I'm planning on building a floating platform to put on the back water that's out the front of my place..
I can build the timber platform OK, it will be approx. 3M. x 2M., but I need some help on the type of flotation system..
In the old days people used to strap empty 4 gallon drums underneath, but i haven't seen any of those for a long time..
They wouldn't be any good anyway as I don't need the platform to float that high..I Just need it to be above the surface of the water..
Anybody have any ideas?
This sounds like an amazing project, @Prof, and I can't wait to follow along!
Since I was young, floating islands have always fascinated me. It was started when I first saw the one Richart Sowa created from netting 150,000 plastic bottles and loading sand onto them. So, plastic bottles could be an option for you. Alternatively, I don't believe it would take many AdVenture Products 20L Blue Water Jerry Cans to create buoyancy. I've also seen some people make rafts using storage containers.
I look forward to seeing what you create.
Hi @Prof, I am interested to know what the purpose of the platform will be, given the dimensions you stated. (And I don't know what a back water is?)
Will it be for people to walk on, which the dimensions suggest, or just for laying around and playing on?
If it is for walking on, then you will have different considerations than for something to play around on.
I had fun building a raft out of plastic containers many years ago, for 2 people in a river race.... maybe I shouldn't comment much here given that it fell apart before we got too far, as did most entries. But I was surprised how much flotation they provided.
I am imagining a flat platform with deep sides added, to keep the flotation devices underneath. If you make channels underneath which are just wide enough to hold the flotation devices around the edges... I think using some plastic Jerry cans as @MitchellMc suggested would be a good way to go.
That way you can try a few at the corners and add more into the channel as required to get it right. Perhaps keep them in place with some webbing across the bottom of the channel (even cheap hammocks, perhaps), which you can tie them to, to ensure they can't ever pop out or move around if it rocks around. Else put braces across to stiffen the channel walls and tie to those. It all depends on how well it needs to be built for your purposes. Sorry the sketch is a bit rough. The dark blue bits represent the channels underneath as suggested.
(Would you believe I was once a professional graphic designer? Me neither - they have standards.)
Many factors involved here, but using a very rough calculation using a 60ltr drum which is again for rough estimates will float 60kg. So 6 x 60ltr barrels together will float a weight of 360kg. We divide that in half as I suggest installing the drum at least 30 to 40 percent in to the pontoon with only half of it exposed. With that configuration you should have the water line close if not right on the leading edge of the pontoon. Depending on the type of timber and the actual weight of the pontoon this will dictate how high or low it will float. Plus take in to account the weight of the people standing on the platform. Adding extra drums at the ends will possibly help with buoyancy just in case there are more than two people standing at the end of the platform. See how you go Prof, just remember that if you use any type of flotation device make sure to seal it early in the morning when its cooler. Temperature changes affect sealed barrels and containers. Remember that tip over will only occur if the weight at the end of the pontoon is equal or greater than capacity of the drum to float. Obviously the bigger the drum the more weight it can float.
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That's an interesting & neat solution proposal @redracer01 . Perhaps if the cut-outs for the drums width were just a bit small than the drum diameter, they would then be jammed into the pontoon and also keep it just above the water line. Perhaps that is what you had in mind anyway??
Thanks guys for your input..
I should have mentioned more about the type of floating platform and the reason for it..
It will be a timber platform with deep sides approx. 300mm. deep to form a frame with timber slats on top of the frame.. and the dimensions I stated..
It will be used as a fishing platform, floating on a back water ( Billabong) of the River Murray which is out the front of my place..
It will be anchored to the shore line and floated over the reeds to give clear access to the water..
Mitchell...I like your idea of the plastic jerry cans..They would be light and completely sealable..
TedBear...Those channels you mentioned would be perfect for slotting in the jerry cans of the type Mitchell showed and would make a very easy way have a reliable flotation system..
Redracer01..That looks like a neat idea and would provide a very stable system..I am concerned though that it might be difficult to completely seal the half drums to the platform..so there was no leaking..
Thanks all for the helpful information..I think I have enough now for my builder to proceed..
Sounds so awesome. I’m in Brisbane and was scrolling along to say the old fella @ 83 Boundary Rd Thornlands QLD still sells clean drums for $20 each. Guessing your in NSW or Vic though. Look forward to you all giving me simplistic Reno tips for beginners. Have a great day all!
Thanks for joining in the discussion @Leo74, we're really pleased to have you as a member of the Bunnings Workshop community.
We look forward to reading all about your own projects and plans. Please don't hesitate to post anytime you need a hand or have something to share with other members. As you can see, we have clever and creative members sharing helpful advice and amazing project inspiration on the site every day.
I used to live in Brisbane about 15 years ago but now I'm in Mannum South Australia on the Murray..