photo credit-David Kamerman

New York-style Loft Rafts


Go to the Boston Globe article



This is a Project by two Boston artists to territorialize
and adapt unused urban space to the needs of displaced
artists in the Fort Point Channel area. The intent is to design,
build, and live on a raft in the channel as a live/work studio,
highlighting the resourcefulness and adaptability required of
artists to maintain a place to make work in Boston’s often difficult
and changing market. While in no way intended as protest
against the influences behind the transformations of
Fort Point Channel, the plan is to maintain typical daily life
as artists; going to work, ordering take out, working in the studio,
sustaining a social life. Since we will be visible from any of the
several bridges that span the channel, we are presenting a
public work that addresses the condition of being an artist,
in this time and place, as well as a proactive attempt to find
an alternate situation. more.

Schematics and more rafts

schematic drawings-

The raft was designed to float on capped and bundled PVC pipe pontoons. The deck is a basic plywood and 2x4 construction. The canopy is an assembled 2x4 frame covered with corrugated tin and plastic. Most of the materials to build the raft were either donated or scavenged from discarded materials.

The Flag

The graphic design of the flag arose from reseach for this project into utopian pirate and buccaneer societies that arose around the time of the French and American revolutions.The stereotypical pirate flag is the skull and crossbones from the Jolly Rodger, however each ship had a unique flag with symbology ranging from skeletons, hearts, weapons, and so on. A common image also used was the hourglass, supposedly symbolizing the little time left for the pirate's victim. The hourglass seemed an appropriate symbol for this project, pointing to the limited time for artists in this community.

Floatation Test

At the high tide of August 1st of 2004, a test of the pontoons' buoyancy was held using half the estimated weight of the raft and half the flotation devices. The test, beyond the proof of functionality, allowed us to determine the mobility of the modular aspects that were designed into the raft. The real world application gave us insight into the hydrodynamic properties and design issues of the prototype that would need to be addressed in the completed state.

click here to see the prototype on the move in the city

tide chart

Sounding the Channel

To prepare for navigation in the channel, soundings from the three bridges were made to determine the topography of the channel floor.

Construction and Launch of W.T.L.F.P.C.A.P.T.O.T.L.

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Produced with Assistance from the Fort Point Cultural Coalition
















































































































The Facilities (the most asked question.)

The Big Day.

Launch at High-tide (4:40pm) Sept. 5, 2004

Putting the Raft together and into the water

Raising the colors and the christening

We would both like to thank everyone who attended the launching ceremony, especially those who went beyond and above in helping us get the thing together and into the water. Special thanks to Jeanne Alberts whose dedication speech set us on our way and Abe Tahgdis for documentation. All of you who have lent your tools, time and support, both physically and emotionally, we owe a debt of gratitude.


Location Log

Barking Crab Dock


For the past three nights we have docked at the abandoned pier of the Boston Tea Party exhibit. The views at night are great, and the construction workers are curious and friendly, come over and ask what we're up to or just wave hi. Rowed this morning over past Gillette freaking the postal workers.

New Northern St. Bridge

Thursday morning fog

red sky?


Small craft advisory and severe weather shut down the studios. Winds 25 mph and reminants of Frances cause us to batten down the hatches and consider abandonning ship, at least til the winds go down. Oh well, you can't be in the studio all the time.

Weekend Update

Finally some time to do things besides repairs. A few days of floating, rowing, and making stuff. The weather was perfect, with on and off winds. Spent alot of time at the abandoned docks near the Summer St. Bridge.

The friendly people at the Post Office

Daily log

Finally dry enough to paint the letters

Territorializing by planting flags

Claimed in the name of the WTLFPCAPTOTL

Remedial Crafts: making stuff from bones and shells


The nights are getting a little chilly and damp. When the winds pick up, we have to head inside. We are trying bottom mooring, but are more exposed to the elements

Closed up for the night

Sleepy after a day of rowing

A quick breakfast before heading to work


Lots of visitors. Boater are very curious about what we're doing as well as office workers as we row around in the middle of the day.

SMFA sculpture class vist


Friendly folks

and tourists


We've taken alot of people out for rowing tours of the channel, or just to hang out on the water. But this is going to be our first sleepover. A friend visiting from New York decides to brave a night on the water with the crew.


Last day of our little experiment. It was a good run but ending it on the first day of Fall somehow seems to fit. We'll be out here again in Oct. for a week as part of FPCC's Public Works Series.

Locking her up and thanks to VJ for the Wild Things photo on the day ashore.

Another beautiful dawn, everyone survived and is a-ok after a cup of coffee.

Better than a New York Loft, and roomy too, just look at those sleeping quarters.


Hot Coffee at the gates of dawn












This morning we were hunkered under the Congress St. bridge, avoiding the rain. It was rather fun rowing in the rain, but expect a few days of constant dampness. For the past few days, we've been around the old Tea Party dock and the Barking Crab, who generously donated berth space, which helped in a few small repairs that were expected. We plan to explore around the Summer St. Bridge and Gillette area for the next few days.