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!
 


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