THIRD UPDATE: So, the boat has as of this writing been in the water for 7 years. It's never been pulled out just beached and left outside in winter. I noticed a few pieces of plywood coming loose and the batteries are nearing end of useful life. When you deep charge/discharge marine batteries over and over they eventually lose their ability to hold a full charge.
The third picture you see below is ugly. It's the final pictures before total and complete dismantling of the Incredible Soda Bottle Pontoon Boat. In the spring I'll start again. this one will be different. Basically sleaker, lighter, faster. and simpler. I consider the first one a prototype. I learned a lot and I found out what works and what doesn't. I had lots of fun and many, many pleasant hours cruising, fishing, and fielding questions from people on lake from the banking and from boats.
This is the end of the ISBPB. Tomorrow it's a date with the sledgehammer.
SECOND UPDATE: I have had problems with burning out switches with the high current. I have recently installed 4 automobile solenoids. Wired properly they act like a DPDT switch. I have one small three position toggle switch for a control now. Forward-off-reverse. I might have to replace two of them with continuous duty solenoids though I don't know how long the intemittent ones will hold up going long periods in forward. I'll post pictures of the set-up when I get the chance.
UPDATE PARAGRAPH: Below is the barge, as it's called now, 4 years later. The one without the canopy is the original launched picture. The canopy is a rather expensive but impervious to weather material called 'sunbrulla'. The pipes are galvanized 1" electrical conduit. Other changes: the seats didn't weather well so they were covered with latex sheeting. An American flag and holder, Oh, and a new pier I welded up.
I made a soda bottle raft a few years ago. It was just 940 two liter bottles enclosed on all sides with a deck. Later on I decided to make a pontoon boat. A sort of movable raft or barge out of soda bottles and materials from Home Depot. When I'm making a boat suddenly all stores carry boat making materials. It's fun to improvise with what's available.
The boat is basically wood pontoons with 2400 soda bottles filling them. It's electric and has become a wonderful place to spend an afternoon to glide silently on the water or to fish. It's big, 20' by 12' and heavy, I'd estimate about a ton. but it moves nicely even in a stiff wind, rolls with waves but doesn't overly rock, and is highly maneuverable. It just isn't very fast but here in Maine that the way we like it. A BBQ grill, a tall Moxie, a fishing pole and you've got it made on the water on the incredible soda bottle pontoon boat (alias the Pahty bahge). You need to pronounce that with a Maine accent,no R's allowed.