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.
On ponds or small lakes not deep enough for a boat one can use the foot boats, as illustrated, for walking on the water. The boats are made of white wood, known as basswood, as this wood is easily bent when steamed, and the curved part should be shaped neatly.
Two sides are cut out, as shown, and the boards are nailed or, better still, screwed to them. Each straight part may consist of one piece, in which case there will be no joints to make waterproof, but if boards of sufficient size cannot be had, pieces can be used. In this instance the edges should be planed smooth, so that a good joint may be had, which can be made watertight with white lead.
It is best to make the bottom of one piece if possible, at least for the length of the curve. The wood is thoroughly steamed, then fastened in place on the curved part.
A strap of suitable length is fastened on the top for the toe, so that the boats can be controlled with the feet.
To propel the boats along easily, a web or wing should be attached to the under side, so that it will catch the a Boat cannot be Used water on the back thrust while it will fold up when the boat is slid forward. - Contributed by Waldo Saul, Lexington, Mass.