You can take your love for pontooning to a new level by opting to build your own pontoon boat. There are different manufacturers that supply parts that you can use in constructing the boat or you can buy various kits that are available from different manufacturers to make a pontoon boat.
Steps for Construction – While constructing a pontoon boat, a few logical steps may be followed:
Designing the boat
The first step to build your own pontoon boat is to design it. For the same, various aspects such as the use it is going to be put to, the number of people that it will be carrying, the deck and flooring material to be used and the different furniture and gadgets that you would like to install must be considered. A thorough research can help you to finalize a design for the boat.
Buying Parts and Materials
The next step is to buy the primary parts that you will need to build the boat and different materials you will construct them from. There are several companies that fabricate parts as per the requirement of the user as well as provide complete kits for constructing a pontoon boat. You can approach one of these companies for getting parts manufactured that are as per your design or buy a kit to build your own pontoon boat.
The main parts that you will require will include two pontoons to keep the boat floating, a frame that will link the pontoon to the deck and will support the boat and material for decking that maybe wood, fiberglass or a composite board. The pontoons can either be bought from a manufacturer, you can salvage them from a junkyard or even use normal pipes that may have sufficient buoyancy. You may build a frame yourself from lumber or get it prefabricated. While choosing the deck material, consider the maximum weight that it can support. Also, make a note of all the tools and equipment that maybe required to build your own pontoon boat and buy those which you may not have. These will include drills, hacksaw, screws, bolts and clamps among others.
Building the Boat
First of all, the pontoons will have to be attached to the frame for deck. Some of the manufacturers may even attach the frame to pontoons at factory if you opted for prefabricated parts. Otherwise, you may attach the pontoons to the frame. While assembling different parts together, especially when connecting the pontoons to the deck via a frame consisting of beams, care must be taken that all the bolts, nuts and screws are tightened well to maintain the structural integrity of the boat. Some time there is a probability of leaks that can cause severe damage to boat in long run, attention must be paid to minimize the same.
Once the frame has been attached to pontoons, the next step to build your own pontoon boat is constructing a deck floor on the frame. You may use plywood boards or other material to build the deck. This will require cutting, nailing and fastening it with screws. Once this has been done, the next step will be to lay a floor on the deck if required. A carpet or vinyl floor maybe considered.
Install Console, Engine and Furniture
Once the base structure of the boat has been built, an electric or outboard motor may be chosen depending on the requirement and the capability of the boat. There are various manufacturers that offer engines of different powers. A kit to facilitate the installation of engine will be required.
After this, a console may be fitted which is available from different manufacturers. Steering, and gadgets maybe added along with it. Any requisite furniture such as fishing chairs and rod holders maybe also be opted for.
After all the installation work has been completed, you can take the boat for a trial run on water.
Things to Remember while building a pontoon
There are a few important considerations that you must keep in mind while you build your own pontoon boat.
Safety Aspects: There is no point in building a boat yourself, if it will be unsafe to ride and may put the lives of the people on board in jeopardy. While building the boat, you must consider various safety aspects. The boat may be fitted with rails all around so as to eliminate the possibility of anyone tipping over into the water. This must be done especially if there are going to be children aboard the boat in future.
Quality of Work: All the electrical wiring and equipment must be installed properly by making using of kits and any joints must be well insulated and covered to protect from environmental damage as well as reducing the risk of people being exposed to them. You may seek professional help or even opt for manufactured boats if you feel overwhelmed by the task of building the boat yourself.