My dad joined us for the christening of the Gute Fahrt and took some awesome photos too. Here they are!
After taking the Gute Fahrt out for it's maiden voyage, the kiddo & I spent the night hanging out at the campground. For him, it was his first time sleeping in a hammock. At 6:30 the next morning, the sun shone through the trees directly on his face.
I took the raft, which I've decided to call the Gute Fahrt, out on Battle Ground Lake just north of Vancouver for it's maiden voyage yesterday!
All told, I count it as a success since the Gute Fahrt floated and the hammock worked like a champ. The next time out, I anticipate that we'll be better prepared and will have an even better time!
The question arose as to whether I would need to get the raft registered as a vessel with the Washington State Parks association so I contacted them to find out if that was necessary and how the raft technically qualified. It turns out that I don't have to register the raft as long as it's human-powered, but once I use mechanical propulsion, I have to get a registration and boater safety classes, and all that hoopla.
The raft does, however, qualify as a vessel which means that I am required to have Coast Guard approved life jackets for everyone on the raft as well as a signaling device (a whistle) and a light should I spend the night on the water so that other boats can see me. One quick trip to a box store and all three criteria were met.
In finding out the legal requirements for the raft, I also found out that there may be restrictions on using barrels that once contained DMSO. I've also sent an email to the Washington State Ecology Department to see if they can help figure that out.
We also went to a nearby cedar factory outlet and loaded up on 6' planks that worked nicely as deck boards for the raft. On a side note, the outlet closes at 1pm on Saturday, and we arrived at 1:30pm not knowing that they had already shut down, but the guys were awesome about it and they let us load up anyway. A special thanks to Cedar Factory Outlet in Battle Ground, WA!
"Yargh!" says my pirate crew.
By way of construction, all I have left to do is to add in the other two 6' lengths of PVC so that I can lift both sides of the tarp, attach the fish net to the underside for carrying the cargo, and slap together the mini-hammocks that will fill in the open middle sections so that lads can hang out while floating on the water.
I made a post on the Hammock Forums outlining this project asking for input from folks with more wood-working, boating, and hammocking experience and got a lot of great feedback.
A lot of the input questioned the stability of the raft and whether it would actually fit on the roof of the Jetta. I had only briefly considered these two components, though fitting on the roof was a critical design factor, I hadn't actually gone through with testing it.
So today I did. I tested the stability of the raft by trying to tip it over while it was on the lawn and I lifted the frame up on to the roof of the Jetta. Both tests were successful!
In this photo, I'm holding the frame at an angle while it rests on the roof rack rails.
Mounted and strapped in. Come game time, I'll flip it so that the deck side is down and the barrels can be lashed in and carried on top. Additional cargo will go in the back of the car or lashed to the up-turned frame as necessary.
Perched on the edge of the raft, I felt absolutely no tilt or wobble. I know that it will behave differently in water, but I don't have access to water just yet to test that fully, so this is the best I can do with what I've got.
Even leaning to the side, I wasn't able to get the frame to lift up and I'm 245lbs.
Next, the deck!
Here is the song that I heard on the radio that inspired me to build the raft.
The vertical hammock posts are built! They slide in to the slots at either end of the frame
I still need 2 more 6ft lengths of PVC so that both sides of the tarp can be up at the same time.
It was Little League Day at Safeco & Mark got to parade around the perimeter of the field. Along the way, we saw Brandon Maurer in the dugout, but Mark didn't want to get his photo taken as he was feeling a bit shy. Once we made it back around to the stands, he changed his mind and did want to get an autograph so we headed back down to the dugouts from the stadium side and Maurer was still signing autographs & taking pictures with the kids on the field. Mark and I waited for another 10 minutes & Maurer turned around and started signing autographs for the kids on the back side of the dugout too so Mark got his glove signed.
What a class act Brandon Maurer is!
This is the frame for my hammock-raft that was inspired by Little Big Town's song 'Pontoon'
It uses four 55 gallon drums for flotation which should provide about 400 lbs of flotation each.
The frame is 6' x 10', the gap that braces the barrels has an inner width of 16" and the two inner 10' boards have an inner width of 3.5" to facilitate a 4x4 post that will provide the hammock stand.