Jason Hibbs is at it again with a creative and ingenious idea to turn an everyday object into an extravagant project. In his recent video, Hibbs of Bourbon Moth Woodworking made the unconventional yet captivating transformation of a cattle trough into a speed boat unfold.
Jason's quest began when he decided to turn the Midwest tradition of floating cattle troughs down rivers, from ‘a less-than-thrilling visual of people sitting in a cattle trough’ into something more. Determined to enhance the floating experience, he embarked on the ambitious project of turning a cattle trough into a legitimate speed boat.
The process involved cutting pieces of marine-grade plywood to create a bow frame, and then attaching them to the cattle trough. He then added a beautiful mahogany trim using Thixo, a thickened epoxy, ensuring a watertight seal. Thixo was the MVP of this build, as you’ll see him use it in high volume (about 20 lbs of it according to Hibbs) and multiple times throughout the video.
After getting the plywood frame in place, Jason poured our expandable, extremely satisfying to watch, Marine Flotation Foam into the bow, creating buoyancy for the vessel. The 2-Pound foam more than doubled in volume and filled the entire bow, giving Jason added confidence in his boat and its ability to keep him above water.
He trimmed the excess foam off and topped it with another quarter inch piece of plywood. To address potential water absorption through exposed plywood, Jason meticulously sealed every seam with more Thixo, showcasing the product's versatility by using it as a caulking agent. It’s literally Jason’s favorite TotalBoat product- ‘Thixo, because it’s Thick, Yo.’
Jason used TotalBoat's Topside Primer to ensure nice coverage for the paint, which soaked into the plywood nicely to make the paint go further and smoother. After the Topside Primer was dry, he went in with Wet Edge Topside Paint for the boat's exterior. He used the paint method of rolling and tipping- where you roll out paint really thin, then go back over with just the tip of the brush to smooth it out. Rolling and tipping gets rid of air bubbles or any impurities, and the resulting finish was not just practical but also visually appealing, with incredible smoothness and shine.
Before he could move on to the next step- some fancy speed strips were added to the boat using Wet Edge paint in red and blue.
With the boat in shape and the paint job complete, the focus shifted to interior details. Jason crafted comfortable bench seats using plywood and upholstery foam, finishing them with a blue faux leather that matched the boat's color scheme. The addition of a teak-look foam floor added a touch of sophistication. The build concludes with successfully installing a Mercury Pro Kicker 9.9 outboard motor, bringing the cattle trough boat to life.
We appreciate Jason’s demonstration of the versatility of TotalBoat products used in this fun build! Thixo, Topside Primer, and Wet Edge paint are emphasized for their essential roles in achieving the durable and aesthetically pleasing Milk Dud, the cattle trough speed boat! Jason's creativity and craftsmanship, combined with TotalBoat's reliable products, resulted in the transformation of this humble cattle trough into a unique and functional speed boat, ready to glide across the water with style.
Be sure to check out this awesome build below, and while you're at it, don't miss Part One: Experimental Boat Build!