DIY Pontoon Boat

Are you thinking of head out to different water bodies on a pontoon boat? Well, there is a high possibility that looking at the prices of pontoon boats is stopping you from living this dream. But the good thing is that you do not need to worry about this as we have a great solution for you. Now, you can easily construct a DIY pontoon boat without having to incur excessive costs as you go. Here, we have compiled everything that you need to know about pontoon boats and how to construct them from scratch. You’re sure to find that this to be helpful to your DIY pontoon boat adventure.

What Is A Pontoon Boat?

Before moving on to how to construct a pontoon boat, you must know what it is exactly. Pontoon boats are flat boats that are mainly dependent on floats to be on top of the water. There is a possibility of creating various types of accommodations on pontoon boats because of the vast capacity that the pontoons offer you.

Earlier on, pontoon boats were known to slow and cumbersome. However, with the way technology has advanced, it is clear that pontoon boats are now much more advanced as well. You will now find that it is considered one of the fastest boats available for you to make use of. It comes in the top ten ranks, so you can easily use it for fast movements on various water bodies.

Initially, it wasn’t too easy to create DIY pontoon boats. However, it has become much easier to do so. Now, you get to customize your pontoon boat according to your needs through the kits available for it or creating it all by yourself.

Types Of Pontoon Boats Available

When it comes to pontoon boats, you will find that there is a great range available for you to choose from. Each type of pontoon boat offers you a different, according to their names. So, it is best to figure out which of these you wish to construct before getting into the other details. Let’s have a look at the various types of pontoon boats available for you to choose between.

  • Fishing pontoon boat
  • Bar pontoon boat
  • Twin engine pontoon
  • Rear lounge pontoon
  • Quad seating pontoon boat
  • Triple tube pontoon boat
  • Arch pontoon boat
  • Double decker pontoon boat
  • Fiberglass pontoon boat

You will find that it is not easy to construct all of these types. The easier types that you can a DIY is the fishing or bar pontoon boats. Do your research about the type of boat you wish to create beforehand.

Why Should You Build A DIY Pontoon Boat?

Now, this a question that many people have; why should you build a DIY pontoon boat? Well, the answer is simple, you get to spend your time in a more productive way while saving money on a new pontoon boat. As we all know, pontoon boat costs can run quite high. A DIY pontoon boat makes the perfect solution to ensure that you don’t have to worry about excessive costs.

More than that, you could have all the flexibility you need to create something that is specific to your needs. No need to worry about the details about the boat as you will have control over all of these. Whether it is the engine, the framework, or the design, it is all up to your discretion.

Using A DIY Pontoon Kit

The best thing about innovation and new businesses is that new ideas are always available for you to make use of. You will find that you now have the option of making use of a DIY pontoon kit if you’re not looking for a from-the-scratch DIY. This way, you will still be creating the boat yourself, but the only difference is that you will have everything provided to you in the kit for building.

A DIY kit is quite convenient in many ways. However, you should know that it restricts the extent to which you can customize your pontoon boat. While the engine and other factors will still be changeable, other frameworks of the boat might not be.

What Does A DIY Kit Include?

Let’s take a look at what a DIY kit can include for you. You will find that there are multiple DIY kits available for you to make use of. However, most of them will carry some standard options for you. Here, we take a look at the possible options that you might get in a DIY pontoon boat kit.

  • Instructions for assembly
  • Kick rail with edge trimming
  • A motor mount
  • Glue and trowel with marine-grade effectiveness
  • Decking material
  • Bolting hardware
  • Pontoons (number of these might vary)
  • Carpeting for your deck

As you can see, there is plenty of material that you get to construct your DIY pontoon boat. All you have to ensure is that you follow the instructions and have the equipment in place to bring the boat altogether.

What Do The Assembly Instructions Include?

Essentially, when you get your hand on a DIY kit, you will find that the assembly instruction material is always there. It will help you go through the various steps you need to take to construct your boat. The assembly instruction will tell you what goes where which step comes first, which step comes later, and other relevant instructions. You must know that it is important to follow the instructions here so that you don’t mess up the entire construction of the pontoon boat. Follow the steps one by one to see the most effective results for your DIY pontoon boat.

Different DIY Pontoon Boat Kits Available

When it comes to DIY pontoon boat kits, you will find that there are quite a few options available in the market. In this portion, we will discuss the different options that you can avail of to create a pontoon boat using DIY methods.

  • Harris:

Harris offers you one of the best solutions when it comes to a DIY pontoon kit. However, you should know that this one is a little heavy on the pockets. You will find that this accommodates a reasonable number of people on board and offers you great use for a long while.

  • U-Fab:

U-Fab pontoon boat kits are pretty great when it comes to building larger vessels. You will find this to be quite useful if you wish to create tour boats, houseboats, party boats, and other similar types as a pontoon. There are multiple items included in this kit that will help ensure that you are able to create your large pontoon boat.

  • Pond King, Inc.:

Pond King, Inc. offers you the opposite of U-Fab. The DIY kit includes all of the elements required to create a small or mini pontoon boat. You will find that this boat is usually a size that caters to a maximum of two people. More than that, this is perfect if you do not have too many funds to spend on your pontoon boat.

How Can You Make A DIY Pontoon Boat?

Now, if you’re thinking of creating a DIY pontoon boat from scratch, you will need to know a few things. You will find an in-depth guide to creating a pontoon boat here. So, stay tuned for all of the steps.

1. Plan The Design

The first thing that you will need to do is make sure that you have a design in place for the pontoon boat that you create. You will need to make sure that you know the kind of pontoon boat you are going for, the elements needed for it, the way it will sit on water, and all the minute details about the design of the boat.

If you’re going for a DIY kit, then this becomes relatively easier for you as you don’t have to get in too much detail here. Everything is laid out for you, and all you will need to do is follow instructions. It is clearly different when you have to start from scratch as the entire design of the pontoon boat lies on you.

2. Choose A Location For Construction

You don’t want to start constructing your boat wherever you feel like it. Make sure that you are able to get access to an area that offers you ample space. It is important to note that building a pontoon boat requires space. You cannot just think about getting a small space for this project as it will require plenty of it.

Your backyard might be a better option for you to do this. But you want to make sure that the size and space available are not too less. The ideal choice of location would be closer to the water body you wish to use the pontoon boat on. That is because it will be easier and less costly to get it to the water.

3. Get The Pontoon Tubes

Pontoon tubes are perhaps one of the most essential parts of your boat. So, you want to make sure you put in the right thought to select these. If you’re going for starting a DIY for the pontoon boat from scratch, then you should know where to get pontoon tubes from.

One of the best places to visit for this is the scrapyard. Why do I suggest this? Well, the place will surely have all the elements that you are looking for. From plastic drums to PVC pipes and military drop tanks, there is a vast variety of options available to you here. So, make sure that you are vigilant and have your eyes peeled for the best things for your boat. Along with this, you will need to choose the number of tubes you will require for the design of your boat.

4. Get The Right Frame Material

The frame for your pontoon is quite essential. So, you will need to pick out the best materials for it. You will find that PVC water pipes are considered the ideal choice when it comes to this. The best thing about this is that you don’t have to look for it too long as it is available in the market quite easily. More than that, it will not cost you too much either.

If you do not have access to PVC water pipes, then pine lumber can also work for this. But you need to ensure that you get it treated so that it doesn’t damage or rot too easily with excessive exposure to water over time.

5. How Will Your Pontoon Boat’s Framework Look Like?

After getting your hands on the pontoon tubes, you will need to ensure that you have all of the relevant items for your boat’s framework. These would include a range of things, such as pipelines, caps, screws, epoxy, and more. When it comes to setting it all up, you will need to make sure that the two long pipes of your framework are parallel to each other.

Lay your pipes on the ground, ensuring that they are parallel. Once this is done, you will need to seal the ends so that there is no possibility of water coming in through them. More than that, you will also need to invest in no-hub bands or caps that will keep the water away for this to be foolproof.

6. Secure It All Together

When it comes to your pontoon boat, you must know that the framework will need to be attached in the best way possible through the use of nails. You will need to ensure that the framework you create in the step before is repeated so that you have two frames to work with. After this, you will need to join the two together with the help of nails to ensure that everything is in place effectively.

As you go over every joist of the framework, you will need to make sure that you add a small block at each of them. You will need to use a drill for this and a screw that runs about 2-1/2” long.

7. The Use Of The Galvanized Strap

Now that you have secured everything in place, you will need to add a galvanized strap to brace everything together. The ideal option for you to do this with is 16 gauge galvanized steel. To ensure its effectiveness, you will need to keep it to a minimum of one inch in width. Once you have selected the right item, you will need to screw this galvanized strap in a diagonal position for every corner of the pontoon boat.

You can easily ensure the placement of your galvanized strap through the use of your drill machine.  Make sure that you have the corners of your deck checked out carefully before finalizing the placement of your galvanized strap.

8. Setting Up The Deck

Everything is almost ready by this step. You will find that this is where you get to work on the various aspects of your deck. For instance, choosing the type of wood you wish to use on it, the weight of the wood, and more to ensure that you get the ideal option for your boat.

What you need to ensure is that you make sure that the weight of the wood is proportionate to the frame and its capacity of holding weight. Don’t get something too heavy for your deck if your frame doesn’t have the capacity to hold such weight. Always make sure that you go for a lighter option when it comes to your deck.

9. Choose The Right Engine Option

Once you have chosen the deck material and are don’t with the installation, you will need to move forward with selecting the type of engine you want in your pontoon boat. It is important for you to know the different types of engines available before you make a sure decision for this.

You have the option of choosing from inboard, outboard, and sterndrive engines for your pontoon boats. When it comes to inboard engines, they are more useful for larger boats that require more power. Outboard engines are the best options for pontoon boats as you get better efficiency in terms of power. You will find these to fit your pontoon boat in the best way and are considered the ideal choice as well.

10. Work On The Interior And Exterior Design

You will need to make sure that when you are done with the majority of the work on your pontoon boat, you get to the interior and exterior designing of it. Now, this is where you let your creativity unleash. You can choose from using different furnishing options, such as carpets for the boat, paint, finishing, and so much more.

All of this is the additional stuff that you get to do to make your pontoon boat look more appealing. You will find that this really brings out the entire look of your pontoon boat and adds an ever further personal touch to it.

11. Go Out For A Test Drive

All there is left for you to do is to go out on a test drive with your boat. Through this, you will be able to make sure that can take it out to larger water bodies and that it is safe for you to make use of it. Test drives are essential as they help you figure out how much fuel your boat consumes and how fast it can go on the water. Make sure to not skip on this as it will allow you to inspect all of the elements of your pontoon boat effectively.

Things To Consider When Taking Your Pontoon Boat Out For Test Run

When you’re taking out pontoon boat out to the water, you will need to make sure that you have a few things checked out first. These are essential for you to have a smooth boating session with your DIY pontoon boat.

  • Ice Conditions

One thing that you should always make yourself aware of is the ice conditions of the water body that you are taking your pontoon boat on. You don’t want to deal with ice situations that you were not prepared for. Make sure that you figure this out before you take your boat out for a test run. It is possible for ice bodies to form in seasons outside of winters. So, keep an eye out for any possible ice conditions in the area.

  • The Wind Situation

If you’re going to go for a test run on an inland water body, then the possibility of extreme wind situations is minimized to a great extent. However, if you plan on going into the sea, then you will need to make sure that you are careful about what you are doing. Keep an eye out for the wind conditions that follow when you’re planning on going boating. More than that, make sure that you use platforms that help navigate the kind of wind you should be expecting from the area you’re going.

  • Water Level

Water levels of inland and outland bodies of water are different because of differences in the obstacles present around the area. If you’re going out with your pontoon boat to the sea, you will find that the wind causes the water level or height to rise. Make sure that if you are not prepared for that, you take a test run on inland water bodies that have a lower water level.

  • Coastline And Water Depth

You will need to have an idea about the depth of the water and the coastline when you’re heading out on our pontoon boat. Doing so will allow you to know how long you need your boat to stay afloat, so your fuel consumption will be according to that as well. More than that, you will need to figure out how deep the coastline is so that your pontoon can handle it.

All in all, you will find that constructing a DIY pontoon boat is no easy task. You will need to put in hours of work and ensure that all the safety measures are in place. It requires work and patience, but once you are done, you get to enjoy a great time out in the water.




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