How to Build a Pontoon Boat

A pontoon is a boat that has a flat bottom and that is placed on floats. It may be simply constructed from closed cylinders such as pipes or barrels, and can be used to support a simple platform, creating a raft. Pontoon boats are small, light and easy to maneuver, and they're not very difficult to build. All you need is the right material, a bit of hard work and the right layout. So get ready to learn how to build a simple pontoon boat.

Materials needed:


  • Air-tight containers
  • Sheet of plywood
  • Wire or rope

Here's what you do:

  1. Place the air-tight containers next to each the other in a rectangular shape. A rectangle is the most stable shape for building a balanced boat.
  2. Make sure the containers are completely empty and sealed well.
  3. Tie the containers together using the steel wire or rope, making sure they form a rectangle. Make sure they are tightly tied together so they won't float apart.
  4. Place a piece of plywood on top of the containers. If you're using more than one piece of plywood, attach the boards to each other by nailing a 1-by-2 piece of wood across the top of the plywood boards. This will ensure that they stay in place.
  5. It's really not necessary to fasten the plywood to the barrels, but you could do so by drilling holes (four on each side) through the plywood and threading steel wire through the hole and around the steel wires holding the barrels together.
  6. Protect the edges with rubber, if the pontoon is going to be used by swimmers, to make sure that nobody gets hurt. You may want to attach an inexpensive aluminum handrail to the pontoon [sources: Mademan, Four Pound Brain].

Remember, safety first. Take all safety precautions to make sure nothing unfortunate happens when sailing on your pontoon boat.