What Materials Do You Need for a Home-Built Pontoon Boat?


Quick Answer

The exact materials needed to build a home-built pontoon boat depend on the sturdiness and size of the boat. For example, one method requires using polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, pipe, 2-by-4 treated pine boards, nails, hex-head screws, 16-gauge galvanized straps and treated marine-grade plywood. A simpler method of building a homemade pontoon simply requires air-tight containers, plywood, nails, and wire or rope.

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Full Answer

Instead of PVC pipe, you might consider using 55-gallon sealed drums, plastic drums or military drop tanks for the pontoon part of the boat. Drop tanks, sometimes available at scrap yards, are good materials to use for pontoon boats because they are resistant to rust, contain a honeycomb baffle material that makes them strong and durable, and they are considered hydrodynamic. However, PVC is generally the easiest material to find.

If using 55-gallon sealed drums as pontoons, six of these drums, three on each side, make a boat approximately 8 feet wide by 10 feet long with an occupancy weight of 1,690 pounds. Local junkyards may have sealed drums in good condition. An 8-foot wide by 16-foot long boat with 12-inch PVC pipe as the pontoon has a total occupancy weight, including the weight of the boat, of 1,572 pounds.

If adding a rail to the pontoon boat, additional materials needed include metal pipe posts and rope, additional PVC pipe pieces and slip-joint couplings, or additional pieces of wood to make into a rail.

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