Do you want to know how to build a pontoon boat? If you're going to use it as a pier or an artificial island or a propelled boat, a pontoon is the least expensive way to float. Plus, you can build a pontoon boat with materials present virtually everywhere.
What you need to build a pontoon boat:
- Air-tight containers
- Wooden or metal planks
- Wire and rope
- Place enough air containers to form a rectangular surface. A rectangle is the most stable shape to build a balanced boat without having to do any complex calculations. The closer to a square the pontoon is, the more stability you will get.
- Link the air containers to for a stable structure. For this purpose, use regular steel wire. Depending on the size of the containers, more than one line will be required to ensure stability. If you are using cylindric containers, such as the traditional oil barrels, two belts of steel wire will prevent sudden twists.
- Tie rows of barrels independently and bond the rows to form a rectangle. Before you do the steel wire binding, make sure that every barrel is completely empty and sealed, as once the pontoon is set, the chance to access the cups is very little.
- Cover the air container rectangle with planks. Wood will be your best choice for ease of maneuver and safety, as steel will make a sharp and rough surface dangerous for swimming and general use.
- If you are using smaller plastic air containers, make sure they are not in touch with sharp parts of the pontoon. Otherwise, they may break, loose air and sink your pontoon.
- If the pontoon is going to be used as a swimmer-accessible island, protect the sides of the air containers and platform with rubber. Used tires are an option, but polystyrene is the best for a smooth, friendly grip.
- Install a ladder for safer access to the platform.
- If using a motor, protect the surroundings of the propeller to avoid injuries.
- Install mooring holds to allow tying boats alongside the pontoon and to be able to tie the pontoon to the shore.