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One man boat update

Posted by Sandy 
One man boat update
January 25, 2012 10:04PM
After six months of doing nothing I got back in the boat building groove a bit.
This little one man boat will be ready to row this season.

The greenhouse photo at the bottom here is my main excuse. I built this thing by myself, which was challenging at times.
Still isn't finished. But I've got enough of it done I can start boat building again (we'll grow medical tomatoes in there).

Back to the boat:
I toyed with the idea of making a removable deck for this one man boat. I still think that's a good idea for a 17' white water boat. With a removable deck you could go fishing one day and then do Desolation Canyon the next.

But for this boat there is never a time when I won't want the deck (it is only about a foot thick) and this is only a prototype. I need to wrap it up and see how it rows. I did put the rower's sitting place recessed down. Now I'm not even sure that was a good idea. But I'm stuck with it now. I will have to build the oarlock pins up a bit, so I don't bump my knees as I row. This thing is bigger than it needs to be. 54" wide on the bottom and about 9' long. It may have more rocker than it needs too. The only way to find out is to build one. And then redesign and then make another. I want this to be good in white water as well as good for fishing.

And I still haven't figured out the anchoring system. Or exactly how to do flip lid compartments. But it'll happen eventually.

This thing is still amazingly light. It's big enough to be a bit unwieldy. But it's plenty light enough to lift up. I think I'll take the box off my pickup truck and build a flat bed, so I can haul it around without a trailer. I want to be able to put a small 50-90cc dirt bike behind the rower too.

The bottom of the sitting well will be a good 4" above the water line. So I think I'll make a 2" hole in the bottom of the sitting well that goes straight down, through the bottom of the boat. That way it will automatically drain...I hope.
At only a foot or so high I will be taking waves over the top. The more the merrier.

Re: One man boat update
January 26, 2012 01:45AM
Will any medical tomatoes be available this summer? Some nice heirloom ones from the sixties would be nice!

Rick Newman
Re: One man boat update
January 26, 2012 02:44PM
I may have to build this boat 2 or 3 more times to get it right. But I do think the one-man-rowing-boogie-board concept is hot.

I've rowed pontoon boats. They're popular because everybody likes the idea of a small lightweight oneman boat. But pontoon boats don't row well (that's an understatement) and they scrape bottom in surprisingly shallow water. Pontoon boats could be improved. Oarlock pin outriggers (so you could use longer oars) would make them less scary in heavy water.

But the surf-board on steroids boat is the boat I'd rather row. I made this one a little on the big side. It will be interesting to see how small you could make one of these and still have it work. There are a few details to work out yet.
Re: One man boat update
January 26, 2012 08:12PM
What kind of dirtbikes are you looking at and how heavy? I presume to use for personal shuttle service? That is an interesting idea for areas where the shuttles are getting outrageous.
Re: One man boat update
January 26, 2012 08:27PM
I don't have a bike yet.
I've been following links to 50cc bikes, assuming they would be the smallest and lightest.
But all the 50cc links I've seen are tiny kids bikes that would be too small for me.

I assume I could lift a 90cc bike onto the boat.
There is a place in New Zealand that says they make the lightest dirt bikes in the world.
But they cost $5000 and they go fast. All I want is to get back up to my trailer, and not to have to decide in advance where to take out.

The other option is a motorized bicycle. They have "heavy duty" folding bicycles that can be fitted with a one cylinder motor, that can be levered down onto the rear wheel. They have a top speed of approx 20mph. That would work.

Ain't cheep. The foldup bicycle is $400 and motor is $600. Approximately anyway. I've seen (and known) guys who throw a ten speed or a mountain bike into their driftboat. I like to ride. But ten miles back up the highway at the end of the day, when you are already dog tired, is not my idea of fun. I want motorized something.
But it would work.
Re: One man boat update
January 26, 2012 10:25PM
Sandy, are you hoping to carry the motorcycle on the boat and then leaving the boat and returning to your put in or locking up a motorcycle at the end point then locking up the boat until you return with your truck? How about a Honda Trail 90? I have seen them in Spokane for $300 to $1200. I actually got one for free, I haven't messed with it yet but I know it can run again. At least with one of those you can travel at a reasonable speed, resell it later for as much if not more than the original price and they are street legal. I don't know if that matters in Montana, I have seen a variety of ATV's and such all over the roads there.

My eventual plan is to get it running, titled and licensed. I hope to chain it up at the take out, float to it, run it back to the truck, load it on a carrier and then drive the truck, trailer and Trail 90 to the boat.

Hope you find something that will work.

Rick Newman
Re: One man boat update
January 26, 2012 11:03PM
I want it on the boat, so I don't have to decide in advance where I want to take out.
Buying a used trail bike might be the way to go.
Re: One man boat update
January 27, 2012 01:12AM
At the end of last summer I sold the Harley (750 pounds) and I got a 25 year old Honda 250 enduro 4 stroke bike. I got it for shuttles. It weighs at least 250 pounds. The next step is to get a trailer bracket made. If a 250 CC bike is around a 250 pounds a 90CC would still be at least 175.

Might be a bit much for on the boat.
Re: One man boat update
January 27, 2012 01:37AM
Yeah and 175 is too much.
I think I'll go the "heavy duty" fold up bicycle route, with one-cylinder lever-down motor. 20mph.
Shuttle back ten miles in a half an hour.

These eeeeeeeexulnt FX bikes from New Zealand are only 125lbs, but pricey.
Re: One man boat update
January 27, 2012 05:35AM
This is the kind of rack you should look at. Solid, extremely well made, doesn't wobble on your trailer hitch thanks to the simple bracket they made for it. I carry my Yamaha WR250R on it with the trailer behind it. That size bike makes it easy to go up a highway legally and at highway speeds such as I-5 in CA. But it is still light enough to handle easily. Look for them on Craigslist. I've bought 2 unused ones for a very deep discount.

Re: One man boat update
January 27, 2012 05:59PM
Thanks for that link Mark. That's the kind of thing I am looking for.

I know this is not a bike forum but when shuttles are involved it might be called relevant. Shuttles on the Green these days are 100 bucks. A Deso shuttle is 200.

Here is a link to a trail bike called a Rokon.


It even has drive to the front wheel using a shaft and chain setup. The hubs hold spare gas giving it more back country range. When the hubs are empty the bike will even float so a person can float it across a stream if needed. They are not light or fast but for some applications it's an interesting bike.

Re: One man boat update
January 27, 2012 06:41PM
208lbs will work on a trailer mount. Lift one end up, then the other.
But I think it will be bit much for plonking down onto the deck of a one man boat.

I have a hunch I'll buy a motorized fold up bicycle. The one bad thing about owning a drift boat is being a free fishing guide, because none or your buddies can row worth a s^%t.

The one man self-shuttling boat solves that problem.
Re: One man boat update
January 28, 2012 08:47AM
I think a good cheap 90cc chained to a tree where you think you might want to take the boat out would be a lot easier. If you want to go on a bit further then just do another little shuttle. That way your boat will still be light which is what you want and you don’t have to figure out how to attach solid mounting points to Plascore.
Where I fish on the Goulburn I can have a 5 hour float one up when the river is at 3500 megalitres and still have only 40 mins back to the car on a pushbike on flat ground, just have to lift your feet up when passing snakes.
I know the way your rivers run the shuttle back to the car is going to be a bit further and a motorized something would be a lot more appealing than pedal power. But the idea of mounting a dead weight to the back of your great little boat I think would create more problems than it solves.
It will be interesting to see how this evolves.
Glenn Patterson
Re: One man boat update
January 28, 2012 12:58PM
You've convinced me. I'll have to get a 90cc trail bike too.

A motorcycle inside the boat would be like adding a passenger.

But a fold-up motorized bicycle is more like 50lbs. For a lot of short floats I'd be happy to use my mountain bike.
But ten to fifteen mile all day floats are bit much to peddle at dark when you're already dead beat tired.
I guess on those longer floats it would be easier to decide in advance where you're getting out.
Re: One man boat update
January 28, 2012 06:03PM
A bike is a great option for many trips.

The "A" section of the Green is 7 miles. A nice trial runs along the bank. An easy trail for a mountain bike and a motor bike is not allowed. For many years now I have been launching the boat then taking the truck down to little hole and walking the 7 miles back to the put in. Even bicycles are not allowed on the trail in the summer season. The road trip is about 20 miles. I get to the boat around noon walking the 7 miles. I get some exercise ahead of all the cold beer I will drink when I get back to the boat. I have gotten to see some real monster browns hugging the bank and then see if they will take hopper or cicadas I find in the bushes . One time I threw about 5 giant cicadas to one of those browns and he took every single one of them. I remembered the spot and on the way down I served him up one of my custom rubber cicada specials,,,,,,,,,,, I missed him and he didn't even look at the second presentation. Must have graduated from Brown University. Anyway I always do the walk on the front end.

On one May trip down the White river we met up with 2 guys in canoes. They each had a mountain bike lashed to their canoe for the shuttle at the end of their trip.

Your boat looks really small so I wonder what kind of bike will fit on the thing?
Re: One man boat update
January 28, 2012 06:59PM
A foldup motorized bicycle will fit on the back. I'm sure of that.
Been gluing wooden cleats to the top inside edge of the sides, so I'll have something to bolt the deck down to.
So I'm no longer 100% wood free on this one.

Not sure I'll build it the same way next time. Prototypes are always different. The next one may well have a permanently attached deck.

I'm going to want to sneak this boat out onto the water in about a month from now, when it's rowable.
So if the rowing turns out to be embarrassing--like my last effort--no one will know.

Trouble is several people have made me promise they'll be there at the christening.
You never know for sure what you're going to have until you start pulling on the oars.
Re: One man boat update
January 29, 2012 05:58PM
Here's a folding bike in Butte .http://montana.craigslist.org/bik/2801490570.html

Rick Newman
Re: One man boat update
February 02, 2012 04:03PM
A motorized mountain bike may be a good solution. That would keep the weight low enough that you could carry the bike with you in\on the boat. I did a Google search and found lots of options for kits. Some are not very expensive either.

This guy motorized a Huffy.

Re: One man boat update
February 02, 2012 04:39PM
Would something like a GoPed gas scooter be a viable option? They certainly fold up nice and small.

Re: One man boat update
February 02, 2012 05:23PM
I like both those ideas.

The gas Huffy (two posts up) is more complex than many. That one has an additional chain that dual mounts to the rear wheel drive sprocket.

Some that I've seen run a small rubber wheel that levers down manually, onto the top of the rear wheel.
A foldup motorized bicycle that goes 20mph is a hell of an idea.
Re: One man boat update
February 03, 2012 12:09AM
Sandy, I saw those type as well. I chose the Huffy video simply because it was an inexpensive bike. I saw kits for less than 200.00 when I did my search.

I have been following your one man boat posts for a while and it got me thinking about carrying my mountain bike in the back of the boat. I like the motor idea!
Re: One man boat update
February 03, 2012 12:54PM
Been busy with too many distractions....but I am now two work days away from having a removable, bolt down deck on the one man boat. I'll use 1/4" thick closed cell foam as a compression gasket around the edges.

I don't really know how this boat will balance with me in it. So I don't for sure know where the ideal rower's position will be. I'm going to have to sneak it into the water and sit on it. I already cut a hole in the deck for the rower's sitting position. But I need to find out if I got it wrong or not. I can always patch it and cut it and move it.

Building something this small and this different makes it tricky to plan.
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