7 Weirdest Ways to Build a Boat

Posted May 1st, 2012 on http://www.boatinsurance.org
by Amanda Rodriguez

The saying “Whatever floats your boat” takes on new meaning when it comes to innovative and unconventional boat-building materials. Whether it is to promote sustainability or introduce a new building technique, these boats sure push the boundaries of boat construction and design. Here are some surprising and weird ways to build a boat.

1. Converted Truck Boat
Cleverly crafted from a converted 1951 Chevy pickup truck, this vessel was made by a dozen Cuban refugees who managed to reach Key West in it, only to be caught by U.S. customs. The floating truck boat was composed of 55-gallon oil drums attached to the bottom as pontoons, and the truck’s driving shaft was attached to a propeller. It was reported that the craft could reach seven knots (eight mph), which was enough power for the entire truck-raft holding a dozen Cubans to make it across treacherous seas to the United States. The boat was later sunken to the bottom of the ocean by The Coast Guard to prevent copycats. Nevertheless, the converted truck-raft idea was a success.

2. Polli-Boat
With hundreds of recycled plastic bottles keeping this trimaran afloat, the main sustainability composition of the boat lies in its use of Polli-bricks, plastic bottles with strengthened polyethylene terephthalate (PET). The boat is also designed in a unique hexagonal shape, which allows the bricks to interlock together and withstand the rough pressures of sailing. Using 100% recycled trash and 804 Polli-bricks, the Polli-Boat also harnesses wind and solar power to respond to different weather conditions, which makes it especially innovative and versatile.

3. The Rubber Duck
Artist Florentijn Hofman’s giant yellow duckie creation was meant to bring people together through the appreciation of art and design. The duck itself is made from an inflatable plastic shell atop a pontoon boat, and propelled by a generator. At 82 feet by 82 feet, this oversized vessel has traveled 40 miles from Saint-Nazaire, France to Nantes, France. It continues to journey to other prominent waterways around the world, delighting people of all ages and backgrounds.

4. Cosmic Muffin
Transformed from a historic and famous Boeing 307 built before World War II and owned by legend, Howard Hughes, the Cosmic Muffin was turned into a private yacht, and later into an exotic houseboat. A truly iconic example of a recycled aircraft, the Cosmic Muffin continues to pridefully sail the seas after being restored by its current owners, Dave Drimmer and Jeff Gibbs. No other watercraft has ever been constructed from a land-based airplane, so this one is extraordinarily unique and historic.

5. Wooden Widget’s The Origami
Foldable and stackable, Robin Benjamin’s easy to build and minimalistic boat designs are lightweight and durable. The Origami design, especially, is robust and has stood the test of time. You can store and transport these boxy boats without all the extra space needed for a boat, as the Origami actually folds down to the size of a suitcase. With a central keel and two drop-down floors reinforced by a PVC skin, the Origami has plywood size panels that are able to fold flat within seconds. Available in six- and eight-foot versions, and able to sail or be powered by an engine, the design is extremely versatile and cost efficient.

6. Oil Tank House Boat
Built by Rene Tatro, this bizarre four-ton houseboat is made from 20,000-gallon oil tanks and powered by an old automobile engine using twin propellers. It’s a crazy notion that this heavy old tank house boat can float along the water at nearly 10 mph.

7. Dobbertin Surface Orbiter
Converted from a stainless steel milk tank, this 16,000-pound amphibious vehicle has all the features of a true Hollywood transformer vehicle and boat. It was designed by Rick Dobbertin to globe trot around the world, whether it is on land or by sea. With unique features including a 20-inch bronze propeller, life raft, an engine air-intake snorkel, retractable radar mast, sleeping compartment, toilet, and an on board welding system, you’ll be able to do just about anything on board this amphibious vehicle, which tops 65 mph on land and eight mph in water.

Posted May 1st, 2012 on http://www.boatinsurance.org
by Amanda Rodriguez