Barrel Boat Shanty – The Build

I got an email today:   We’re creating a paddlewheel shantyboat, mostly of discarded or repurposed materials, set to launch in the end of May.  The boat is electrically driven and utilizes both modern and 18th and 19 century technologies to make it work.

From their website.

So Here Be The Concept….

In a world with rising water levels, rising inequity between rich and poor, and aging population with most of their assets wiped out by property bubble swindles and corrupt bankers, what does one do?

Many new ideas, some pretty successful, have offered themselves.   The Tiny House movement has taken off gangbusters, moving more and more people to shift to sustainable lives within their own control.  The Maker movement, funded largely by crowdsourcing, innovates faster than anything we’ve seen.  New networks for mutual assistance are springing up everywhere.  So here, dear reader, is the Grindlebone Arts/ Center for Bypassed Technologies contribution to the mix.

The Concept is of a floating home, powered renewably, utilizing 19th and 18 century technologies bypassed by cheap energy, and constructed largely of recycled/repurposed materials.  It must be large enough to be a comfortable residence for a couple and will serve as a roving demonstration project and classroom.  While there is other information on the forum at on specific systems, this blog will detail the construction, launching, and initial operation of the vessel.  Stay tuned.

We have spent the last year acquiring systems for the boat:  deep cycle batteries, generators, solar panels, a liner for the Japanese bath (I didn’t say we’d be roughing it, now did I?) , filling up a rather small, chaotic living space with even more….um….stuff.

But last night we took the first real steps for construction, obtaining the 20 55 gallon poly barrels that will form the floatation, driving them 70 miles to the construction site, and lugging them up the hill by hand because the drive was still too muddy for the trailer.

I suffer for my art.  M

Originally posted 2014-04-21 17:45:23.

A website about Shantyboats and affordable living on the water. More than 800 stories to date, and growing.