If you happen to have an extra boat lying around the yard...

OH, YEAH! And a Volkswagen that you don't need any more...

Here is Bob Sokol's do-it-yourself instructions to build your own Boatmobile...

I like Karmann Ghias; they have a wider wheelbase than a bug. If you take all of the bolts out of a VW floorpan, the body lifts right off and the steering wheel falls down on the driver's seat. You can sit right down and drive it like a dune buggy.

Get your assistant to pull the seats out and patch any rust spots in the floorpan.

You may want to trim the front section of the floorpan to make it more 'boat-shaped'.

Suspend the boat from a convenient beam in such a way that you can raise and lower it easily. Roll the VW under the boat and mark the bottom of the boat with a marker. Raise the boat, cut the bottom out, lower the boat, mark it a little closer. Raise it up, cut it again, lower it down, see how it fits. Mark a little more, raise it up again, trim a little bit more, etc. Eventually, the boat will fit down on the VW chassis without rubbing on the wheels.

Cut the boat in half. Choose a place to cut it so that it can be pieced back together later without showing the cut too badly.

Build a steel roll cage which will bolt down to the VW chasis and onto which the two halves of the boat will assemble.

Include a mount for the gas tank up in front where it belongs on a VW.

Weld in a cross brace to hold the steering column up at the right height. Include supports for the dash board.

Try not to spend too much time fantasizing during the construction phase...

Put the two front seats back on their tracks. The driver's seat, steering wheel, and pedals are in their original positions relative to the chasis, so there is little to do here. The rear seats can be in any of a number of different configurations limited only by your imagination.

Mock up temporary wooden seats in the rear to see how your final seats will look when you build them in steel.

Get a convenient passer-by to sit in the temporary seat to see how it looks. Do not be concerned by disparaging comments or looks of consternation from the aforementioned passserby.

Pre-wire as much of the dash as you can. Mount the dash panel upside-down during the wiring process for easy access.

Modify the front bumper as necessary for ground clearance. You should still be able to use the original bumper mounts. Mount dune buggy type headlights. Hide a huge fog horn under the front end; one that sounds like an ocean liner when you hit the horn button...

Fill your boat with fishing poles, nets, water skis and tow ropes. Go out into the night maintaining your usual low profile...

Drive past the AMERICA'S FUNNIEST PEOPLE film crew when they are in town and add to your fifteen minutes of fame.

Do a promo, get paid nothing, tell all your friends to watch the stupid show which they do for a whole hour. They get to see you for five and a half seconds at the very end...

Park your Boatmobile almost anywhere and wait about sixty seconds for a crowd to form...

Take your Boatmobile to the beach and see if anyone notices...

Get written up in CAR and DRIVER magazine!

Drive your Boatmobile up to Waco
for the Branch Davidians media circus
and get interviewed on

Have NBC TV come out and
do a segment about you for

I hope you enjoyed my Boatmobile!

You may catch me on warm summer evenings along the shores of Sixth Street in Austin, Texas.



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