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DIY Bamboo Boats

Bamboo is a sustainable material that is traditionally used in raft-like boats commonly found in Asia. The long, hollow bamboo poles are simply tied together with rope, and a bamboo seat is constructed in the center of the raft. With basic materials, building a DIY bamboo boat is a simple project that can be completed in just a short time.

Framing The Boat

To make the process of building bamboo boats easy, begin by choosing eight natural bamboo poles to form the sides, top and bottom of the frame. To make moving the raft easier, work near the water, or build the raft on a standard boat trailer. To make a rectangular shaped raft, begin by placing two 12-foot long poles side-by-side to form the long sides of the raft.

Ideally, the framing poles should be larger than the poles used to make the floor because the frame acts as pontoons that help the craft float. Next, place eight-foot long bamboo poles on top of either end of the longer poles to from a rectangular shape. Tie the short poles to the longer poles securely using water-resistant rope or twine.

To make the floor of the raft, place additional eight-foot poles horizontally along the rectangular frame, tying each piece of bamboo securely before moving onto the next piece. After the top of the frame is covered in bamboo, test the raft to ensure it floats.

Inflatable Bamboo Raft

To make a simple raft using tire tubes, inflate four heavy-duty tire tubes. Build a frame from four pieces of bamboo, and line the float with poles or bamboo slats. Evenly space the inflated tire tubes on the bottom of the raft, and tie the tubes into place using twine or rope.

When tying the inflated tubes into place, check the placement of the nozzle on the tube to ensure it is accessible after the raft is constructed. This allows you to easily inflate the raft as needed.

The poles or slats should also be tied securely using plenty of rope or twine. Other options, such as simple lasing eight to ten poles together, are also an option. After the raft is complete, test it in shallow water to ensure it floats. Additional tubes can be added to make a larger boat, and the tubes can be replaced as needed to use the boat year after year.

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