For a while now, I've been hearing 'Pontoon' by Little Big Town on the radio and thinking, "Man, that sounds like a good time!" Just floating around all day, barbecuing, hanging out, maybe doing a little fishing...

But I can't afford to buy a pontoon boat, or a trailer, or a truck to pull it all ... but I could build a raft! And I could hang a hammock from the raft!

After doing some research (a.k.a. Googling), I found the article about the guys that built the 9'x9' fire-pit equipped raft and a few other raft designs, some of which involved hammocks and some that didn't. Now, I'm neither an skilled wood worker or a very experienced hammock hanger. I've built some small, functional things out of scraps of wood that I found in the garage, and I've gone on a few hikes during which I used a hammock. But, to quote Sir Richard Branson, I thought, "Screw it, let's do it."

Some of the key design factors that I'm working with are:
  1. Must support a hammock
  2. Must be transportable on the roof of a VW Jetta
  3. Must have cover from sun/rain
  4. Must be able to support a barbecue (small)

(the 4x4's between the center beams to make the slots for the vertical posts were added after this picture was taken)

With four 55gal drums, I'll have 1600+lbs of flotation, so I've got plenty of float. The frame is 10'x6' and the 10' lengths that provide the braces to hold in the 55gal drums have an inner width of 16". The two inner 10' lengths are centered on the frame with an inner width of 3.5" so that the vertical hammock posts can slide in and out. Another 4x4 is screwed in between the center lengths to complete the slot that the vertical posts slide in to.

Using the example of the guys that built the fire-pit equipped raft, I designed the verticals to a height of 4' from the deck, but a total of 4.5' so that there is some extra length of the post extending beyond the bottom of the frame for extra support.

I intend to get two more pieces of PVC pipe that will attached to the corners of the tarp and then to the center posts so that both sides of the tarp can be lifted up at the same time, but in the pictures you can see what it looks like when only one side is lifted.

All I have left to do is to put the deck on it and toss it in the water, but I wanted to bounce it off the forum to see if anyone had any ideas or input with regard to the design of the raft and the hammock stand.