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Building a pontoon boat

9 posts from 8 voices
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  1. CamoDeere

    On my way to school I passed by a 8-10' pontoon boat for sale, just the pontoons and a deck for $100. Came back during lunch it was long gone, it was a steal. Anyways seeing that got me inspired to build my own pontoon boat(from welding aluminum pontoons possibly to making the deck), anyone have any experience with this? Looking to keep the cost low, I know 8' pontoons are out there(cheaper than making probably), just hard to find. Any advice welcome, thanks

  2. coukar4

    Here's my take on this.Just this past summer I rebuilt a 1986 24' Lauda pontoon from the deck up(all the aluminum was in great shape) w-Suzuki 55 hp good shape. I ended up with about $1,500 in it and that's with the pontoon giving to me and all the furnture.I did have to buy steering console,steering wheel,flooring,carpet,all new wiring,switch panel,all stainless screws and bolts,lights ect,ect. Also had to buy a trailer which I like to have never found but keep looking and found very good used up-down for $1,000 a state away.
    As far as price that all depends on how far you want to go with it.It will get in your pocket book very quick starting from scratch.
    Here a pic of what I started with

    Start the rebuild

    Here's almost done

    Time for the water

  3. CamoDeere

    That's impressive for sure, nice restore.

    This will only be used in lakes around me, and I really wasn't looking to even have a trailer for it, just keep it in the bed or on top of the Jeep. This is the reason I want it 8' or so, so I can load it myself.

  4. quicgmicg

    Sweet!~ Good job!

  5. BikRet

    I thought about it once myself, taking maybe 8, 55gal drums, welding 4 of them together on each side. Welding the brackets on to support a deck, one 90 degree on each end and a "T" in between each barrel, it would be 90, T, T, 90. Then put a couple of cross beams in, make 2 rectangular boxes then lay the deck, the only thing I can't map out in my head is how the steering and rudders would be set up.

    I could never afford to build a pontoon boat, and I like salt water fishing in the middle of nowhere ocean. I think I'll stick with the dream of buying a nice 20 footer and getting myself back on the water. Damn I miss fishing

    Either way, good luck on your build if you decide to go through with it.

  6. 4mrAkankmpr

    Definition>boat(n)= a hole in the water into which you throw money. (much like a motorcycle {i.e.} a hole in the road{paved or dirt} into which you throw money).

  7. zhovman

    I see "Small" Pontoon boats around here all the time. Mostly only used on small ponds, powered by electric trolling motors (usually one on the front, one on the rear). Normally they are 10 or 12 feet long, just large enough for 2 people to fish from. I have yet to see one "on top of a Jeep" though, most cause they are too heavy for that. There are inflatable pontoon boats for sale in most larger sporting goods stores and catalogs that may make a better choice if you are loading/unloading by yourself.
    I have seen larger Pontoon boats out 20 miles in the Gulf. For calm days, they seemed to be doing really well but I sure would not want to get caught out offshore if the wind got up on one though. Some people who use their's for Salt Water Fishing have set them up like Catamarans, twin outboards set on the "toons" instead of a single on a bracket in the center of the stern. More people are going to Tri-Toons for more stability and better handling also. Tritoons are also more fuel efficient as they actually plane out better when running. They can get into shallower water than a "V" hull can, can haul more weight, are more comfortable, have more space for people to move around, lay in the Sun, and fish from. They are not very maneuverable though in tight spots.
    Just Say'n.

  8. Silwerato5x5

    On my way to school I passed by a 8-10'...

    Repairing aluminum can sent you to an insane asylum if you don't do it right, first off you need some skill welding aluminum, other than TIG welding you can do it with an aluminum wire MIG welder with shielding gas for aluminum.

    Yes they make aluminum stick welding rod but trying to do that on old aluminum plate is dicey, even welding old plate that has absorbed contaminants or paint over the years is hard to get clean welds.

    But I repair aluminum bulker trailers that haul cement powder and I use a Mig welder, and to cut the new plate you need a plasma cutter, you can cut plate with a carbide blade on a circular saw, messy and loud but I do it.

    Aluminum does not give much warning when it gets too hot, it just puddles away, so learning the right temperature while welding is critical, otherwise you either melt holes or worse or you get snotty looking welds barely sticking.

    New plate is a joy to weld, a disc sander helps a lot, you need to use a special hard disc stone, regular steel grinding discs will gum up.

    After the job you need special paint unless you are using a higher grade of aluminum made for saltwater exposure, and those paints are toxic.

  9. JustDave

    Nice job couger28! How many hours you have tied up in that rebuild?


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