Raft Construction


  In a long term survival in is almost certain at some point you will need or at least will be able to use a boat. This raft is the most practical I have ever come across. You can construct it out of most any well dried log. I would suggest using a softwood for the floats, this will float higher and will be lighter. The spring poles would be better made of a fresh cut hard wood. If you did not want to make the seat on the spring poles then you can simply deck the entire raft. This would be better with a larger model. The smaller model will be much easier to paddle or pole. The instruction call for using pegs to fasten the struts. Nails will work, but will eventually work lose and have to be replaced, where as if the pegs are installed properly they will just get tighter as they get wet and swell.

 • Select two well dried logs of the size you wish. I would use floats logs of at least 10 inches in diameter. Two logs are used for a raft about 4 feet wide. If you are constructing a wider raft add another log for each additional 4 feet. Length can be whatever you want, make no difference.

 • Taper the front of the logs to a 45 degree angle. Back of the logs are squared.

 • Cut three cross pieces or struts the width of the raft. These should be between 4 to 6 inches in diameter, then split in half.

 • The struts should be about 2 feet from the front and 2 feet from the back, with one in the middle.

 • Place the struts and mark the float logs. Then hew the area of the float logs to accept the struts. This should give about a 4 inch mating surface.

 • Now you will need to cut 12 pegs about 1 inch by 6 inches, depending on the diameter of the struts used. You want the pegs to go into the float logs at least four inches. Each peg should have a 1/8 inch grove running the entire length of the peg. Pegs will need to fit as tight as possible in the holes.

 • Place the struts in place and drill two 1 inches holes at each fitting. These should be drilled at least 4 inches into the float longs.

 • Now fill the holes with water, let the water remain in the holes for 15 minutes.

 • Drive the pegs into the hole, making sure they bottom out. The water will be forced out the grooves in the pegs. The water will cause the pegs to swell and get tighter.

 • Cut two green sapling about 4 feet shorter than the raft. These should be about 1 ½ to 2 inches in diameter.

 • Depending on the size platform you want cut enough pieces to deck the spring seat. These should be about 1 ½ inches in diameter and as wide as your raft.

 • Deck the spring platform as in figure 3. The springs poles should be set to fit inside of the float logs pictured.


Figure 2


Figure 3

Spring Platform

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