Extreme weather house boat floats in Silicon Valley backyard




A couple years ago Chris Robinson was a former Facebook and PayPal art director with no boat-building (nor sailing) experience. Then the Tsunami hit Japan (a place where he’d lived and met his wife). He happened to be working in a startup incubator at the time with some “very smart people”, including an astronaut, and everyone was sketching ideas for tsunami-proof shelters.

Robinson liked his design (inspired by oil-derrick escape pods and the hanging tree house spheres from Canadian artist Tom Chudleigh) so much, he began to build it behind his house. Two years later, his backyard is dominated by his 22-foot-long, 10-foot-wide and 8.5-foot-high plywood and epoxy tsunami-proof pod (AKA Tsunamiball).

Chris’ blog (photo/video updates of the build): tsunamiball.com

Original story:

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33 Comments

  1. Nic
    October 20, 2017
    Reply

    This could also be titled: "How to build an extra bedroom without a permit."

  2. Moo moo Man
    October 21, 2017
    Reply

    Does it float?

  3. Go Away
    October 26, 2017
    Reply

    W.T.F. obviously a board member of the no idea corporate think tank too much money too much time no fn idea. On the up side I totally agree with John Taylor . Oh yeah almost forgot, a couple of years later he still has no idea about the subject. Here is a novel idea gratis… don't live on the esplanade

  4. Deez Nutellas
    October 27, 2017
    Reply

    Neat livable dildo. By the way your boat is useless without a ballast.
    enjoy dying in the first wave.

  5. Charles Cosimano
    October 29, 2017
    Reply

    Where do you mount the cannon?

  6. Nick Zero
    October 30, 2017
    Reply

    ,This is a very good idea,,,even in Ks.

  7. TheGolfdaily
    November 1, 2017
    Reply

    Impressive Art work!!!

  8. Scott Sophia
    November 8, 2017
    Reply

    Looks like the Oscar Meyer wiener mobile.

  9. Scott Sophia
    November 8, 2017
    Reply

    Build first, plan later. Seems legit.

  10. Andrew E. Clark
    November 11, 2017
    Reply

    Was this design inspired by the Jaredite barges?

  11. bastin triple trouble boys
    November 12, 2017
    Reply

    Just a word of warning, the two part expanding foam systems, are VERY porous and absorb a lot of water. we bought a boat hull filled with it for floatation and could not get the water out of the foam, it was adding over a tonne of extra weight into the hull with the water it was holding. We ended up cutting it all out and melting the rest with petrol. if you can find another system use something else for floatation.

  12. Zymondo
    November 15, 2017
    Reply

    Like the Hawian boats you could have 'out riggers' on both sides to help you stablize in most situations. I have 3 – 12ft aluminum pontoons I'll be making into a tri-hull soon enough… I'm like you, work it out as I go along. It's just for fun so I'll have a few solar panels and a 12VDc motor for putting along. Good luck to you !

  13. Brent William
    November 16, 2017
    Reply

    Awesome!!!

  14. John Hales
    November 16, 2017
    Reply

    pig in half a blanket? hot dog in 1/2 a bun?

  15. John Hales
    November 16, 2017
    Reply

    I wonder why people dont use wood to build boats any more…I wonder if this guy looked in to that question.

  16. ElmwoodParkHulk
    November 19, 2017
    Reply

    Mini Noah's arc

  17. Easymorte
    November 23, 2017
    Reply

    This dudes boat is not loosely based on "Oil rig escape pods". Its exactly what he is building………..

  18. Randy goodspeed
    November 25, 2017
    Reply

    how do i get the plans for this one send to [email protected]gmail.com

  19. Sherry Dee
    November 27, 2017
    Reply

    At least it looks like a progressive endeavor to me! Maybe it's a California thing. We try to be prepared if we possibly can. Good for Chris Robinson! 🙂

  20. Jon T
    November 27, 2017
    Reply

    this is a good idea but i think in a situation like japan this would still get crushed while getting banged up against other buildings all the other objects in the disaster. i dont think anything really could withstand getting smashed up against millions of tons of other objects

  21. James Ellsworth
    November 29, 2017
    Reply

    Chris uses his creative energies to 'get the ball rolling.' A good bit of 'inventing' is try and try again, as with Edison searching for a filament material for light bulbs. I found it to be fascinating to follow along with his modular construction ideas. At some point, he may realize that 'Survival' does require a 'house' of amenities: water supply, waste management, even air handling; never mind food and heating or cooking capabilities. It will then prove to have been practical or necessary to have used a comprehensive systems approach to the initial design; one that also considered displacement and buoyancy and whether or not propulsion and steering would be necessary to surviving high water events.

  22. The Soothsayer42
    November 29, 2017
    Reply

    It's better than being hooked on heroin I guess.

  23. Bear Blackhawk
    November 29, 2017
    Reply

    People said the same thing about Noah. Then what happened? Hope all works out for you. No pressure but Civilization is counting on you man!

  24. Crazed
    November 30, 2017
    Reply

    If this was metal there would be much less comments

  25. Jonathan Putnam
    November 30, 2017
    Reply

    Interesting side note: From Genesis 6, Noah’s ark was built of “gopher wood”. A better translation would be “laminated” or “woven” wood. Feel like this kind of structure represents the kind of construction involved.

  26. Jonathan Putnam
    November 30, 2017
    Reply

    Seriously man, like a modern day Noah. Dad and his kids build an survival ship. Just make it a football field longer and three stories tall.

  27. Pipo Shelves
    December 1, 2017
    Reply

    2 component expanding foam, fill the holes if not when you spring a leak it goes to the whole boat. Makes it much more rigid and stronger too, and you keep floating.

  28. T H
    December 2, 2017
    Reply

    Anyone know the hammock brand?

  29. DivviesThirdstream
    December 3, 2017
    Reply

    that thing will sink so quick, one wave and its done!!!

  30. Alpha Machina
    December 3, 2017
    Reply

    This guy is a genius.

  31. Alpha Machina
    December 3, 2017
    Reply

    He could do something akin to what is used on airliners for the toilet and have it evacuate the waste to a black water tank like in an RV, which could be built to fit the shape and housed in the hull section of the boathouse, which could then be emptied via either a hatch inside, where the container is literally removed, or through a flushing system that forces the waste out of the tank.

  32. Alpha Machina
    December 3, 2017
    Reply

    The doorway/stairs he's working on could be part of the ship, and then open inward, hinged at the bottom, and swing down to turn into stairs. The hatch literally turns into the stairs on which you enter the boat.

  33. notyur bizns
    December 4, 2017
    Reply

    Can't figure this out at all.

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