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Boat-Mounted Weed Eater Keeps Lakeshore Clean
After reading a story in FARM SHOW about weed-eating fish (Vol. 20, No. 2) Edsel DeBaker, who owns shore property on a northern Wisconsin lake that's overrun with weeds, decided to try to build a weed harvester to clean up his weed-infested lakeshore.
"It mounts on my pontoon boat and works like a front-end loader to cut, pull, and gather weeds by the ton and then dump them on shore where I can later haul them away. Lets me control weeds in the lake without getting my hands wet," says DeBaker about the patent-pending weed harvester.
His "weed eater" was built from scratch using miscellaneous pieces of angle iron. Weeds are scooped up by a 4-ft. wide bucket equipped with a solid metal bottom with a stationary sickle blade on front. The bucket mounts on hinged arms that are raised or lowered by a remote-controlled electric winch. A pair of steel "shoes" on the bottom of the bucket allow it to slide along the bottom of the lake.
To operate the unit he lowers the arms until the bucket rests on the lake bottom, then slowly drives ahead so the sickle blade can shear off the weeds. Once the bucket is full he raises it out of the water, drives the boat to shore, and walks to the front of the boat where he uses a steel rod to hook the bucket and manually trip it. The weeds fall into a pile on the shore.
"It's simple and lightweight. The entire unit weighs only 320 lbs.," says DeBaker.
"I can get a heck of a load in a hurry. I can lower the bucket a maximum of 4 1/2 ft. into the water and raise it 5 to 6 ft. high for dumping.
"This is my third generation model. I mounted the first one on front of a conventional boat but it didn't work well because it tended to rock the boat.
"The entire unit is built in three sections that pin together. It takes only about 15 minutes to remove them and one person can carry all the pieces. The bottom section is bolted to a pair of aluminum channels that I bolted under the deck.
"I paid $150 for the electric winch and spent a total of about $600. I plan to market the unit this spring."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Edsel DeBaker, 4987 Spirea Rd., Oconto, Wis. 54153 (ph 414 826-5363).

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1997 - Volume #21, Issue #3