DIY “junk” rafts and floating islands

I was reading about the “Swimming Cities” project, DIY rafts, two of which are in the photo below. They’re taking these on a tour around the northen end of the Adriatic Sea as an art project. Not only is it a fun piece of performance art, but it’s inspiring thinking about people taking junk and turning it into floating living spaces that they can travel the world in.


It got me thinking a bit about similar projects, like the various rafts built by Floating Neutrinos. The one below is “Son of Town Hall”, one of many that they’ve built or inspired, which they credit as the first scrap raft to cross the North Atlantic, an adventure that seems remarkably brave to undertake.


Another group that have been quite ambitious in their journey is the DIY raft below which looks a lot like a catamaran sailboat (but has a raft-type pontoons rather than a normal sailboat hull) called, appropriately, “Junk“. They’re sailing it across the Pacific right now. Check out their blog for many disturbing comments on plastic garbage they’ve pulled out of the ocean.


Finally, I think I must also mention the largely stationary “Spiral Island” project, which is a raft that serves as more of a DIY floating island off the coast of Mexico. Richi’s site is actually a Ning community not just promoting his own islands, but encouraging others to do the same.



  1. Corvin wrote:

    Makes me wonder if they’ll make a pass by the Great Pacific Garbage Patch to pick up a few additions to the boat.

    Sunday, August 30, 2009 at 10:42 am | Permalink
  2. Elizabeth wrote:

    Reminds me of a book, the true story of a group of guys who made a raft and sailed the Pacific in the 40’s. Kon-Tiki is the name of the book, and was the name of the amazing raft.

    Sunday, August 30, 2009 at 12:16 pm | Permalink
  3. Elizabeth wrote:

    Sunday, August 30, 2009 at 12:18 pm | Permalink
  4. Shannon wrote:

    Yeah, Kon-Tiki would have been a good boat to include in some ways, thanks for thinking of that link.

    Sunday, August 30, 2009 at 4:18 pm | Permalink
  5. Danielle wrote:

    I love that the cabin of Junk is a Cessna, although it’s got to be a bit tight to have friends over in. ;)

    Sunday, August 30, 2009 at 4:39 pm | Permalink
  6. Josh wrote:

    Sounds like something from Snowcrash.

    Monday, August 31, 2009 at 10:49 pm | Permalink
  7. allana wrote:

    i went crazy when i heard of the Swimming Cities project. anytime you want to build one, i’m in. (we can sail to england and see Roo!)

    Thursday, September 3, 2009 at 4:38 pm | Permalink
  8. Tiny Neutrino wrote:

    I’m seeking a crew for build a raft to live in it. Poppa Neutrino and I have built 2 rafts. If anyone is interested, contact me and we will build a new raft.

    Thursday, September 16, 2010 at 11:30 pm | Permalink
  9. Ross Reiland wrote:

    Dear Tiny Neutrino–

    Unsure how to contact you. I am deeply interested in rooting on a floating island. Please see this.

    Tuesday, March 29, 2011 at 1:42 am | Permalink
Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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