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Oregon “teens + dad” team build barge home and workshop

Eddie Ebel wanted his family to be self-sufficient so he began designing a home and teaching his kids to build it. His eldest boys are just 14 and 15 years old, but they learned how to do it all: cut wood, put up walls, lay floor, install electrical, explains Eddie, “because those are life skills that are important to have and are just not being passed from generation to generation anymore”.

The family doesn’t just want to get off the grid, but as 21st century missionaries they want to help others become self reliant and build their own stuff as well. They knew they wanted to work with communities from Oregon to Alaska so they decided to build a barge. It’s both home for the Ebel family of 12 (6 kids are adopted) and a floating workshop complete with a mill so they can help communities along the Northwest Passage fix things, and learn to fix things.

Their barge is also the beginning of a future liveaboard-community (they’re calling it the “Pacific Iceberg“). Eddie invented a building technique using floats so that their boat is actually a “floating dock”- or a “Quad-Catamaran”- and the project can grow.  “This ship is unique in that it will “GROW” as we gather more resources to build it. Most boats are built with a single hull and once it is built, that is all there is to it. Our ship is unique in that it is actually a floating “dock” that is held together by steel I-beams and can literally grow as big as we need to make it.”