Our DIY Rainwater Catchment System is just one way to upcycle 55 gallon blue plastic drums. We’ve seen many creative uses over the years—including a DIY composter. And when they’re not holding water or tumbling compost, empty barrels make a great base for a floating dock or even a DIY boat! Read on to learn how to build floating docks with used plastic barrels.
Getting Started: How to Build a Floating Dock
A quick web search will result in many methods for building a floating dock from barrels. Whether you choose to go for a simple solution or complex custom design, the basics will include:
- recycled 55 gallon blue plastic drums (make sure to get "tight-head" drums with no removable lid)
- treated lumber for the frame and platform
- fasteners (ranging from bungee cords to bolts)
A floating dock can be anchored to the land via a stationary platform or other landing for attaching the dock to so it doesn’t float...away. Alternatively, you can anchor the dock with cinder blocks or other weights, but this may not work in deep water or fast currents.
Blue Barrel Boats
Why stop at a stationary floating dock? If these barrels float (and they really do!) why not turn that platform into a pontoon party boat?! There are many fun examples of barrel boats to look at for inspiration. Here are a few to get your imagination going…
Find Used Barrels Near You!
Barrel docks and boats are a great way to pluck 55-gallon drums from the waste stream and utilize them creatively. There is an island of plastic trash floating in the ocean...let’s try to upcycle and float some of it responsibly!
Here at BlueBarrel, we connect people with local recycled blue barrels throughout the US. Visit our website to find barrels near you and to learn more about creative ways to upcycle them.