Cultural developments and business models with rafts on Berlin's waters.

Who hasn't dreamt of building their own rafts?

Anyone who has been to Berlin's Rummelsburger Bucht in recent years will have noticed that more and more colorful, creative self-construction rafts are out and about there and life on the water is becoming increasingly popular. However, unlike what was launched by opponents of the scene, what has been created here in recent years is not junk, but subculture at its best.

Many of the people here have met in Rummelsburger Bight SPREE:publik organized and are extremely involved culturally and politically. For two years, rafts have been running out for water demonstrations, e.g. against the right or even for the phase-out of coal-fired power.

The Wackelberry der Bootschaft e.V., one of the first cultural rafts, has been hosting a free raft cinema on the Kreuzberg Landwehr Canal for years, showing short films.

Die Panther Ray, a raft which was created in 2015 as an upcycled and open-source project and was built from 90% of waste, is committed to water quality and carries out water purification campaigns on the Landwehr Canal with the specially built waste collection grid. Since last year, the Panther Ray has been garbage diving at NABU The base for divers in Urbanhafen. That's when one or the other cracked safe comes to the surface of the water.

The crew also hosts a free concert series, the so-called Spree: Sessions. The idea here is to offer up-and-coming artists a raft stage together with established artists.

These collectively operated self-made buildings are regularly asked whether they can be rented for private events. The answer is no. Many of the interested parties are then disappointed because they are not in the mood for the standard style of the commercially available raft offer. What on the raft and houseboat market On the road, it is now series production.

But people prefer it to be individual, colorful and hippie. And most of all, they want to fulfill their Huckleberry Finn childhood dream and build a raft for themselves. But it doesn't just go that way. There are rules in boat building and there are rules on water. Anyone who packs a few pallets onto canisters and goes on tour with them will be fished out again fairly soon by the water protection police. Fortunately, most of these craft rafts will soon sink and litter banks and bodies of water.

Simon and Jonny, builders of Panther Ray and co-founders of SPREE:publik,

Start right here: You are familiar with Made independently and offer their experience and know-how as part of raft building workshops. Depending on requirements, they also take on the entire project management. What is important to both of them is that there is no standard. And no matter what customers want: They don't build a raft twice! They incorporate the ideas and ideas of raft builders, condense them into realistic plans and create the required 3D models. They organize construction sites and professional tools, and bring in experienced helpers when needed. Last but not least, they ensure that the self-made buildings comply with the applicable rules and are eligible for approval, which is not always completely without relevant experience. In summary, it can be said that they enable people to realize their raft dreams. That nautical these are usually catamarans and trimarans... who cares.

In any case, the concept seems to be well received. Most recently, they worked with the staff of Dalia Research, a Berlin-based start-up, built a 12-meter long trimaran and some rafts We have already fully planned for 2018.

The two are originally psychologists and until recently completed their doctorates in cognitive neuroscience about decisions. However, they always had a penchant for craftsmanship, which they now combine with their academic background. Jonny actually wanted to become a carpenter; Simon has spent a large part of his free time working on welding for years. In any case, the two have no lack of ideas and visions. Sometimes they want a raft Build after a 100-year-old minesweeper from the Prussian Navy, sometimes they are based on the designs of Cuban escape companions. Their next big plan: They want to pit a tram with the BVG staff and put it on floats. Upcycled ferry service on the Spree? The email went out last week. Let's see what BVG thinks of it...

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About the author
Tim Krenke

As an experienced houseboat expert, I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about buying a houseboat. I am looking forward to your message!

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