Recycled Speed Boat Beats The Barnacles Out Of Your Average Rebuild

There’s an old saying that says “Anything is possible with enough Time, Money, or Brains. Pick two.” For [Mr HỒ Thánh Chế], the choice was obvious: Time, and Brains. This is evident by the impressive DIY boat build shown in the video below the break.

[Mr HỒ] starts with an Isuzu marine diesel engine that was apparently found on the beach, covered in barnacles and keel worms (and who knows what else). A complete teardown reveals that the crankcase was miraculously spared the ravages of the sea, and somehow even the turbo survived. After a good cleaning and reassembly, the engine rumbles to life. What’s notable is that the entire engine project was done with only basic tools, save for a lathe. Even generally disposable parts such as the head gasket are re-used.

Moving onto the hull, half of an old damaged boat is used and a new top is built. Car seats out of a Toyota sit behind a steering column also from a car, while the deck is built from scratch out of square tubing, foam board, and fiberglass.

What we liked about the project isn’t so much the end result, it has some build quality issues and it looks like the steering is far too slow, but what project of our own hasn’t been knocked together for fun with some obvious flaws? In fact, that’s very often the epitome of the Hacker spirit- doing it quick, dirty, having fun, and iterating as we go. For that, our hat is off to [Mr HỒ].

If boat recycling puts the wind in your sails, check out this boat-turned-sauna project.

Thanks [Ansen] for the tip.

33 thoughts on “Recycled Speed Boat Beats The Barnacles Out Of Your Average Rebuild

      1. It will have an on demand engine access cover. When the engine demand major work, he’ll cut one out.

        Where he made the dip in the back, I’d make it a vent, with a flap that gently sprung to be open slightly when the boat is at rest. That would give it better ventilation. Then I’d put a weight on the flap so it would close during quick deceleration so if water came over the back it would hit the closed flap. But I wouldn’t want the weight too heavy to stop the flap blowing open more at fast speed.

  1. Mr. Ho is very talented hacker. And the engine restoration was amazing. I particularly enjoyed his scrounging/recycling of th car parts. “Yo, we heard you liked back seats, so we put a back seat in your back seat!”

    No reverse, though. And no gauges. I suspect this will be an evolutionary build.

    Can’t help bu think that a westerner would have discarded all that stuff, but Mr. Ho turned it into a fun project. There’s a lesson in there somewhere.

      1. With the amount of views and it being in Vietnam, the average earnings are $150 a month, the earnings from 26 millions views on youtube, makes it worth their time (more than one person made this video).

        These are made to last for the video, not really upcyling. Not sure about that engine rebuild, will it last much longer than the video? someone that does this for a living would probably be able to answer that.

        Its a crazy thing, but I doubt they are using it 4 months later, probably just scrap again.

    1. The lessons are;

      Yes we discard a hell of a lot of stuff that could still be useful and we should make more effort to recycle & re-purpose things where practical

      When labour is dirt cheap and things like safety are unregulated / not considered you can do a hell of a lot with almost nothing.

      There’s a happy medium between these two situations – if you’ve been to countries like this, many of the vehicles in use are as terrifying as they are impressive and the cost to human safety as well as the environment in terms of emissions, inefficiency, etc. negates a lot of the “benefit” gained from not having melted it down for scrap 20 years ago and made something newer and less awful.

      The old American cars running round Cuba are a case in point – yes it’s incredible and admirable that they keep them going but if you look below the hand-beaten bodywork and spray-can paintjob there’s many sporting brakes, suspension and steering setups that would cause a safety inspector several changes of underwear and that you would not load your family in the back seat of for a sight-seeing trip never mind a long journey.

  2. nice boat build, unfortunately google has ruined youtube with invasive advertising so i have decided to not open youtube videos anymore, hopefully an alternative to youtube will start to be used on hackaday

  3. Hi, my name is Danilo and I am a retired engineer. I am looking for a shipyard that builds pleasure boats to propose the development of a prototype of a boat for civil use that I have designed myself. It is a decidedly innovative boat that combines the characteristics of the submarine and the sailboat, able to offer advantages to those who make long journeys at sea. This type of yacht would be around 12-15 meters long and built in composite materials, such as aluminum alloys, carbon fiber and / or fiberglass. She would have the ability to navigate both on the surface and underwater albeit at much shallower depths than normal military submarines. To navigate underwater, the mast, after having removed the boom with the mainsail, would fold forward, while the furling jib by means of a trolley would be moved backwards. The lower part would close with a hermetically movable shell and finally the watertight compartments would take on water to increase the weight and lower the boat under the surface of the sea. To re-emerge, as in normal submarines, the water would be expelled from the watertight boxes, the rear shell would reopen and the mast would rise. Finally, a removable movable drift with the lead end in order to balance the weight, would come out from under the hull and the whole boat would return to take the classic shape of a sailboat. The boat could use four types of propulsion: 1) sail 2) solar powered because the whole deck would be covered with solar panels that through special batteries would provide both electricity to the boat and special electric motors connected to the propellers. 3) to wind energy because through the installation of a mini wind system it would be possible to obtain electricity both for the boat and for the engines. 4) electric / diesel to always be sure to have a good engine power especially underwater and to carry out maneuvers in port if the batteries are not sufficiently charged. A boat of this type would offer considerable advantages to those traveling by sea. I list just a few: possibility of diving during storms avoiding exposing the boat to too strong winds. Possibility of anchoring the boat under the surface of the sea on shallow waters near the shore, avoiding stationing in ports. Possibility to navigate admiring the underwater landscape. The watertight boxes could also work with automatic remote control so that the boat can be submerged or resurfaced comfortably from a nearby tender.
    I would like to point out that I have devised a rough project for a boat of this type, but obviously I do not have all the technical knowledge to be able to make it, so I am looking for a shipyard, or for entrepreneurs who are seriously interested in developing this project. If you are interested please contact me, I am available from this moment. Thanks for your attention.

    Danilo Domenichini

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