How to build a raft

Build a raft, and tick off one of your 50 things

Building a raft is a big challenge, but you can definitely do it. It doesn't have to be a big raft though, it can be small-scale to allow you to make changes and test out your designs.

Ahoy there landlubbers!

You don't need to have a pirate's instinct for this challenge, but you will need to know what floats in water, and how to attach all your bits and pieces together to make your raft a success. If you follow our tips your raft will be circumnavigating the high seas/ponds/rivers/streams/lakes before you know it.

What you need:

  • Sticks (it helps if they're all about the same size, and it's best to use ones lying on the ground, rather than taking them off trees)
  • String to bind the sticks together
  • Somewhere to test your raft. If you don't live near a natural water source then you could try using your kitchen or bathroom sink.
  • Wellies or other suitable footwear if you are testing your raft outside in a stream/pond/lake etc.
  • A grown-up to help you near the water.

Get (c)rafty

The design of your raft is totally up to you - will you make it long and flat, or square and how are you going to tie all the sticks together? Are you using any other materials? What will they bring to your raft?

Set sail

Once you're happy with your raft, then it's time to test it and send it on its maiden voyage. It's best to look for a calm piece of water which isn't too deep to give your raft the best chance of sailing and not sinking.

Of course, if you're using your kitchen sink to test, then you can make sure that it's very still, but you might not be so lucky outside!

If you're feeling really adventurous then look out for events or classes where you can build a raft big enough for you to sail on.