Constructing a pontoon boat may not be termed an overnight venture; however, your hard work and the right hardware ought to see you sail through the project. The design of a pontoon boat - also regarded as a party barge, is quite an inexpensive build compared to other boat designs. You might recall that I posted a design concept a while back for an ultralight teardrop shaped tiny house trailer that could theoretically be pulled by a bicycle.
As you can see I’m not quite done but the trailer design is ready for a professional review by the PVC Bike Guy. Being a Treehugger, i appreciate that you're going to use PVC for the structure only and not for the body of the trailer. I think it's a good idea to be able to easily separate the camper from the trailer so that the trailer could be used for hauling other things.
I suspect that you could take better advantage of the skins on this unit for diagonal bracing than you are now. My First PVC bicycle I built is well over 7years old and I have not had any stress fractures or problems and it rides as if I just built it the other day it's the red, White and blue one have a look. O and thanks for your comment but any type of tent or canvas will get mildew and leak if touched on the inside and can be tore buy putting up and down repeatably.
My First PVC bicycle I built is well over 7years I have not had any stress fractures or problems and it rides as if I just built it the other day it's the red, White and blue one have a look. I enjoy reading your blog and thought you might get a kick out of this old time tear droppish trailer pulled behind a tricycle. But its too long – once you finish the first trial, redesign it as a nested fold out tear drop design. There is no reason wh the frame cannot be made from thin-wall chromemolly steel tubing, such as is used in some ultralight aircraft. I am working on a similar concept that could be applicable to both the Bike and for the homeless (3 wheel wagon concept).
The total weight of the camper would be approximately 120 pounds + the weight of the PVC trailer. As was pointed out above either a framework of 1×1 wood or pvc should follow the roof line to provide strength.
BTW Tent canvas has been used for a LONG time successfully and with proper care lasts a long time in use. Comments are encouraged but please keep it constructive and do not make any direct attacks on other commenters.
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Location: Preston CT Some Pictures of my tri-hulled Wooden Pontoon Thought I'd share some pictures of my recently launched Wooden Pontoon Boat. Location: Preston CT The outboard hulls are strip-built much like a canoe would be except the stations became internal bulkheads. I just found the Wooden Boat section, so I have posted some additional pictures there as well. Multihull » Thread Tools Show Printable Version Email this Page Display Modes Linear Mode Switch to Hybrid Mode Switch to Threaded Mode Search this Thread Advanced Search Similar Threads Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post Theoretical hull speed for VERY NARROW hulled trimaran. When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals.
Shortly after posting the idea I was contacted by The PVC Bike Guy who wants to build such a trailer.
I’m thinking that the shell would be made from 2x4s, plywood, and low-voc foam panels. For those of you playing with Google SketchUp here is the bike teardrop trailer downloadable file.
The thing is the frame for boats and the paper hull covering could well be adapted to make your tear drop trailers.
Election season is coming up, i bet you could get a bunch of it for free right after the election.


I don’t see any means of connecting the trailer to the bike (a tongue) and hold reservation as to whether PVC would be acceptable for that.
Using chromemolly and covering it with aircraft cloth, and heat shrinking it, will result in a trailer weighing in at less than 150 lbs., probably way less, mabe even as low as 75 pounds.
My only experience building a teardrop was a 4×8 that was constructed wit a wooden frame, steel tongue and hard board sides. Luan may be used for paneling- its reasonably light 10-12# per sheet and would need only paint or light epoxy for weatherproofing and incredible strength. In other words constructive critique is welcome, destructive mean-spirited judgements are not permitted. This, indeed, is the reason why a number of big vessels are equipped with pontoon boats for emergency situations. The curved roof would need to be built-up from layers of thin plywood and foam or foam and fiberglass.
We gave the students rolls of teabag paper, which has excellent wet strength and is very similar to the manila paper the Water's Co used.
If you had slices of thirds, it could largely follow your design when unfolded – if quarters, some more dramatic modifications would be required but it would be much more aerodynamic. An ultralight aircraft in the US weighs in at 234 pounds, and that includes fuselage, engine, skin, paint, everything. In the United States, pontoon boats are popular for serving as rental boats to ferry people across rivers.
So I’ve been spending some time noodling over how I might approach such a design challenge and this is what I have come up with. Actually if fiberglass were used the entire exterior could be covered which would add a lot of strength to the shell too. Lexan is a brand name for polycarbonate, the tough, clear and nearly unbrekable stuff you’re talking about. Moreover, their user-friendly structure and maneuverability through most water bodies label pontoon boats an ideal fishing-cum-sightseeing vessel.Before Building the BoatBuilding a pontoon boat is not tough, though it is not easy as pie. I see no reason why you couldn't eliminate virtually all of the wood framework you are showing by replacing it with PVC pipe. The neat thing was the incredible strength of the hulls, surface finish and use of renewable materials.
Connecting aluminum tubing to PVC should be relatively easy to do considering pipes can be threaded. Plexiglass, which, looks similar and probably is often confused with Lexan is a brand name for acrylic sheet, which may offer better scratch resistance than polycarbonate (for windows and such) but is much more brittle. It, certainly involves work, and an elementary degree of understanding the mechanics of assembling the boat.
The basic structure of a home-built pontoon boat is like a catamaran or a trimaran boat, where the platform is used as a dock.
If you look at an Airstream trailer you will find that the skin is an integral part of the overall structure. All one needs is quality material, a blueprint of the boat, and undoubtedly, hard work.Three Points to RememberDesignSketch out a concrete plan for the boat.
Consider using pop-rivets to attach the skins to the pipe and then perhaps also use a strong construction adhesive where ever the skins and pipe touch.
Saw the plywood sheets according to the size you desire for your boat deck, and place it on the cross-channels.Drill holes through the plywood and cross-channels for 1A?" stainless deck bolts, every 12'' across the deck. Some may suggest using PVC pipes for pontoons; however, aluminum pontoons are always advisable for use. If you are a regular at scanning online stores, punch in the name of the hardware or material that will be required in the search bar, review, and add it to your cart!
Using a 2'' wide foam brush, seal one side and the edges of the marine-grade plywood with epoxy. You may visit their forums, read reviews on products, take a look at their ratings, scour the details of the material, and finally get to the cash counter once you are thoroughly satisfied. Let it dry completely to switch over to the other side of the ply.Repeat this process 5 to 7 times to save your deck from premature deterioration and warping.


Once the sealing process is complete, run a strip of joint tape on each cross-channel.Install the plywood decking over the joint tape to secure it to the cross-channels.
Fill the peripheries of the fasteners (bolts) with epoxy resin, wherever necessary.Now, apply a A?'' plastic slip-proof vinyl carpet with marine carpet glue on the plywood. You must consult a fabricator before carpeting, to check whether the carpet should be laid before, or after the aluminum tube railings are installed.To camouflage the raw edges of the ply, carpet, and the cross-channels, a boat trim is applied to refine the look of the deck. Use trims that are inherently equipped with bumpers and grab handles.Consult a fabricator to ready the aluminum railings for your boat. However, the fabricator may have a different take on the said issue and may suggest another feasible way to construct the railing and boosting its reliability.
Consider his inputs, as well.Anodized Aluminum Tube RailingsThe fabricator will measure your deck, and accordingly construct the anodized railing for the boat. An anodized railing promises strength and longevity, thereby appearing well-groomed in the bargain.
With regard to the positioning of the railing, a 2'-0'' distance from the rear and front end of the boat, respectively, should be maintained.
Thus, your railing will span 8'-0'' of the total 12'-0'' of the plywood decking.Rail RisersTo span the life of the fence railing, as well as the vinyl-boosted ply, rail risers are used. They are positioned in a way that the circular edges, seat the base of the rail, and the U-shaped depression encircles the 3A?'' stainless fence bolt. Preferably, 5 rail risers across the length and 2 across the width of the pontoon deck are installed.Aluminum BracesYour boat's rail is braced with aluminum braces to provide the much-required support to your rails.
The brace is then drilled and fastened with bolts onto the railing and through the deck.Railing Corner CapsRailing corner caps are used to strengthen the dimensions of the railing. In the meantime, until the railing is ready to be installed, you may work toward assembling the rest of the hardware and enhancers.Webbing Attachment StrapsUse three webbing attachment straps on both the pontoons to provide your cruiser with an enhanced hold.
A 1'' wide strap must embrace the pontoons through their circumferential surface extending through the cross-channels on to the deck. Fasten the strap with epoxy resin, followed by drilling 1A?" stainless deck bolts for a sustainable and solid grip.Deck CleatsThey provide deck support and facilitate an easy way to slip a tie-down through two holes at the base. Just slip the fishing line through the holes at the base of the cleat, with a bobber attached to fetch a catch!Attach deck cleats on all four sides of the deck with the help of stainless pontoon deck bolts. You may leave out the stern (rear) corners of the boat, and attach the cleats at the corners of the bow (front section) of the deck only.SidelightsTo increase the quality of visibility for navigation during the dark hours, install sidelights at the front corners of the deck.
A swivel and an adjustable pedestal ought to be a part of the seating package in order to cruise in comfort.Pontoon FenderKnot the hanger string of the pontoon fender to the topmost rail. Position the fender in a way that its string length extends through the deck to the pontoon rows. Fenders are an important inclusion to the boat design, as they keep the aluminum railings from damage when docking. They serve as cushions that brave the docking impact while mooring the pontoon boat.Foldable Deck LadderHinge a foldable deck ladder to the hat cross-channels with the help of 1A?" stainless deck bolts. When not in use, it may be pushed backwards to the frame of the pontoon.Important!This small-sized cruiser capacitates for 3 to 4 individuals. Burdening the boat with more than the number mentioned may hamper the buoyancy of the boat. The illustration shows only a patch of the deck being covered with A?'' plastic slip-proof vinyl carpet; however, the deck is to be carpeted completely. This approach is used purely for illustrative purposes.Make sure you adhere to all the safety regulations. Stock an essential pack of gear, such as life jackets, throwback rubber rings, ropes, whistle, and a bell aboard. However, practice is an absolute must, when you are keen to perfect your skill of plowing your pontoon boat through the waters with considerable ease. To wrap it up, you may be a bravado at heart, but when it comes to casting the pontoon boat, assistance, indeed, is insisted!



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