Projects > Dunker

bunkie model
Goal : Dunk tank style dunker for dock
Build time: 4hrs?
Features: no custom dohickey's or welding!
Bodged: 1) target was originally too small; 2)  dang, that target is small! 3)  the original target broke (plywood was too thin)! 

Winner winner chicken dinner!
: This contraption is fairly self explanatory. The anticipation of a ball (finally) hitting the target and sending you in the water is something to be experienced! This one gets the yelps and screams you would expect from a dunk tank. The only difference is that the dunkee faces out into the lake not inwards to face the ball-pitching dunker. The dunkee can sit backwards, but most seem to like the surprise of not looking. dunker
Is that safe?
: That is, of course, a loaded question when it comes to anything B&B. If you are wondering about getting hit by balls, notice the protective fencing? We find this is mostly for show as no ball has even hit the fencing, and none have hit a waiting dunkee.
Hair trigger: How reliable is the trigger mechanism? The target arm rotates and pulls the metal rod through the gate latch releasing the master link holding the board down on the back end. It triggers 95% of the time with a baseball or football hit - the other 5% of the time it takes a second strike. After sitting for the winter the rod needs the rust sanded off so it slides nicely. We have also polished it with vegetable oil a bit... that is mainly to intimiate the kids, "The trigger is so touchy a gust of wind could set it off!".
dunker Setting the dunker: The trigger mechanism has moving parts, so yes, be careful about getting your hands in there. The long hook is a safety mechanism so that the board does not trigger while the dunkee scootches out onto the end. The trigger setter needs to be careful not to put their head over the board while releasing the hook, because if the trigger is not properly set... a bad episode of Three Stooges happens with you getting whacked in the head with a board.
I gotta build a platform?: We actually already had the dive platform in place and watching the kids use it is what inspired the dunker. The dunker bolts onto the dive platform with 3 x 3/8" bolts. Do not use the dunker as a diving rips out the safety latch and may ruin your trigger system. We only have the dunker installed for about half the summer or when guests come, otherwise it sits quietly in the back of the cottage awaiting its next victim...
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