Homemade Pontoon Boat

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Introduction: Homemade Pontoon Boat

About: Hello my name is Fitch and i like to build things. I am creative and im just cool like that BD

UPDATE: 
The canopy was too weak and a strong wind knocked it over, luckily I have some materials to build a new and improved one. This one will come with see though plastic curtains that we can use to block out the wind. I will buy a second hand gas motor, but keep the electric one as back up. I am also working on a mini wind turbine to put on the boat to generate electricity for the battery on the motor or anything else. We're planning on painting it to prevent it from rotting. Last but not least the bottom will be a complete overhaul, with two more barrels  styrofoam to insulate it and possible sheet metal to cover it and make two big pointed pontoons. 

The idea for a boat was around in my mind for a while; I never thought that I wound end up actually building it. The boat is built from scrap wood and large plastic barrels. My friend who helped build the boat with me and I are always finding ways to improve it. Spring/ Summer 2014 we will improve it even more to take long trips down the St. Croix river in Maine. 

I hardy paid anything to make this boat, the wood was left over from a previous project, the barrels were from a old warf, the furniture was old, and the motor was left from a friends old boat. It can be a little tipsy at times but can easily hold five people. It is very slow, but still takes you where you need to go if it is not too windy. Its perfect place to chill out, do some fishing, grill some burgers, and have a few drinks. 

Step 1: What You Will Need:

*Planks (I used a couple 2X4's don't know the exact measurements 
 so you will have to come up with your own, keep in mind of the barrel
 size)
*Plywood
*Four or six (SEALED) barrels
*Tarp for the canopy
*Paint or stain (prevent rot, make it look cool)
*Motor
*Plenty of nails
*Straps
*Staples

Step 2: Step 1: Frame

Copy the frame pattern below and you should be fine. We used a electric saw to even you the ends and make the right length for each board. (remember measure twice, cut once)
Make sure the wood is strong enough to even hold a boat together and put in plenty of nails. I added extra boards in the front and back just in case we ran into anything.

Step 3: Step 2: Strap E'm Down

Now this is where you really need more than one person. Have your buddy hold up the frame for you and put all of your barrels in the intended positions. The frame should sit on top on the barrels like a crown. Now you need to strap the barrels to the boat, make sure they are strong enough to hold. You don't want to lose a barrel on open water.

Now take your straps and put them underneath the barrel and through the frame and off to the sides like in the picture. Now this is where you have to be careful; too much slack and you might loose a barrel and too little and you can't fit the plywood on top. I used big staples, hammered in on top and on both sides of the board. 

Step 4: Step 3: Gett'in Planked

We lucked out just had enough plywood for the deck, we fit the boards together like a puzzle and nailed them down. We used the one of the smaller boards as a door to little storage place underneath the floor. We build a small box under the door.

Step 5: Step 4: Ship Happens

We painted the sign and the side of the boat. I gave the deck a quick stain from what was left in my basement. Then we got the left over wood and made a  crude canopy. You might have to improvise mine was pretty shit. There were holes in it  and the canopy frame eventually broke in half.

Step 6: Step 5: Finishing Touches

My friend and I made a make shift anchor out of an old paint can filled with rocks. We put the motor on, nailed down any furniture, stocked the boat up with supplies and life jackets, made a railing from rope, and put her in the water.

There you have it, your finished boat (for now). A project like this you are always finding new ways to improve it. I will update any changes to the boat.


P.s. Don't forget to add a cool pirate flag

If you have any ideas or suggestions, you want to show your own creation, or you are in the washington county area and want to have a boat party/ yatch club comment or e-mail me at welfitch@hotmail.com.

Don't forget to favorite and show your friends.

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    25 Comments

    Its equiped with a 8500watt genny,fridge ,microwave ,42inch flat screen,ac,heat,wetbar,playstation,xbox, surround sound ,full led bowfishing lights ,bunk beds ,wifi capable, sonar and depth sounders /uhf/vhf radios as well as cb(for talking to man in tow truck),tuff coated decks the list goes on and on and it can operated in only 16inches of water !!!!..if your interested in more pics or plans email me at southernboatcaptain@gmail.com..and keep building boats not buying them guys!!!!

    Its equiped with a 8500watt genny,fridge ,microwave ,42inch flat screen,ac,heat,wetbar,playstation,xbox, surround sound ,full led bowfishing lights ,bunk beds ,wifi capable, sonar and depth sounders /uhf/vhf radios as well as cb(for talking to man in tow truck),tuff coated decks the list goes on and on and it can operated in only 16inches of water !!!!..if your interested in more pics or plans email me at southernboatcaptain@gmail.com..and keep building boats not buying them guys!!!!

    20150615_151359_kindlephoto-204511584.jpg

    This is my home-made tritoon..my "doghouse"

    20150615_151359_kindlephoto-204511584.jpg

    I would use deck screws instead of nails, and pressure treated wood would be a better bet.

    2 replies

    Pressure treated wood is for keeping out bugs not for use in a marine environment. Something about the toxic chemicals of the pressure treatment leaching into the water.

    Yeah I forgot mention the planks were pressure treated, I should've used screws. I had a few in there but I had mostly nails with me.

    Hi! Cool instructable!

    Is it stable? Like; does it move around when you stand on it?

    Nice! Where on the Saint Croix? Have family from that way

    Did some more work on the boat this weekend, almost ready to be posted online soon!! Just having a little motor troubles.

    Thanks for the good idea. We have been planning something similar for a few weeks. How stable does yours sit in the water? I ask because we plan to give ours a phonograph and perhaps a small wood stove

    where would i be able to get the barrels

    1 reply

    At the place where I work, a vendor brings a product called Reox for our water treatment equipment in those kind of barrels. They make the sale, deliver the product, and don't bother with recycling or hauling off their empty barrels. You might investigate in your area for a company that sells that product or other water treatment products. Or you might find a business that uses the product and ask about their empties. It's kind of a long shot, I realize, but hey, you might run across a treasure-trove of free empties.

    Love your boats name, I may steal it when I build mine. Pretty cool project.

    1 reply

    I will be this spring, hopefully I get a better motor for it by that time.

    Each pontoon contains 40 cans per 20 litres. Displacement of about 0.8 tons each pontoon. Pontoons can be joined together. The original article here - http://delaysam.ru/dachastroy/dachastroy111.html He is in Russian, but Google translator will help you... ;)