a dozen people) deployable gadgety leisure-craft.

I took at close look at one from Winslow » Continue reading “Life Raft As Leisure Craft?”

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Death by Boat: What Used to Scare America

Tremberger and Stein Life Boat Model

 This life boat model designed by George Tremberger and Michael Joseph Stein of New York City in 1879 is from the National Museum of American History’s collection of lifeboat and raft patent models, part of their America on the Move website and exhibit.  This particular boat is unique with a telescoping mast and an interior cabin that is separated from the exterior hull and connected with gearing.  With this arrangement, the crew can adjust the angle of the entire interior cabin for the comfort of the passengers.

» Continue reading “Death by Boat: What Used to Scare America”

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$100 Boat: Start Building One Today

I think I found a class of boat after my heart.  The Puddle Ducker Racer, or PDRacer, was designed by David “Shorty” Routh and members of the Lake Conroe Messabouts in Houston, Texas (circa 2003). It is an adaptation of the Bolger Brick, the Mouse, and similar box boats.  The one pictured is Hull #15 “YoHO” built by Ken Salvage.  As described in a Duck Works Magazine article, the boat was designed as a response to a $50 boat race where cheap creative boats of many materials (including a hot tub) were fun to race, but just one time.   Because you could build a boat from anything, the winning boat would remain the boat with the fastest hull.  The PDRacer takes the fun and creativity of the cheap materials try-anything racing class, and makes it fun to actually race by regulating the shape of lower 10″ of the hull.  It’s a boxy, easy to make shape that looks super fun to sail.  Check a video out after the jump…

» Continue reading “$100 Boat: Start Building One Today”

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Tubing: Quietly Revolutionized in 1950

Cropped from Boat Builders annual


Pint-Sized Sailor.  

Thanks to a letter by Mark Suszko in the latest issue [#15] of Make Magazine, I have learned about a boat design called the Corky designed by David M Swartwout published circa 1950 in Boat Builders Annual.  My lady Hannah and I used to live in Montana, and one of our favorite activities was floating rivers in a inner tube.  I always fantasized about ways to modify the truck inner tube to improve it as a tiny boat.  I was mostly thinking in the category of drink holders, but this Corky sailboat takes it to a whole new level.   » Continue reading “Tubing: Quietly Revolutionized in 1950″

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Bike-boat Monster Splash Down

This is Freeze Frame of the complete video below… » Continue reading “Bike-boat Monster Splash Down”

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Wooden Answer to Rising Water Levels

Autocanoe under way.  Id like to see a video of this, but it does float!



The Autocanoe under way.



This completely custom boat nests a recumbent bike inside a wood canoe hull.  Apparently built in Port Townsend, WA in 2002, you can purchase plans for $40 from there website where you can also see more pictures.  There is also teensy movie of the Autocanoe on the street.  There is also promise of an electric version as well.  I’m curious if that may yet be on its way…

» Continue reading “Wooden Answer to Rising Water Levels”

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Deployable Amphibious Bicycle

Those three words are alone so delicious.  Together, they are delectable. This video makes me glad I started this blog as otherwise, I may have never seen this movie.  If you find yourself bored, make sure to skip to 2 minutes in for the close-ups:

» Continue reading “Deployable Amphibious Bicycle”

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Welcome to the Floatery

Hi, welcome to the Floatery, a blog about boats and crafts.  Here, I aim to capture and highlight what I find most exciting about boats and boating, stuff like creativity, self-sufficiency, efficiency, and adventure.  In time, I expect my interests and curiosities will define this blog better than any attempts to define it in words right now.  So with that, cast off the lines!

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