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Homebuilt Houseboat Designs with Ideas, and free House Boat Plans to help start Building your Homemade House Boats. Lastly, hopefully some of our readers and visitors will share and post comments about their homemade pontoon houseboat plans, dreams, and experiences. Self-building a small, affordable, and high-quality Trailerable Houseboat is often easier than one might first imagine.
Houseboat plans are available in a multitude of construction methods and build materials, such as plywood, aluminum, steel, and fiberglass.
Keep your tanks in the centre pontoon either side of center ,maybe just slightly rearward, to minimse attitude and lean as you use water and add blackwater. PE or HDPE pipe is heavy and is designed around certain working pressures and abrasive requirements. Originally Posted by Scottym Hi, I have done this and can tell you its the best material for a houseboat.I used 1000mm diam pipe - 30mm wall thickness.
Originally Posted by Scottym I can tell you there are no issues with expansion re the comment about water and air temp - the water soaks any heat buildup. It may not be a real issue as long as the construction carried allows for curvature and expansion, otherwise the boat will always stay noisy, doors may pop open etc.

I used such pipes along the roof of an industrial building for both cosmetic reasons and to keep thieves from the roof after we had a series of expensive burglaries.
On sunny days the pipe sections warped so badly the steel supports were torn from the roof, screws sheared or were pulled out, causing water intrusion.
Location: Sydney Yep you are right about the theory you describe in air- (and the pipe manufacturers supply all the expansion specs but also detail that for above ground it must be laid in ground or covered ) but in practice in the water is quite different.
I am not 100% sure why the deformation is so much less in practice but it takes a lot to heat 30mm thick HDPE and maybe the heat soak to the water and air inside overcome the heating and expansion effect. Anyway as with any pontoon boat ,the rigidity of the deck and the house structure itself is far more important - the minor stress by any heating is miniscule compared to the twisting forces imposed by the lifting force of a diagonally traveling wave! Originally Posted by boulty123 I am planning to build a houseboat using polyethylene pipe for the pontoons. When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. I will have steel pontoon chambers, 3'h x 4'w x 8'l, with a sealable access hatch 2' x 3', and all the pontoons will be welded end to end, which will give a total of 24 feet.Im building pontoons of steel because of Cost, Workability, Strength. Keep it wide for most comfort underway and at rest - 40-45% Width to length ratio both looks right and seems to work well. I had just about given up hope, not in my project, just finding someone with some straight and positive thinking. We finally solved it by making 5 meter sections, secured in the middle only, a 2 cm gap between the sections and a sliding support at each end.

If the frame isn't built to withstand the twisting force of this you are on a raft waiting to breakup. No electrolysis, no gel coat worries, no rot, park it on rocks, moor it in the shallow and let the tide go out, bash it beat it scrape it.Nada. In my calculations of permissable load, I was factoring in no more than 70% of safety maximum, which is 35% of total pontoon volume. On sunny days it didn't look as sleek as it was originally designed, but it served its purpose.
PM me if you want any of the background info I have on the how to and the decisions I made before going this way.
I reckon you need 400mm freeboard as absolute minimum and pref about 500-600 ( which seems to be the same as most docks).
If the boat isn't too heavy maybe the smaller of these would be ok and cheaper and look at 4 or 5 pontoons. Tie off along the bank in secluded places The Ohio River & it's tributaries and stay out a month or so at a time. I'm looking for a place to connect the 2 completed pontoons, a marina, or someplace along the banks.

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