Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Extra Floatation Power

A float cabin is only as good as it's float. There were many reasons why we decided to buy our cabin, but one of the main factors was the excellent condition of the float structure. The foundation logs were floating high in the water and everything was well balanced. But over time two things happen. The cedar logs that make up the float structure become waterlogged. It happens slowly, but surely. Second, as more things are added to the cabin, more weight is added to the float. Those little touches that make our cabin homey also make it heavy.

So, this summer we added twenty 55-gallon plastic barrels filled with air to help give our float an added lift. Some cabin owners use 275-gallon square plastic totes, but we like the barrels because they snug up nicely in the small notches between the logs. They can also be placed in strategic locations where heavy objects are located such as our wood storage shelf, stove, refrigerator and bathtub (yes, we have one of those and the proverbial kitchen sink).

Plastic barrels and totes can be purchased at Rainbow Valley Pet & Farm Supply on Manson Avenue in Powell River. Our good friend John and a local diver placed them for us. First, the barrels were filled with enough water so they could be submerged and pushed under the logs. Then a compressor and air hose were used to re-fill the barrels with air. Finally, the cap is replaced to prevent leakage. The twenty barrels brought our logs about 5 inches up out of the water. With the warm summer sun to dry them, water-logging can be reversed, adding to the overall buoyancy of the structure. Now that's float power. -- Margy


  1. I have NEVER seen a float cabin before!Does it actually float down the river? I would think not- you could never get it back. Very cool!

  2. Hi Christine - Our float cabin is on a lake. It is held in a permanant location by steel cables to shore. We have a water lot lease (just like a land lease) from the BC government to keep it in our selected location. Because leases are fairly complicated, cabins aren't moved very often. If you want to learn more about cabins check out Float Cabin Living. -- Margy

  3. The details people who are not used to float cabins never know about... Or people who are dumb enough not to think about, like me! LOL Of course something has to exist so the cabin floats..
    Loved the tutorial, as I always enjoy so much reading your posts when I come here.
    Kisses from Nydia.

  4. Always amazed by your houseboat stories, and ways. Just darn interesting!