This section is from the book "The Boy Mechanic Vol. 2 1000 Things for Boys to Do", by Popular Mechanics Co.. Also available from Amazon: The Boy Mechanic, Vol2: 1000 Things for Boys to Do.
A boat that any handy boy can easily make is constructed of a barrel which is kept with the opening cut in one side up by two 4 by 6-in. timbers and two tie pieces, 2 by 4 in. The lengths of these pieces will depend on the size of the barrel.
A good watertight Barrel should be selected and an opening cut in the center between the hoops, of such a size as to allow the body of the occupant room for handling an oar. The timbers are attached to the barrel with iron straps - pieces of old hoops will do. The two tie pieces are put across the timbers at the ends of the barrel and spiked in place.
The boat is to be propelled with a single, double-end paddle. There is no danger of the boat capsizing or the water splashing into the barrel.
Ill: Boat Made of a Barrel Which is Kept from Capsizing by Timbers Attached