Construction of the Sailing Raft Son of Town Hall
see also Plans of the Son of Town Hall
The frames were built out of 2x6" lumber, held together at the joints by plywood gussets spanning the joint on both sides of the frames (front and back). This plywood gusset construction is so strong that you have to literally rip the plywood to shreds to take it apart. The 2x6 itself will break before the gusseted joint will.
We used all kinds of lumber, anything we could salvage. Because the hull is not watertight, it is not necessary to have any particular type of wood or to match woods. The frames were placed 2' apart, and were skinned over with plywood, which adds a lot to the strength; (for an inland or coastal raft, it would also be fine to use planking).
The logs were framed into the bottom of the hull, adding weight for stability, and foam was stuffed all around them in between the frames; then additional foam was poured to create a solid, flotation-filled hull.
For strength under the stresses of being at sea, we made an additional step of sewing all the plywood into the frames with 1/2" polypropylene line. (This extra step would not be necessary for a raft that was not going to sea.)
For more information about the building of Son of Town Hall, including how it was made safe for an ocean crossing, please see the FAQ page
If you are looking for information about building a raft for a race, click here.
If you are working on or contemplating building a raft for living or travelling, please also check the following pages: How to Build a Raft; Plans of the Son of Town Hall sailing raft; Construction of the Vilma B for the Mississippi River trip; Reconstruction of the Vilma B for coastal travel We are always interested in corresponding with people who are working toward living or traveling on rafts; if you have additional questions, please write to [email protected]
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Special Thanks to Wiel