Introduction: Build Your Own PVC Johnboat for Minimal Cost and Time.

Picture of Build Your Own PVC Johnboat for Minimal Cost and Time.

Inspired by the PVC KAYAK, I thought I could build one up making it differently with a simple design that I have used previously in a small 1.5 foot boat which I built out of Plexiglas. I also plan on attaching a trolling motor with 34lbs or thrust to the rear of the boat. I ended up with a 55lbs thrust motor for not much more than a 34lb. Another thing that I wanted to make better was adding a good surface to the bottom of the entire boat. (To make a good fishing platform) I looked at a hard foam that seemed to be very sturdy, and I have also thought of using a very thin piece of plywood or both.

I will be updating this instructable more than a few times more in the next few days with additional pictures and better videos.

This video is from our first run out on the water at sunrise from being up all night. We cruised around for a few hours and she performed much better than expected. The only qualms we have is the rear frame bends too much for our likings when put on full power. We plan on adding support from the motor mounts to the floor supports. The camera died before we could get a video of the boat on full power to show what she can really do even with 2 people in it I don't notice a difference.

Second Video "I'm the one in the sunglasses":

Step 1: Dimensions and Conceptual Design

Picture of Dimensions and Conceptual Design

I sketched out a general look and size that I would like to achieve while trying to think of any negative consequence or flaws before construction. My drawing abilities are not the greatest so bare with me. I did not end up using the exact design that I first drew up but it gave me a general idea of what to expect.

Step 2: Materails and Tools

Picture of Materails and Tools

Materials Used:
-3/4th Inch PVC piping about 130 feet of it. (10 ft segments)
-10 90Degree Angles Connectors
-Just under 50 T connectors (I think 48?)
-6 + connectors
-3 45Degree Angle Connectors
-PVC primer and cement
-200 Feet of rope (we used aprox. 170 feet of it)
-Styrofoam Insulation found with the insulation in your hardware store (there are blue and pink ones)
-3/8' sheet of plywood
-12x16 foot Tarp HEAVY DUTY

We tested a regular tarp and it had a few small trickles of water coming in. The heavy duty tarp worked perfectly!

Motor mount items
-Hose Clamps (worm-gear Clamps)
-Small rubber to put between clamp and pipe.
-2x6x6 Piece of lumber (aprox)

And the fun stuff
-Trolling motor (we got a 55lb thrust motor on sale for 150, you can get the 30-40lb thrust for about 100)
-Deep Cycle Battery (Any 12 volt full size battery will work)

This project does not require many tools what we used were as follows
-Hack Saw (cutting the pipe and some of the wood)
-scissor (to cut the tarp to fit)
-Grommet Installation kitGrommet Installation kit (Adding Eyelits to the tarp for the rope holes)
-Hammer to use installing grommets
-Sharpie to make marks

Aprox cost:
$15 - 130 feet of 3/4th tubing
$4 - 90 angle connectors
$11 - T connectors
$8 - + connectors
$2 -45 angle connectors
$5 - primer and cement for pvc
$8 - rope
$10- styrofoam
$10 - plywood
$22 - tarp

Step 3: Early Frame Construction

Picture of Early Frame Construction

The building started with me starting a bit before the sun went down but i started cutting out pieces 2 feet in length for the bottom area. I decided on the height by how high a 2 foot section of pipe went at a 45 degree angle. It was aprox. 17 Inches. Next boat I think I would choose a hull height that is about a foot or just under a foot next time 17 inches was a bit tall.

I did not have a camera during the beginning of the project just my phone

This is just a general idea of what I wanted the frame to look like more supports and tubing will be added soon.

Step 4: Finishing Up Frame and Gluing

Picture of Finishing Up Frame and Gluing

The great thing about pvc piping is that it is very forgiving so if you do mess up with a section you can usually cut around it and add or remove length with other couplings.
To start with you are going to want to figure out about how long and wide you want and then calculate how long of pipe sections to cut, and then just attach and lay it out once you have your frame complete and you feel that it will be a sturdy frame go ahead and begin the gluing process.

To make sure that you glue the tubes properly, have the entire boat put together and check all connections before any glue is applied. We picked up a 2 pack of primer and the pvc cement for about 5 dollars. It is more than enough for this project and any other project you will have with pvc.

If your going to do this by yourself throw on some tunes it can take a while, otherwise we had some interesting conversations that made no sense till about 4am.

Step 5: Attaching Motor Mount

Picture of Attaching Motor Mount

I asked for help on this portion in the forums herehere.
We ended up getting a 2x6x7 Piece of wood that worked very nicely. We drilled 6 holes in the board for the worm gear clamps (hose clamps) which attached to the sides and bottom of the frame.

The only problem encountered with this motor mount was that the entire frame in the back flexed when the motor torqued up in the last 2 higher power settings (55lbs of thrust).
This should be very sufficient for a trolling motor rated under 40lbs but we would like to reinforce the frame by attaching more pipe at an angle to the floor frame.

(will add pictures when completed.)

Step 6: Tarp Fitment

Picture of Tarp Fitment

Now it is time to lay out the tarp make sure that the tarp you choose is HEAVY DUTY. But you need the tarp to be long and wide enough so it folds over the sides and ends of the boat.

Once it is laid out measure and mark where the tarp needs to be cut to fit the frame of the boat. After the tarp is the proper length get our your grommet installation kit and start punching and hammering them at your choice of intervals. We put them at aprox 1 foot intervals.

Step 7: Lacing the "shoe"

Picture of Lacing the "shoe"

This was just like lacing a shoe but it took a while longer we took the rope under the frame and across as you can see in the picture. This is fairly self explanatory. Oh yeah slide the Styrofoam in there if you are using it. (I thought it would help keep the tarp from rubbing on the frame as much)

And again mike gets all the credit, I really need to teach him to use my camera.

Step 8: Add Water + Motor and Battery

Picture of Add Water + Motor and Battery

Or just use it as a car cap, We called him habeeb. "this was 5am"
The plywood on the top of the frame spreads the weight out over the frame so make sure you have it or you could crack the pipe if you stand on one part of it.
Don't forget life preservers even if you have just one for 2 people. We brought 2 oars too, just to get in the water before adding the motor and battery.

And we were VERY pleased it rode very high on the water. And then when we put the motor on it worked even nicer. We stayed out at the lake for 2 hours cruising around on the water watching the sun come up after a long nights work. I promise I will have more pictures and videos. But i expect to be fishing out of this boat quite a bit now its a VERY stable platform to fish from.

Please comment on anything you like I would love to hear from you, even if it is negative haha.

Look back for updates soon.

Second Video "I'm the one in the sunglasses":


zigzagchris (author)2011-07-29

What happens when i bring it on the oceon. I think it would be fun to build a kayak using the tarp and pvc frame idea. Be fun to just be able to bring places except my family owns 4 allready.

Starsword7 (author)zigzagchris2016-06-02

maybe something like this:

mporritt (author)zigzagchris2015-05-03

yeahhhh, probably wouldn't be a good idea to put it in the ocean. May be wrong but i believe he made it for use on a lake, ocean would probably kill it lol.

CotyJ (author)2015-01-23

How about finding away to bed line it

ben.groom.520 (author)2014-12-11

Going to put wheels and a lawn mower engine so i can drive this on land too with a steering wheel

CharlesChristopher (author)2014-03-07

I wonder if a corracle could made with the same basic techniques.

random squigles (author)2013-12-13


Gigean (author)2013-05-20

I'm completely new to the whole build-it-yourself scene, but I was thinking of making this boat. The only thing I am hesitant about is using a tarp--is fiberglass easy to work with? I have no experience with the stuff

random squigles (author)Gigean2013-12-13

No it is not easy to work with. Building a boat with Fiberglass is not something for the beginner.

SIRJAMES09 (author)Gigean2013-12-12

fibre glass can be quite easy once you get the hang of it....
It can also be a MAJOR pain in the posterior too.

I suggest, that for you to gain experience with fibreglass, start small & simple...
the hardest part I think is learning how much hardener to add to the resin. to little & it will either not set at all or it will take days/weeks/etc.
And another thing, once you do get the mixture correct, you have to work fast or you'll have a rock hard mess in your bucket that you won't be able to use.

As I said earlier, it CAN BE the limit of 2 extremes..extremely easy to work with OR a total pain in the posterior. It depends on how much experience you have with it...or don't have with it.

stumppuller71 (author)2009-01-24

Hi there, I love the boat and I'm considering building one but I have an issue with the prices you list. You say you bought 130 feet of 3/4 inch pvc tubing for only 15 dollars. I live in Canada and all but a 10' piece of 3/4 inch pvc tubing goes for $9.59 at home depot. So I would need 13 of these correct? That would put the total JUST for the pvc at @ $130. Am i missing something or do you know a wicked place to get pvc tubing cheap? Please let me know where you bought your materials ok? Thanks

yo yo stumppuller! I am here in the great land of Oz, and by the by, today is our national day (Australia Day), but yes, I found Zmatts prices for PVC pipe quite ridiculous, as here in Oz my 20mm PVC pipe cost around $2 - $3 a metre, leading to an ultimate cost of around about $150 - $200, then add another $100 for the T connectors, and the entire boat cost around $500 australian dollars, I should have just bought a aluminium (NOTE CORRECT SPELLING! alumin > I < um) dingy. Ahhhh well, you live and you learn.......or at least, you live.

SIRJAMES09 (author)CybergothiChe2013-12-12

some times it is best to let it's ability/inability to spell correctly is not a big deal in the grand scheme of things...

if one wants to complain about something, politics is a good subject to complain about...religion is another...there are many subjects that are worth complaining about....spelling is NOT one of them.

aluminum is on the periodic table, al-you-min-yum isn't... heh... see that is an interesting concept...the original spelling of aluminium was indeed aluminum, but that spelling was changed, for some reason, and now (in a similar vein to *F and *C (Fareinheit and Celsius) and Metric (GO METRIC GO METRIC GO GO GO METRIC!) and Imperial) the United States is one of the few places left in the world that still uses the spelling you could say that both spellings, aluminium and aluminum are indeed correct, but one is more correct than the other...all depending on where you are on this orb of rock we call the Earth (and why Earth, we got ripped off in the planet naming stakes, you've got Jupiter, Mars, Venus, etc, and what do we get? Earth. I mean, we were naming the planets, so wht did we not give our planet a funky name, like, I don't know, Cool, Awesome, The Funky Third Planet? It would be cool, when we finally meet the aliens that we all know are out there, they would be like, "we are from the planet Nebulon Alpha" and we would be all like "Hey dudes, we're from the planet Awesome, come have a beer!" and the aliens would be all like "Do you think you could make that a light beer, we have to drive later, and you know how those hyperspace expressways are, damn Neptunions, always going warp 3 in the warp 9 lane" and then we would be all like, "yeah man, I'll get you a light beer, here's a Bud Lite" and we would crack the top off and give it to the aliens and they would drink their light beer and then be all like "OK, we have to go now, got to beat rush hour on the hyperspace expressway. It's been fun, you guys, let's all meet up for a beer another time, dudes. Bye!" And then the aliens would leave, travelling on the hyperspace expressway, back to their home planet of Nebulon Alpha. But no, our planet is called Earth...lame.) Aiiiiiiight! Laters...

georion (author)CybergothiChe2013-11-21

no limits to pseudo anything ?????

you know what you just need to..............i'll be nice and quit talking now

SIRJAMES09 (author)bassmasta10102011-07-23


zmatt (author)stumppuller712010-03-03

I'm not sure why your PVC is so expensive, but its always cheap in the us.

SIRJAMES09 (author)zmatt2011-07-23

Maybe because we are the biggest supplier in the world for PVC & CPVC & most any other plastic pipe.

SIRJAMES09 (author)stumppuller712011-07-23

Please do not take this the wrong way, but PVC in Canada is twice the cost of what it is in America...the costs he stated are the norm for America, but in Canada, the costs are outrageous for everything.

danray35e (author)stumppuller712009-03-26

try buying it in usa. I priced 1" pvc at $2.36 for a ten foot stick at lowes yesterday

SIRJAMES09 (author)2013-12-12

This looks like it would be hard/tedious to build...and the lacing? looks like more work than I am able to do(many health problems)....

but hey, if you're happy with it, nothing else matters. I hope you have great success fishing with it. : )

I was wondering...
is there a way to fibre glass the parts where the tarp covers? maybe a fibre glass window screen as a first/base layer(something to put the fibreglass sheets on) and then maybe 1/4 inch thick fibreglass sheets to cover the rest....

It's just a thought...when it comes to stuff like this, I really do not know much about it..

MatthewMetcalf (author)2008-03-03

Why not try putting fiberglass release agent over the tarp and then fiberglassing it? With the release agent you would be left with a fiberglass shell, then you could reinforce that with the frame. I think all the fiberglassing supplies are not too costly if I remember right.

zmatt (author)MatthewMetcalf2008-03-03

I personally don't have any experience with fiberglass but I've always wanted to learn, could you use small bendable pvc pipe to create a more fluid design and then fiberglass the hull?

SIRJAMES09 (author)zmatt2011-07-23

the thing about fiberglass is, if you screw up, hiding the mistake is easy. :)
to make the resin(the "glue" that holds it all together) you have a hardener & the resin itself. there are directions printed on every container on how to mix the resin. Just do it & you will learn as you go. it's not that hard really.

Thaikarl (author)zmatt2008-10-30

i've done some fiber glassing... only against a rigid mold. but you certainly could fiberglass over a stretched plastic shape. problem would be keeping the thing nice and uniform- the fiberglass cloth and resin will have it's own weight which means it would want to bow out on the downsides, and cup in on the up sides until the resin set... so you'd have to have a way to compensate for that. once you have the first layer of glass/resin on, you would have a fairly rigid shape to apply more layers to.

Lokisgodhi (author)Thaikarl2010-05-24

If you want to fiberglass, why bother with the pipe? Just make the hull out of sheets of (blue/pink) insulation board and fiberglass over that.  

Aquadragon (author)2010-03-01

I must say, this Instructable intrigues me greatly!

 Though this design is more or less a bit "boxier" than I'd like to build myself, it is do-able.

 Here's my current issue: ( Warning- no explicit language, but a long-winded background story of  WHY I'm considering this option.)
 Quite simply, I am a fisherman.  I am a fisherman that has little money to even fish, much less pay huge prices for a small water craft to fish from. 
 For two years, I've searched High and Low for something suitable for me.

 My goals were to have a small boat, easily carried/ported. It would have to be big enough to carry two average size people , but small enough to be transported in the back of my full-size long bed truck. It would have to provide enough room for two to fish comfortably.

 I looked at the commercial alternatives in this area, both new and used.  I'm appalled at the prices for something INFLATABLE, and even the little "scamps", "Bass Buddies", and " Pelicans" are very costly new.  I have found many ( On craigslist ) in my area used, but most of those are very weather damaged, or have holes to patch... and economically speaking, still a bit too much for what I'd be paying for. I've probably looked at well over two-hundred of these in my area over the course of two years.

I made up my mind... I'm not going to buy someone's junk, for the price I could make a boat.  ( Cost wise, I ~could~ build a simple plywood jon boat for the same as a new plastic one. ) I'm just not very wood-working inclined, nor do I have the patience to stretch a project out over a week or two.

So, I'm looking at this project here, and thinking... this just ~might~ service my needs, and realatively cost effective.

I'm thinking on altering the design a bit.
As far as I could tell, the tarp was a great idea... but I am desiring something a bit sturdier.  I'm considering constructing panels on the outside of the frame-work of the foam insulation boards, giving each pieace and seam a heavy coating of duct-tape.  after the "hulls" has gotten assembled on the frame completely, giving extra layers of duct-tape from bow to stern ( at least 4-plys of it) to not only help hold it together, but to offer some puncture/abrasion resistance.

This will use alot of tape I'm sure. Somewhere around 10 rolls I hope or less.
For the interior, I will also use a sheet of plywood , cut down as a single floor piece. I plan on duct-taping this as well, to give it some sort of water protection. ( I will invest in marine grade ply-wood later on as funds allow.)

 I want some bench seats in my model... to raise one up for fishing, and I'm considering adding in simple spans of PVC pipe across the width, a thin ply-wood strip ( also duct-tape coated ) attached to them.

The interior hull walls... again more duct tape.
I'm guessing about 25 rolls of tape just to be sure... or I hope.

 My only questionable part of the design, is to provide a good stable stern-board for a trolling motor. Eventually I will buy one to put on it.

 But, if it will still be light wieght, portable, and cost-effective ( opposed to buying commercial out-right), and can be assebled with myself and a helper in a couple of weeks, I think it'll be  agreat little project, and will get me at least one or two summers of fun fishing.

 I will have to keep it out of the weather/sun when not in use, as Duct-tape degrades in UV light, and other elements.
 Any comments or suggestions on the idea?

SIRJAMES09 (author)Aquadragon2011-07-23

instead of duct tape, what about fiberglass?? that ismore durable than duct tape, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to work with it....or canvas & fibreglass resin??

Just a thought

solitary man (author)Aquadragon2010-06-22

Hi, Just a friendly suggestion, but with the plywood floor I bet you could use regular aluminum lawn chairs as opposed to bench seats. Greater portability and gives a variety of floor plans in case of multiple fisherman and gear.

92033 (author)Aquadragon2010-06-12

Let me know WHEN you're going to build this boat. I want to buy Stock in the Duct Tape Company first. :-) Seriously, though...why not fibreglass where your Duct Tape will go? Stronger and perhaps outlive both of us. Weather beats the heck out of Duct Tape, not counting the water elements on top of it.

Aquadragon (author)920332010-06-14

Actually I rather gave up the project a while back, while I could have done it easily enough, I just never found the time to get the project started. Fiberglass would work I suppose, though you need a supply of it, and know how to work with it , and I really don't know the first thing about fiberglass. I've been spending more time on the shallow clear creeks and rivers around my area anyways, most folks canoe them, but I find the class 1 and 2 waters more enjoyable floating using a river tube, and for fishing I simply just wade/walk where I want. This last weekend, I caught and released 40 creek chubs, a few redhorse sucker fish, lots of little sun perch ( green I think), and two nice sized small mouth bass that wound up in my freezer. On these waters I've been frequenting, which form up the Elk River in MO, even a inflatable raft is a bit awkward to navigate ( and I wonder about dragging the bottom of one in shallows), I see many canoes being ported/dragged frequently. So the Duct tape boat, I'm sure would be just as awkward as a inflatable raft. By raft, I mean the small 2-4 man inflatables Walmart sells. The main issue with both is the flat bottoms, with poor weight distribution, making it difficult to turn and guide the craft through swift narrow currents and small rapid areas. Plus many of these places have twigs and fallen trees the water flows around, and I would worry about the hull being compromised by a jabbing stick. I think duct tape if thick enough would be alright, but it is flexible and in my original idea, my hit hard enough to push a panel out of shape, or break it causing other problems. Now if I could just figure out a viable way to float my tube down river, and carry my fishing gear, and be able to navigate the flowing waters from rock bar to rock bar... I'd be very pleased. So far though, the tube is only for short float trips, and fishing is done by strenuous walking up and down the creeks.

92033 (author)Aquadragon2010-06-15

Thanks much for your unexpected reply. I agree with all you say about the light puncture proof floatables ('boats') and would never use one myself. Last summer I saw an oversized guy laying sideways across a one-man inflatable...legs over one side and shoulders over the other. Had a small electric put-put motor on it...not wearing a life preserver...going down the local Black River. Now, this thing is 50-feet deep where Lake Ships come in the channel to unload at the local wallboard manufacturing plant down river. He went way out past the Lighthouse on Lake Erie where the Lake is DEEP. Some guys have no brain at all. After laughing at him my thought was that I'd be seeing the idiot on the late night eleven o'clock news. Evidentily he had God on his side that day, eh? There's an area where red-eyed Rock Bass and sunfish are caught heavily. Watched a friend of mine last week catching them from offshore every thirty seconds after his line hit the water. Other guys weren't catching anything. He KNOWS HOW to fish...catches 10-pounder catfish and steelheads while sitting in his car reading or listening to the radio. The fish 'hook' themselves...he just reels them in. Thanks for sharing your fishing of luck to you always. Take care. ~ ED

Aquadragon (author)920332010-06-20

True that! After thinking about it for a long time now, you really need any water-craft to service your needs on the bodies of water you intend to use them. The guys that did this project here, seemed to just want something they could float around on, be happy with having a time of it... it serviced what the needed, and maybe even out performed their expectations. I myself, only desire something to where I can get into these small lakes we have around here, where it isn't heavily fished. But, I need it to be stable, and dependable, and easily used, operated, and loaded by myself. Up here, we have two big lakes, a bajillion small lakes , and the clear creeks and rivers. I fish a bit at the big ones, usually bank fishing at night..which isn't very productive at all, but I don't have much of a desire to boat around them trying to beat the last trip fish-wise each time. So, I have no need for a "full sized" fishing boat... nor do I want to pay the UNGODLY amount for one, and the trailer, registration, insurance, accessories... ect. Getting one of those used... well, generally people don't or know how to take care of their boats. Buying one used, is 80% likely that you just dropped cash into someone's hands, and bought yourself a nice floating lemon. Some are decent still, and you can tell... the price will be almost as bad as a brand new one of the same variety... , I'm thinking... if I'm going to spend that much anyways, I'll go buy a new one with a warranty, let them find another sucker to buy it. As soon as the craft is put on a lot, most people don't know that the value drops by half when it leaves the FACTORY. Most styles and models of boats are mass produced only for a year or two at most. Same with the engines, regardless of outboard/inboard. So, it makes me laugh when I see an ad that says: " 16' Bassrider Fishing Boat for Sale, only a year old... less than 30 Hours on the water, comes with ( insert Blah, blah, blah )! ONLY $25,550! " Now the things wrong with that: 1- People are trying to return the investment they lost buying the boat new... I understand that, however... the craft isn't WORTH that price anymore. It will NOT appraise anywhere close to 1/2 the retail they paid for it... , and you'd be surprised at how many sellers know this fact, and still rely on uneducated public to remain ignorant. Honestly, if you buy a craft brand new, and go to resale it later on down the road for what-ever reasons, you should expect to do so at a whopping loss. People don't though... be it profitable greed, or just trying to cover what they lost. 2- The Boat Brand new the year it came out was already $27,000 retail. Knocking a few grand off the insane retail price , isn't really much of a bargain. For the average consumer... bargains start at 50%, or more.. not 5%, or measly 10-20% off. The boat now sits on a lot in the "Used' section, because it's model was replaced during the year, with the current year model... it's still brand new, and has a limited warranty, and it's retail price has dropped lower than the Seller's price in question. 3- The boat sits there, not maintained... in a driveway, or lot somewhere... because, well, lets face it... either no one wanted it to begin with, or... no one could afford it. So, they just sit there.. rotting more or less. That actually causes more issues with a water-craft, than anyone cares to know. Simple things like UV light from the sun, damage and compromise the boat's structures. Gas and Oils, tar up, sludge up... evaporate leaving chemical residues behind, hoses dry rot, vinyl cracks and mildews, clamps rust... ect... Now, I'm thinking... the craft REALLY isn't worth the Price, or even close to half of it, given the potential problems of non-maintenance has caused already. So, I was glad when I stopped the frustrating search of a "full sized" boat, as I had decided that I really didn't fish much, or have much of a desire to run across That big lake. "Bass-Buggies, two man Pontoon-like ABS jobs"... maybe a good alternative to small waters I'd use it for, but... again... the PRICES are UNGODLY, for what it is! It's PLASTIC from a mold, welded together, and has two seats, and maybe some MOLDED Cup holders in it! I know it doesn't cost hardly anything to MAKE one, so I seriously am under-joyed about paying close to a grand or more for one of these brand new. Used ones... usually are badly UV damaged, and Plastic boats always at some point... start accumulating water in their hollow hulls. They aren't made to last long... and the manuals tell you that in black and white too. And, if by chance one has a hole in it...or crack, it's difficult to find a decent repair. Even fiber-glass, JB weld, or other adhesives/tapes.. just don't stick to the ABS well to begin with, much less so when it's aged, and already water/sun damaged. A repair, can at that point cost more than it's worth. Now, maybe I'm just wrong n this... but, a thing designed not to last long sounds like it's " disposable" to me. I wouldn't pay $10.00 for a disposable razor, ... much less hundreds for a disposable boat. If they were more reasonably priced... sure I'd buy one or two every so often, and be happy as long as it lasted.. Canoes and kayaks... Again, way over priced... but this is more less a quality issue, than it is a very coveted item, retailers know hey can charge more, because people buy them. The more people that buy them in a year, the higher the price goes up. Business has it backwards now, and the populace lets it happen... It's gotten to where if you want to be healthy, eat better foods, and have more exercise/outdoor fun ( that's good for you), you will will pay higher prices to do so. Still canoes and Kayaks are for the most part good small crafts. Most generally, they are study, made well, and are made of materials that resist damaging elements. I still don't think they are worth the prices asked for them, ( as they are still MAN POWERED craft ), but they are.. for what they are designed for on the top of the list of well made crafts. Used varieties are usually in good shape, even if they seen heavy use. The only thing that bugs me is, buying one used... the people selling them think since they paid $400.00 for that Kayak, that $375.00 is the least they should take. So many people want to buy them, they too know they can get away with selling at ridiculous prices. My issue with them both: 1- Canoes are hard to control by yourself in flowing waters... it can be done, but the ideal situation is to have two people in the canoe. 2- Kayaks and canoes both, can roll, or tip over quite easily. 3- Both are difficult to "anchor" for still activities, such as working a good fishing hole, especially in flowing waters. 4- Most the time, your going to have to port them over or around obstacles. Even the light ones,this is a chore... too much work, and takes time away from the enjoyment. The more gear you carry, the more that has to be ported. 5- Especially in Kayaks... but canoes as well... comfortableness is an issue. I don't know about anyone else, but having my lower back hurt from sitting in those positions for long periods of time ( more than an hour ), greatly detracts from the relaxing enjoyment factor. Pain, stiff legs, and aching joints equals less fun in my opinion. 6- Limited space and cargo options. Ever hooked a nice small mouth from the back end of a canoe, and tried to not let it break the line, or get off the hook, while maintaining your balance, and trying to reach the net you brought, thats almost under the front seat? Reaching over the cooler, and tackle box, you had to tie in the middle, cause they just don't fit anywhere else? .. not very productive fun... ( your buddy up front also has to maintain balance while you are moving around, and even if he hands you the net you need, you are detracting from his relaxing time and fishing.) Now you got the net, and have the fish.. crud he swallowed the hook.. now you need the pliers...ARRGGG! So , while good crafts basically... not my ideal set up for my needs, even though they are more suitable craft for the waters I like to target. (Small lakes, and clear flowing waters. ) Then there are "inflatables"... inflatables to me, are a double edged sword in many ways. First off, they come in a nice variety of practical use models. You can find what you need, even for open-ocean waters. man powered, or motor driven... you name it! Small waters, white water, big waters... they have it covered! They are highly portable, light, and offer more comfortable room for both operators and gear. The draw backs: Good models/brands vrs cheaper economical brands- Both, way over priced. I mean WAY over priced! Good models, have stability and long lasting in mind... they offer runners and keels, and often some sort of removable flooring, along with abrasion and puncture resistant materials. Big and small, quality is generally on the good side, and they are easier to maneuver, and pretty much act like their larger "cousins" the "full sized boats". However... they come with a hefty price tag attached, some can run you as much as buying a couple of the above mention craft. Cheaper... economical ( what MOST average people can maybe afford ), aren't so well made. They have difficult maneuverability, somewhat questionable seams and materials used to make them, most aren't designed for heavy use. You have to be much more careful about abrasion and punctures, the slightest bit of damage, and you aren't doing anything but diving for your gear that just sank in a pool of deflated PVC Vinyl. In both cases though... it's the fact of damage of any sort, can compromise the use of the craft, cause deflation ... that I think makes the prices for these things utterly ridiculous! An inflatable... no matter how well made, is just a big thing of PVC vinyl ( sometimes a composite with canvas or nylon material ), filled with air. It's a big Inner tube, when you actually think about it. Again, it can't cost that much to make one. The base materials are very cheap, and I worked in a plastics/PVC factory long enough to know, these things don't cost but a mere fraction of the price asked for them to produce. It's unreasonable... and like the bass buddies, they aren't designed to last long. Better brands do last ~longer~ , and much of it depends on after-care and storage too. So, of course, when I seen this instructable, watched the vids, and had the thought of... building something to service my needs, do it cheap, and wouldn't take forever... I got all excited. Over the time though since I got my only reply from ED and then, I just re-assessed my needs, and found I could get away with alot less than I actually thought I needed before. For the creeks and small rivers, I decided it was better to hike up and down, and fish by wading, or bank/rock bar standing. I can move into and out of currents, creep up in overhangs and structure hanging over the waters... and have a look at the holes closely that I will fish in. of course, I'd like to be able to tube down for farther stretches, save some wear and fatigue on my legs a bit. ( Float down, find a good promising spot, pull up on the rock-bars, and resume fishing.) I simply don't have any wish for porting a canoe or kayak down these places... so, I do it like I've been doing it. For sure, I'd hate to pay these prices yet again, but I was considering one of those inflatable one man pontoons things. I'm still iffy about that at this point though. For the small lakes, I bit the bullet, and bought an inflatable. I got it big enough to hold me, my gear and buddy comfortably, it is portable... and an electric air pump ensures I can just take it anywhere I want, set up anywhere I want, and have a good time of relaxing fishing. My Model, came with a trolling motor... that helps with the maneuvering aspects when it's needed. It isn't by far... "perfect", and I HATED what I had to spend to get it, but when it boils down to it... it does service my needs fairly well. So, to conclude... I dropped the project, more or less because I didn't get around to it, before fixing my own craft needs. To be honest..., I never really got started beyond a few hand drawn diagrams. What it came down to was, needs vrs wants, and practical application. I still think the project above, and how I had thought can be done and be alright for what it is, and to use it for. I'm not sure how long it wold last... or exactly sure the over-all cost of doing it. It may have well been better price wise, for me to buy the inflatable, than to build the craft I had in mind... I simply could not honestly tell anyone, because I didn't really try.

CybergothiChe (author)2008-10-20

hey man, I live in Wavell Heights, in Brisbane, on the east coast of Australia. I found your designs and instructable very interesting and am making one of my own. I am using 25/32 on an inch pipe, or as we say in Australia, 20mm, it is also pressure pipe, to increase structural integrity. It is also going to be powered under sail, and oar, should the need arise. it will also be collaspable, like into a backpack, or something. here are some photos of my first day of construction. thanks for the idea man. Ché

here are some more photos of my boat construction

Seth Black (author)CybergothiChe2009-03-14

...very nice modifications, crazypoop. I like the staggered floor supports idea. That rudder won't be of any use though. It needs to extend down well below the bottom of the boat, to effectively alter the boat's course. I'd love to see pictures of this boat, after it's completed.

CybergothiChe (author)Seth Black2009-03-14

I'm afraid there are no photographs of this boat when it was completed, as when I took it out on it's madien voyage it turned into a pile of PVC pipe and heavy duty tarp floating around me, it was so funny, I was just sort of floating around with my life preserver and laughing about how my boat had collapsed around me...I guess you had to be there...but then I had to drag this mass of PVC pipe and water filled tarp out of the water...then I walked away...walked away...

static (author)CybergothiChe2010-09-23

Yea we know what happened. You forgot to glue the loints, rather than admit that you created a story about how planned a collapsible boat.

Seth Black (author)CybergothiChe2009-03-15

...pity. I've done a little researching, and there are a couple of ways to improve your boat, so the pieces don't seperate: 1. Bungy Shock Cord: Inserted into the pipe and connectors, these will provide tension on the components, when assembled. 2. Snap Buttons: Inserted into the male end of the 3/4" pipe, these allow the pipe to snap and lock into the couplings.

hey everybody, just an update. I built my boat as a collapsable boat, so it could be stored in a backpack sort of thing, but unfortunatly, when it was in the water it collapsed in on itself and I was left floating in a sea of tarp and pvc pipe. so, I guess a good observation of this tragety would be to advise you all out there in internetland that a collapsable version of this boat is not advisable, nor is taking it out onto the ocean.

zmatt (author)CybergothiChe2009-01-27

wow haha you took this out on the ocean? i'd love to see what this looked like or where exactly you put in at.

masleym (author)2010-08-27

great boat, just made my own itteration. get the videos back up for prroof!

27222712 (author)2010-08-03

nice job, im probably gonna do this myself.

cool not lame (author)2010-07-14

cant u just use oars? if u can how do make space for the ruder?

cool not lame (author)2010-07-13

hey man can u just row the thing ? cuz i dont see a need for a motor,but it is still cool!

jefftippett (author)2010-04-13

Here mine is Total cost $95.00     Thanks for the Idea, it was fun.

zmatt (author)jefftippett2010-06-22

Thanks for posting the pictures, its cool to see another one. What do you plan of powering it with or have you used it yet? Mine has been outside for almost 3 years now and the tarp has degraded from the heat/sun.

jefftippett (author)zmatt2010-06-22

I use mine quite often. i powered the boat with 2 old sunk pumps that sucks the water out of the lake then jets it out like a jet boat, I have a valve that switches the flow from left to right for steering it works great not real fast but gets you there with no problem, i can go right over the weeds to the fish. LOVE this boat and it was a blast to build

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