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Marine engineers turn skip into a motorboat and now plan to cross the channel

Two men have made their own motorboat out of an old 200kg metal skip – and now plan to cross the English Channel in it.

Jake Harris and Sam Newstead, both marine engineers, were enjoying post-work drinks in their yard when Sam stood in the skip and had a eureka moment.

Within ‘five minutes’ the pair, from Rochester, Kent, had plugged the skip’s holes with wood and rags and their crane was lowering it into the Medway River on Tuesday, June 15

After they realised it would float, they attached an outboard motor to the back of it and were away – and now the duo is planning on using their new vessel to cross from England to France.

Jake said: “It took about five minutes for us to do. As long as it took to drink a can of cider. When we got out there it felt great. We just couldn’t stop laughing.

“I’d got the skip changed that morning and me and Sam decided to have a couple of ciders after we finished work and he stood in it. We could have swum back to shore if we had to though.

“We were going to take my little dinghy out and we couldn’t be bothered in the end so thought about strapping the outboard on this skip instead.

“They have drain holes in them as well so we had to cover them with sticks and rags with a hammer. We were confident it’d work.

“We get up to stuff like this all the time. It’s what we do for fun. We weren’t nervous about it. It was just great fun.

“We had a bit of string tied to it at first to make sure it didn’t go too far and sink but when we got about 20 yards from the wall we thought ‘sod it’ and untied the string and just went for it.

“Simon even said he’d get his boat to be a safety boat but by the time he’d got it we’d already launched and we were out in the middle of the river.”

The pair posed for photos in the middle of the marina and returned to post their spontaneous adventure on Facebook where Jake’s post has been shared more than 11,000 times.

He continued: “[The post] has gone crazy online but we didn’t do it for fame or anything like that. If we’d tried to be funny it’d just been rubbish but the fact we just had a couple of tins and decided to throw it in is great.

“It’s certainly cheaper than buying a boat. It was only £216 with the VAT. We took a risk but it worked out well.”

Returning the skip isn’t the end of their water skip challenge as now they’ve set their sights on crossing from England to France through the English Channel.

Jake added: “The skip manufacturer posted about it and wrote ‘tell us when you make it to France boys’ so me and Sam thought we’d be up for that.

“So that’s the next challenge. We’ll try and get them on-board and see if they’ll supply us with a skip. We’ll stretch it slightly and try to get across the channel!”