RiverRaft Phase 5


It's bigger. It's badder. Ladies and gentlemen, it's too much for the little Toyota! I chuckle when I see this rig pulling out of a nice snooty Folsom neighborhood.


After months of welding and preparation, we are finally heading down to the lake to give it a float.


The ultimate goal is to get everything into the back of this trailer, so we'll probably take the ghetto wooden rack and mount it to this little trailer at some point before family camp.


Laying out the fine aluminum tubing structure with the Folsom bridge in the background. What a beautiful day!


Hmm, where are the instructions for this thing?


After a little banging around and some knot tying, we got the frame assembled.


Fortunately, we have an expert knot tyer on hand. Yes, there is lots of rope and lots of knots. In fact, we ran out of rope!


We were sure grateful to have the help of Jordan on this outing. He was a tremendous help and he likes motorcycles so it was a good fit all around.


"Lets see, was that Fb =([Wh x K] + [Wd x K]+ .69We ) B or was it the other way around? Let's just drop it in and see if it floats."


Yup, it does.


We drew quite a crowd and plenty of folks had never seen anything remotely close to this. Most were quite excited about the idea and the fine looking craft that was taking shape.


Laying up a few more knots before the deck work begins.


The idea for the deck was well conceived, but we ran into a few kinks in the plan. Nothing we can't fix though in time for family camp.


Slinging sheets of 3/4" ply can be tiring work in the heat, but we sight our eyes on the goal and didn't look back.


With most of the decking in place, the true aircraft carrier look of the vessel begins to become evident.


One of the major issues with the deck was that the tongue and groove plywood wasn't cooperating. Plan B is to saw off the tongue and groove and just screw support boards to the bottom to keep the joints together.


Applying a few more screws before the trusty Ryobi goes into the lake for the first time.


Kush boys laying out the shade structure.


Raising the roof with the kids all helping out.


Plumb and square? Close enough, rope it down!


The triangles we put in place really helped keep things more sturdy than before.


Just about done with the roping. It's starting to get hot...


One last lashing and we raise the tarp into place.


I wonder if this dock has ever seen this kind of craft hitched to it? I'm guessing not.


This USS Pipe Dream rests quietly portside, waiting for the cheeseburgers to arrive.


One gentleman even recognized that the CVN designator belonged to the Ronald Regan.


I just thought this was a great picture. Nothing like using your big rig to haul your canoes to the river. Way to go dude!


By 12:30, we were ready to embark on the maiden voyage. The launch was plenty busy now, but the Pipe Dream slipped quietly away from the dock without a hitch. In fact, few even noticed that a truly momentous occasion had occurred right in front of them.


It took about 2 hours to build and launch and about 20 minutes to completely disassemble and pack into the truck and trailer. Next time, I expect that the build will be much quicker. All in all, the morning was a complete success and we had a great time. Next float will be family camp at Scotts Flat Lake in 2 weeks!