Introduction: Homemade Pontoon Boat
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.
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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
*Four or six (SEALED) barrels
*Tarp for the canopy
*Paint or stain (prevent rot, make it look cool)
*Plenty of nails
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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