Here is the link to my book:
“Unsinkalbe: How To Build Plywood Pontoons &
Longtail Boat Motors Out Of Scrap“
Building my longtail boat motor at Gertie's shop. I got the 3.5hp engine from a guy on Craigslist, fifty bucks, brand new engine. The prop was $20, the u-joint $8 at Ambles, the axle $10 at a hardware store, all the rest was scrap metal: bedframes found in alleys, pipes in abandoned buildings. Total cost, adding welding supplies & hardware, would be about a hundred bucks.
Ready for the water.
The longtail, finished and painted, a close up of the u-joint connecting the horizontal shaft of the 3.5 hp Briggs & Stratton motor to the shaft. A black iron pipe for the axle, an outer shaft for it to spin inside of, and a T-15 diecast aluminum trolling motor propeller from Young Props (find them online).
Starting to look like a boat. 5 gallon plastic buckets with the lids hammered down, square plastic 5 gallon grease jugs from fast food joints, and all colors of foam jammed in every crack.
5 gallon buckets and green foam for floatation.
Pink foam for floatation.
Bella and Fern working on the 4' extensions to be bolted on the ends of the two 8' sections already bolted together. 20' long total, 8 feet wide. A rather minimal space for 4 people to attempt an extended voyage.
The front of the pontoon has a good hydro-dynamic angle to it. With five of us on board, we ride somewhere around halfway up the side. Pontoons are two feet wide, foot and a half deep.
Grease jugs and buckets. When all the empty spaces are filled with foam, a plywood cap is put on top to keep everything from floating out, because the wood pontoons are not watertight. We did have some glue and we glued the plywood to the 2X4s. The deck frame here is not yet connected, Peat is drilling holes for the lage bolts that will attach it to the pontoons.
Alright, that's good. Let's get the hell outta town. Four benches are strapped to the top of the as yet unassembled boat.
The Snowball on it's birthday. A work in progress.
The first storm.
You can tell which way the wind was blowing by the shape of the roof in this photo. The storm front snapped a couple branches that had been supporting our roof. All six of us huddled inside while it rained, drinking wine, smoking the very last of our cigarettes. The wind howled and the opposite shoreline disappeared in the cloud, windblown waves battered the boat. Epic. At this time our fragility was made known, when the storm front hit it came from a dead calm and roared towards us thru the trees on shore, and the mirror-like water rose instantly to become endless lines of two foot waves rolling straight into our side, we held on to the breaking roof to keep it from flying away.
The new Snowball, picking up stuff while rolling downhill.