Opinions/thoughts on pontoon “kit” requested.

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by Brendan Weselake, Sep 28, 2020.

  1. Brendan Weselake
    Joined: Apr 2020
    Posts: 9
    Likes: 1, Points: 3
    Location: Winnipeg

    Brendan Weselake Junior Member

    Hello everyone.

    We have an off grid, boat access cabin. Everything (people, food, building materials) is brought to the cabin by boat. I’m getting older, and find the 14’ tin boat more cumbersome.

    our neighbor lent us their pontoon boat when our outboard went kaboom, and there is a “barge” available to borrow for larger items. We really like the “pontoon” platform. It facilitates easy boarding for us.

    we would like to build a pontoon “barge” via kit form and so far have come up with two options.

    1. Traditional aluminum pontoon boat “kit”. Includes pontoons, cross beams, transom, hardware.

    2. This product: (looking at the 8 x 15’ kit)

    Tinypontoonboats.com - 603-630-5658 - bolt-together mini pontoon boat kits - aluminum pontoon boat frame parts and kits https://www.tinypontoonboats.com/framekits/


    The reason for a kit as opposed to just buying a pontoon boat is the fact that there is no boat launch. Small boats carried in by hand, larger boats are helicoptered in.


    Just wondering everyone’s thoughts on these choices? Aluminum vs HDPE pontoons?
    Every company says their product is “the best”

    I suppose another option is to buy a used pontoon boat needing a re do and stripping it down (assuming cross beams aren’t welded) and carry it in piece by piece.


    I have nothing to back this up but I “think”HDPE pontoons would be tougher than aluminum.
    One factor to consider is this barge will be left in the water over the winter. Our property doesn’t provide for a way to get the boat out of the water

    I have in my head, smaller pontoon “barge” with railing at the stern , and an open bow. Perfect to haul us, food, 100lb propane tanks, etc. deck will be plain old marine plywood. No carpet.

    Thoughts? Maybe there is another option?
     
  2. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
    Posts: 8,934
    Likes: 598, Points: 113, Legacy Rep: 702
    Location: Australia

    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    An inflatable might be an option . They can be disassembled. What sort of load per trip ? Distance to travel ? Smooth water ?
     
  3. Brendan Weselake
    Joined: Apr 2020
    Posts: 9
    Likes: 1, Points: 3
    Location: Winnipeg

    Brendan Weselake Junior Member

    Typical load could be up to 2000lbs. 4 people @200, coolers, propane tanks. Occasionally some plywood, and lumber.

    ‘it’s a small lake, 3/4 mile across. Relatively smooth water.
     
  4. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
    Posts: 8,934
    Likes: 598, Points: 113, Legacy Rep: 702
    Location: Australia

    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    If it is just 3/4 mile, then multiple trips would seem to work, meaning only a small boat is needed.
     
  5. Blueknarr
    Joined: Aug 2017
    Posts: 937
    Likes: 190, Points: 43
    Location: Colorado

    Blueknarr Senior Member

    Al vs Hdpe
    Depends on the thickness.
    Al has greater abrasion resistance
    Hdpe would have more dent redelivery

    Bush repair for small hole
    Al epoxy putty
    Hdpe smoldering stick from the campfire

    Which features are you willing to pay for
     
  6. Brendan Weselake
    Joined: Apr 2020
    Posts: 9
    Likes: 1, Points: 3
    Location: Winnipeg

    Brendan Weselake Junior Member

    Will,aluminum eventually leak? This is what the hdpe guy told me.
     
  7. Blueknarr
    Joined: Aug 2017
    Posts: 937
    Likes: 190, Points: 43
    Location: Colorado

    Blueknarr Senior Member

    Left neglected both materials will degrade and leak in the next couple of hundred years.

    Abuse and sharp rocks greatly speed things up
     
  8. Brendan Weselake
    Joined: Apr 2020
    Posts: 9
    Likes: 1, Points: 3
    Location: Winnipeg

    Brendan Weselake Junior Member

    Both will last a hundred years? I,was,led,to believe aluminum will leak. Hdpe will not.
    Not worried about abuse or rocks
     
  9. Blueknarr
    Joined: Aug 2017
    Posts: 937
    Likes: 190, Points: 43
    Location: Colorado

    Blueknarr Senior Member

    Either material will die from either being trod on by an elephant or being repeatedly drug over a rock.

    Correction

    Al will survive the elephant... but beware of tap dancing rinos
     
  10. Brendan Weselake
    Joined: Apr 2020
    Posts: 9
    Likes: 1, Points: 3
    Location: Winnipeg

    Brendan Weselake Junior Member

    So you have no preference of one over the other?
     
  11. Blueknarr
    Joined: Aug 2017
    Posts: 937
    Likes: 190, Points: 43
    Location: Colorado

    Blueknarr Senior Member

    Not based purely on materials.
    I'd look at craftsmanship.
    The relative thickness compared to other brands.
    The reputation of manufacturer

    Likely scratches would be less appearant on the al than the hdpe.

    I have more faith in my ability to do a "brush" fix on hdpe than al. But that is my skill set not nessicary yours
     
  12. Brendan Weselake
    Joined: Apr 2020
    Posts: 9
    Likes: 1, Points: 3
    Location: Winnipeg

    Brendan Weselake Junior Member

    There would be no brush fix. Aluminum would have to be removed, and carried,out. Hdpe can be replaced in sections.

    I have no,idea, how to rate reputation. Most of the al kit sellers do not,respond,to,emails.
     
  13. Blueknarr
    Joined: Aug 2017
    Posts: 937
    Likes: 190, Points: 43
    Location: Colorado

    Blueknarr Senior Member

    Since you are in Winnipeg.

    HDPE is less likely to freeze solidly to ice and snow than aluminum

    But aluminum won't shatter if dropped while 40 below
     
  14. Barry
    Joined: Mar 2002
    Posts: 1,320
    Likes: 155, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 158

    Barry Senior Member

    Many years ago we had an 18 1/2 foot Sea Clipper canoe. It was one of the earliest model prior to the foam floor, and we were able to pack our two kids and do tours of up to about 5 - 6 days. It was one of their very early models, all fiberglass and I believe that it weighed well over a 100 pounds. In any case after an off trail ugly portage to a "secret mountain lake" through devils club my wife suggested that we buy a "#%&" lighter canoe. A fellow showed up to buy it and he was going to make a catamaran out of it with another Sea Clipper that he owned. He was building a place on an island several miles from a walk in launch.

    His plan, a simple grid that spanned both boats, and held with simple ratchet straps around the hulls. He was not worried about the little drag that that the straps would make in the water. He would hang a small motor off the back. His plan was to be able to pack items in the canoe as well as ferry plywood, lumber etc to the work site. Another neighbor had done the same thing with great results.

    As his cat would come apart easily by removing the ratchet straps, he would also have a couple of canoes for recreation when the work was complete and he could store the canoes at the cabin when the water hardened up in the winter

    This seemed like an extremely cheap solution to his problem. There are probably canoe rental places in your locale that may sell out their inventory after a few years to keep their fleet looking good so you could buy a couple of canoes
    for small change of similar shape.
     

  15. Brendan Weselake
    Joined: Apr 2020
    Posts: 9
    Likes: 1, Points: 3
    Location: Winnipeg

    Brendan Weselake Junior Member

    Not a bad idea using 2 canoes. I’d like something more permanent.

    torn between al and hdpe. Al kits are coming in about 3k cheaper than hdpe. Both are modular except al pontoons would be one long tube. we carried an almost 600 lb wood cook stove. A 20-24 foot al pontoon would be childs play.

    All said I’m leaning towards the hdpe boat kit simply because the owner of the company:

    acyually responded to all emails, messages, etc
    Personally called me on the phone to answer all questions.

    only 1 al guy bothered to reply

    my only concern is the 15’ limit although I can order and build a seperate 6’ section and bolt it to the main boat.
    But I’m thinking 15’ may just be enough?
     
Loading...
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.