As it’s evident in the book “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”, rafts have been a popular means of travel down rivers for many years. Fishing rafts can also be used on lakes or ponds as well. Unlike pre-manufactured boats or pontoons, fishing rafts can bring you closer to nature. Their natural, rustic style and construction can make you feel like an adventurer from another time. If this sounds attractive to you, then you’ll need to learn how to build your own wood fishing raft.
Every successful project needs a plan. So, to build your own wood fishing raft, you’ll need to first plan out the size it’s going to be. A raft that measures eight feet by ten feet can haul two people, plus a few fishing supplies.
You’ll then need to gather together several straight, dry tree logs. Each tree log should measure approximately four to six inches in diameter. The trees should be stripped of all leaves and branches. They will need to measure ten feet long to build your wood raft with.If you’re not sure of the floatability of the tree logs you’ve chosen, toss them in a pond or other small body of water and test them out first. Spruce wood, for one example, floats well.
Next, you’ll need to lay the ten foot long logs out on a flat area side-by-side. You’ll need to use enough logs so the width of the wood fishing raft is eight feet. You’ll also need two more trees that measure eight feet long. These two pieces will be laid across the width of the ten foot logs. The should be positioned so they are approximately one foot away from the edge of your wood fishing raft. These eight foot pieces of wood will, when the raft is done, help hold the entire floating structure together.
Now, you’ll need to use a sharp hatchet to cut notches in the tree logs. Each notch will need to be approximately eight inches apart. Locate the notches on the underside of the two shorter tree logs. Use the hatchet to then cut notches in the logs that are the width of your wood fishing raft. You’ll need to make sure the notches of the two shorter logs line up with the notches on the longer logs when they are laid on top of each other.
Ideally, once the wood pieces of the raft are laid together, the structure should stay together when it’s placed in the water. Because, the water should cause the logs to swell up. But, even if you have your life insurance policy paid up to date, you should use long lengths of water resistant rope to tie your wood fishing raft together. You’ll need to tie the width of the raft together securely. And, you’ll also need to fasten the two shorter logs to the rest of the wood raft.
The final step to build your own wood fishing raft is to add floatation devices. Wood like spruce, is known to float well, but, why take chances? Make sure your fishing raft will stay afloat by attaching metal barrels to the underside. Fifty-five gallon drums that have their lids securely attached to them float well. Check your local yellow pages for factories in your area. Factories
often sell, or even give away, barrels after they empty out the product that came in them. You can use heavy plastic barrels, but they’re not as sturdy as the metal type. The plastic may become punctured.
Use more of the water resistant rope to hold the barrels in place underneath your wood fishing raft. You’ll also need to tie a long length of the rope onto the raft so you can tie it up when it’s in the water and you’re not using it.
Now that you have your own wood fishing raft built, all you need is a pair of oars or a paddle, and you’re ready to launch your craft out on the water.