Need to know how to go about building pontoon boat


Old 03-09-05, 08:43 AM
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Question Need to know how to go about building pontoon boat

My boyfriend and me are building a pontoon boat and are looking at using 55 gallon plastic drums as the floatation. I am not quite sure how to go about attaching them though. Also if anyone has any pontoon boat plans if they could send them my way that would be great.
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Old 03-09-05, 09:39 AM
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I would say that for all the time and expense it would take to complete this project you would not be doing yourself a favor by using plastic drums.
Joining them, making a conical nosepiece plus the fact that a drum is designed to have an outward force from its contents make them a poor choice.

I have a friend who operated a pontoon charter service and got a heck of a deal on a cabin style pontoon boat, who's owner went to a lot of trouble to build a boat based on 45 gal steel fuel drums.
The drums failed and the boat sunk while tied up in rough weather and my friend got the boat for next to nothing after the owner had salvaged it.
He purchased foam filled plastic floats and got himself a pretty good rig.

As it turns out, marine regulations make his boat unsuitable for commercial use so he is selling the boat structure and keeping his floats for a new one.
He has asked if I would be interested in building the frame, but wants it out of aluminum and I ain't going there.

So, my advice to you would be to bust the bank and get the right floats and make a proper structure and then go cheap on everything above that.
Using the right thing would be a long term investment, not to mention safer.

I have heard that the potential buyer for his boat structure is going to use fuel drum floats!
Old 03-10-05, 10:26 AM
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With GregH here all the way. Dont know where you are are what you can get by with. But we cant use the metal barrels any more if they are not filled with foam.It would be the same with what you have there. they have to be filled with foam . Then I dont think the outside of it would hold up for the UV on them Then as the metal rust away you cant replace them with metal drums anymore. How would you hold on to the plastic drums?Any and all float units now have to be foam with encasements around the whole thing.


Over the years have had steel pontoon boat didnt last to long ,had a aluminum just as bad. Most pontoon boats here now are all fiberglass. Daughter has one now fiberglass has an I/O in it works just fine.

Old 03-26-05, 06:25 PM
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Arrow 14 inch pvc pipe

Hey Flyin, A freind of mine built a poontoon boat called the "Delta Ark" he used 12 or 14 inch pvc pipe and caped the ends. You might be able to find long pieces of scrap at old job sites. Or contact a local plumbing contractor supply company,Timsalways

Last edited by Timsalways; 03-26-05 at 06:32 PM. Reason: left out word
Old 04-02-05, 06:34 AM
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If using pvc pipe as was suggested you would need to build the float in sections so that you have some protection against loosing your whole float in the event of damage.

Check on Coast Guard and local regulations. They will tell you what you can and cannot do.

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