Is it Crazy to Build a 16 Foot Tall Wooden Donut?

Damn right it is! That’s one reason its going to be so much fun to build 2.

OK, so here’s the deal…

The first time I spun the boat, I had some issues with setting the distance of the wheels below the hull. I jacked the boat up, installed the wheels, lowered the boat onto the wheels and started the spin. Spin, spin, grind. The boat is not round… it’s more like a tall hamburger, so with the wheels set too far apart, the hull eventually hits structure underneath and stops spinning. So… I jack it up again and reset the wheels. Fine. Spin spin grind. (I knew I should have done my math on the distance for the wheels, but sometimes its just too exciting, you know) Anyway, the third time worked and the boat went over fine.

This time, its much heavier, so I can’t afford mishaps. Did I mention that a jack stand tipped over and the boat dropped with me under it last time? Not my best moment. So safety first, the second time.

My plan is to build 2 16 foot tall donuts out of wood and use those donuts to more safely spin the boat. The donuts will not solve the balance issue, but they will give me a perfectly round surface against which I can set many many wheels. This helps the additional weight issue because I can set any number of wheels under the boat for the spin. The last spin I was stuck with populating just 2 loci with wheels.

The plan is to build the donuts first and then bolt plywood “fingers” from the donut to the surface of the tsunamiball. This will cradle the boat as it spins and when I add the double keels, I just adjust the fingers and I’m ready to spin again.

The donuts will each be built in four 90 degree sections. This means that I can manage assembling the donut around the boat more easily (the donut will be heavy). After the spin I will be able to remove the top 3 sections of each donut and get to work on the boat without having to jack it up and remove the bottom section.

I have most of my templates cut and I should start assembly in the next few days.

Tell me what you think of the plan. I know I’m excited.tsunamiball_donutDesign

5 responses to “Is it Crazy to Build a 16 Foot Tall Wooden Donut?

  1. It seems it would be kinda of big donut.. might mean do not 8p I hope after putting all these funds into this boat, you would actually use it for a practical service, or sell the plans (8..

    From my perspective.. even though it appears your made up your mind. Would you suggest to use a lift hoist to lift it up and down and in order to rotate it, hang it in a movable rotating sling, than add more.. debri to the backyard sigh.. sight.

  2. Or after even more thought.. possible, and reasonable, to put three adjustable air tires, on each side, spring loaded (preferably?) and have a central belt conveyor system to bridge across. Check any old mill yards, they are easy enough to pick up cheap, and you only need a small one with a large enough of an engine crank.

    • Straightcue,

      Thanks for the notes. I wanted to do the air tires as well. I was excited about having a tire and brake assembly, so I could not only move the boat, but possibly use a drum brake to stop it from spinning if there was an issue. In the end… the idea of building a giant wooden wheel was just too much fun to pass up.

      Thanks for the input. I appreciate it.

      Are you a builder as well?


      • No problem, glad to input suggestive ideals.. I like how you said to use air tires with brakes, awesome. But I see the problem would be still how to stabilized when it actually rotates. Ideally I see your conceptualized Fun, lol.. Might turn into a hamster project after all, uhm? ha. For me, if I had a trusty bank fund with a fella partner, could be adrift already 8p. Are you building protruding struts to hold it in place within the large circle.. following the diagram you posted. Though it just seems like alot of work. Yet might now you just need to make it a bearing wheel and you can just finger push it, lol.

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