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The Old School Raft - The Unpublished Interview, Part 2

Paul - Below is an interview that never got published by the company that approached me [This company has Red and a farm animal in their name]. I decided to go a head an publish it myself as it's just been sat there doing nothing.... Enjoy :)

Where did the idea come from? Why?

The idea to build a raft was born on my bikecar journey across Canada while sat in a bar in Banff. After a few cocktails I doodled up my next adventure on a napkin.

How long did it take to build?

The raft only took 3/4 days to build due to a few distractions on the riverbanks of St Paul.

Where did you build? On the river edge of the Mississippi River at St Paul's Yacht Club. They had the perfect sand beach to launch from.

Materials used? Lots of reclaimed timber telegraph poles, some hardwood for my own handmade paddles, lots and lots of rope and a couple of screws to secure my riverboat licence plate.

Engineering/Construction skills required?

I relied on my plumbing and construction skills and hope in that it wouldn't sink. It was a time consuming process that consumed a lot of energy and strength. Compared to the my other expedition projects this was the simplest to create.

What was the journey The journey was simple - row and float the Mississippi River until it sank.

Efficiency. How did it move?

Ha, Not very. The combined weight of the entire raft must have been over a 1,000kg, and it only got heavier as the raft absorbed water over the constant weeks we traveled. I found myself rowing 8-10 per day with the hope of covering 10-12 miles.

Any mishaps?

Other than the timber naturally absorbing water, the raft was built like a tank. You could crash that into the shores of the Mississippi or ride the wake of the big ships in confidence. My other mishaps came from other boaters on the river, I did nearly get my arm chopped off by a drunk boater - I'll save that story for another time.

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