Pontoon Boat Building
Pontoon boat building is a hobby that allows you to live your dream of owning a pontoon boat, but taking it to the next level by allowing you to build it with your own hands. While boat building, in general, is something that requires a bit of expertise and practice before you get it right, the simplicity and enjoyment in pontoon boat building makes this hobby extremely unique and addictive. Whether it is to spend a relaxing day out on the river or a business model that requires such transport, your pontoon boat building skills can really turn the screws for you.
Pontoon boat building is a fun hobby that allows you to learn to work with your hands, if you haven't had any prior experience i.e.. The simplicity of pontoon boat building makes this hobby extremely enjoyable especially as you see your creation unfold in front of your own eyes.
Building your own Pontoon Boat
There are two ways to go about building your pontoon boat. The first is to buy materials from a boat-supplies store or a hardware store while the other is to scavenge for used parts, materials and pieces, in junk yards. The best part of pontoon boat building is that junk will get you as good a boat as brand new materials would, without the costs involved.
If you choose the first option, then you need to go to a boat supplies store, preferably, especially if it is your first attempt. These stores not only provide you everything you will ever need, they will also be able to guide you through your process by providing plans, their technical expertise as well as help in other forms. Not only do you get what you are looking for, you might also pick up some useful tips that help you save on materials as well as time & effort.
Once you have the materials & tools, pontoon boat building is quite similar to any other form of boat building in terms of the steps involved.
First you need to pick the design off of a plan and cut out the pieces in the right size and dimensions. Making the base too small might mean that your deck ends up too small as well while building a large base might mean that the boat becomes too heavy to support itself and will end up going under. Drop tanks, PVC pipes and even plastic drums are usually the materials that you need and these can be obtained, in large sizes, from most stores or even junkyards (especially military surplus materials). The main thing, when getting materials, is that it should allow sufficient floatation along with decent levels of hydrodynamics (the water-version of aerodynamics).
The next step in pontoon boat building is to make your floatation devices waterproof. Glued slip caps are ideal for sealing off PVC pipe ends and barrel tops, making them waterproof. These caps can easily be found in underground utility complexes and salvage yards too. You can, alternatively, use wooden plugs that can be glued on using epoxy and screws.
Once you have these in place, you start building up on the deck and putting in the wheel, the electronics and the seating. You will require basic electronics knowledge to get these parts in but even for beginners, this shouldn't be such a tough task. Once you have everything in place, its time to put on the paint and then the accessories on top, such as the handrails, which can also be made with PVC pipes. Alternately, you can also use ropes for the same purpose, although they may not be as strong and weight bearing as a well-fit PVC pipe.
That is pretty much what you need to complete your pontoon boat building endeavor. You are ready to hit the waters and take your boat out for a spin.
A simpler way of pursuing your pontoon boat-building hobby is to buy kits that are readily available in most boat supply stores. These kits have pre-cut parts that simply need to be put together according to the detailed plans that they carry. These kits require very little in terms of prior experience and are usually designed keeping beginners in mind.
If you are looking for something even simpler, then you might want to consider looking at repairing old pontoon boats. These boats can be bought for extremely low prices, depending on how horrible their condition is, and then can be simply repaired using materials that are either salvaged from junk yards, or bought in boat supply stores.
Whether you choose to refurbish one that you got for cheap, or build a brand new boat from scratch, your pontoon boat building hobby is definitely one that will keep you excited at all times. With simplicity of design, ease of construction and cheap parts, there is nothing more fruitful than pontoon boat building.