How to Make Homemade Rafts

How to Make Homemade Rafts
Part of the fun of making a raft is using the materials you have at hand in a creative way. A raft can be made of anything that is strong enough to hold it together and light enough to float. If you have a platform and a few buoyant floats, you have all you need to enjoy a lazy afternoon of floating around.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Plywood Logs Boards Rope Nails Hammer Saw Assorted tools Bolts 55 gallon drums Marine foam Tire inner tubes metal cable Marine webbing Wooden crates Patio chairs Couch
  • Plywood
  • Logs
  • Boards
  • Rope
  • Nails
  • Hammer
  • Saw
  • Assorted tools
  • Bolts
  • 55 gallon drums
  • Marine foam
  • Tire inner tubes
  • metal cable
  • Marine webbing
  • Wooden crates
  • Patio chairs
  • Couch
Step 1
Find or assemble a platform. One of the simplest raft platforms is a sheet of 3/4 inch plywood, about 4x8 feet in size. For a more primitive approach, lay a bunch of logs side by side and cut them to the same length.
Step 2
Reinforce your platform. Attach horizontal boards or logs underneath the platform at the top, middle and bottom as cross supports. You can attach them with bolts, rope, metal cable or a combination for a more secure connection. If you are making a log raft, make sure your supports are attached to each individual log. Use supports long enough to extend 2 feet to either side of the raft.
Step 3
Attach floats to the raft by attaching them to the underside of the cross supports near the outside edge. If you are using big logs as floats, attach one to each side of the raft. You can also use 55 gallon drums, marine foam, tire inner tubes and anything else that is buoyant. If you are using logs, you can nail them on to the cross support. If you are using hollow floats, however, you will need to attach them with rope, marine webbing or steel cable.
Step 4
Add additional floats beneath the raft. Your raft should have more floats than it needs. That way, if one or two somehow fail or become detached, the raft will still float.
Step 5
Add furniture. Nail a wooden crate open-side up to the top of the raft for storage. Add other movable wooden crates as chairs. Alternately, you can put patio chairs, old couches or any other furniture you don't mind getting wet on your raft.

Tips & Warnings

 
Don't take your raft further from shore than you can swim. Make sure that there is one life jacket for each person.
 
Don't take your raft further from shore than you can swim.
 
Make sure that there is one life jacket for each person.

Article Written By Isaiah David

Isaiah David is a freelance writer and musician living in Portland, Ore. He has over five years experience as a professional writer and has been published on various online outlets. He holds a degree in creative writing from the University of Michigan.

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