A Pontoon Boat in China

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by ChinaBoats, Apr 9, 2007.

  1. ChinaBoats
    Joined: Apr 2007
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    Location: China, Wuxi

    ChinaBoats New Member


    I am living in China and looking to build a pontoon based houseboat. I live next to lake Taihu and this is one of the largest freashwater lakes in China. There are also miles and miles of old water ways in China just waiting to be explored.

    I can order plans for something like the huck fin pontoons by Glen craft, but I am more interested in Aluminum or Steel construction. I have friends who have a factory here and if I can give them the plans for Aluminum pontoons they say they will build them at cost. The materials are not an issue.

    Searching the net however I have not found plans for pontoon that I could buy online. Plywood yes, but not alumimum.


    Is there anywhere that I can purchase plans for an Aluminmum Pontoons?

    Could I build the Huck Fin pontoons in Aluminum?

    Pontoons seem a very straight forward design. Modular sections, with a front and rear sections. in a U shap or circle. If I draw the plans myself any advice?
  2. TerryKing
    Joined: Feb 2007
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    Location: Topsham, Vermont

    TerryKing On The Water SOON

    Interesting. This lake is 60 Km across, and almost round! But I don't see any boats on Google Earth... A windy day and the waves could be pretty big...

    Hopefully someone will have a suggestion for a design. That's a great opportunity to have a boat built in Aluminum.. And there are some nice small Diesels from China for about $1000 US.

    I know nothing about China right now, but I'm moving to Shenzhen in August and I'm looking for an interesting old boat there...

    Let us know what you end up doing..
  3. ChinaBoats
    Joined: Apr 2007
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    Location: China, Wuxi

    ChinaBoats New Member

    The plan is for a pontoon housboat.

    The lake is big but for the most part it is the Grand Canal that is most interesting for me. I have lived here for six years and the lake and canals are very interesting places. Jangsu province is crisscrossed with canals.

    Shenzhen is very different from Wuxi. Good luck, China is a steep learning curve. I doubt that you will find anything cheap in Shenzhen.
  4. JonathanCole
    Joined: May 2005
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    Location: Hawaii

    JonathanCole imagineer

    I am planning a solar powered houseboat. Here is one company I have considered for supplying pontoon hulls.
  5. ted655
    Joined: May 2003
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    Location: Butte La Rose, LA.

    ted655 Senior Member

  6. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    Location: Lakeland Fl USA

    messabout Senior Member

    Ted655 asks a good question. Why pontoons to hold up a houseboat ? There are arguments for and against such a layout but for space, comfort, windage, simplicity and a few other reasons, box construction seems to make more sense.
  7. Dalyg
    Joined: Apr 2007
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    Location: UK

    Dalyg New Member


    In case you are interested I could give you the details of of Hong kong based firm that build bespoke houseboats in China. They are not pontoon based however and are actually fully functioning boats and built to live on rather than old boats adapted to live on. It would give the versatility to explore the lake and the canals. Price wise they are extreamly affordable by Hong Kong standards and are proving a popular alternative to the sky high property prices, they are even been exported to Singapore (one has just taken centre stage in the Singapore boat show) and Australia. That said I don't know how that will translate into the China market however having just come back from there (Zhuhai) I was very surprised to see the speed and level of development since I was last there. Anyway if this is of any interest let me know.


  8. ryarotsky
    Joined: Apr 2008
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    Location: Texas

    ryarotsky New Member

    If you plan to launch a boat in China, you'd better check the government fees. A few years back, I found a local company that made a Donzi 18' knockoff. The boat was going to be very reasonable even with the high cost of importing an inboard or outboard engine, which was going to be 4-5 times the cost of the boat itself. The deal killer was that I was going to have to pay over $5,000 to register the boat and I couldn't be assured of getting it done at all, or that it wouldn't be a $5,000 annual fee. Get all the answers before starting down the path.
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