Homemade Pontoons


Pontoons are round floating objects that can be used to make a pontoon boat or a raft that can float on a lake or pond. One way that you can make a homemade pontoon raft is by using large plastic drums. You will first need to determine the dimensions for the size of your raft.

Things You'll Need

  • 30 or 55 gallon plastic drums
  • Tape measure
  • 2x6 boards
  • Power drill
  • Plywood sheets
  • Eye-bolts
  • Pliers
  • Trotline cord
  • Determine the size of the pontoon raft or floating dock that you will construct. A common size is 12 by 8 feet.

  • Place eight 30 or 55 gallon drums on the ground in a pattern of two rows of six side-by-side. Measure the width and length of the drums with a tape measure. Add 2 inches to the length and width. Make note of this measurement.

  • Transfer the measurement from Step 2 to four pieces of 2x6 board. Cut two 2x6 boards for the length and two 2x6 boards for the width.

  • Set the boards together to make a rectangle shape for the frame. Secure the corners of the ends of the 2x6 boards together with screws using a power drill.

  • Measure one of the 8-foot sides of the frame, towards the center, 49 inches and make a mark with the pencil. Repeat this process for the other side.

  • Repeat Step 5 for the other 8-foot side of the frame. This will leave you with a 1-inch mark, in the center, on both sides of the frame.

  • Place a 2x6 board in the center of the frame on the marks made in Steps 5 and 6. Secure the board to the frame with screws using the power drill.

  • Set the 30 or 55 gallon drums into the frame. Six drums will fit on each side of the 2x6 board that is in the center of the 8-foot sides.

  • Make a mark with the pencil in between each 30 or 55 gallon drum. Remove the drums and set a 2x6 board along each of the marks. Secure the boards to the frame with screws using the power drill.

  • Remove the drums and place plywood sheets over the top of the frame. Secure the plywood sheets to the frame with screws using the power drill.

  • Turn the frame over and mark the location for the eye-bolts with the pencil. An eye-bolt will need to be placed in each 2x6 board at the center of the barrels.

  • Predrill a pilot hole for the eye-bolt with the power drill. Insert an eye-bolt into the hole and tighten it with the pliers.

  • Place the 30 or 55 gallon drums back into place in the frame. Place trotline cord over each drum and tie it to each of the eye-bolts. This will secure the drums so they will not separate from the frame.

  • Set your homemade pontoon raft it in the water and it's ready to go.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the plywood sheets overhang the frame, you will need to cut off the excess with a circular saw.

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  • Photo Credit pontoon image by Vonora from Fotolia.com
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