two ? pvc pontoons

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by surfstylen, Jun 1, 2005.

  1. surfstylen
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    surfstylen New Member

    first ? is it possible to build a pontoon boat from pcv tubes from a hard ware store?

    second? can anyone tell me whare i can find a boat called a chanoe?
    is like a canoe but its very very stable its perfect for shallow water fishing.

    thanks to anyone who can help..........
     
  2. Skippy
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    Skippy Senior Member

  3. JonathanCole
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    JonathanCole imagineer

    What's stiff and filled with foam?

    Sure it is possible to build a boat with plastic pipe. At the hardware store you get white PVC or Black ABS pipe. The ABS is for drains and is larger. If you go to a pipe supply house you can get stuff up to 30 inches in diameter. All this pipe can be glue welded with a fast drying glue specially made for the type of pipe you are using. There are end caps and couplers available. But it would be better to use a system that fits inside the pipe rather than outside to minimize turbulence. For coupling this could be accomplished by cutting a short section of the pipe you are using and cutting a narrow slice axially from the section. It can then be compressed to fit within the sections you are trying to join. If you bundle the pipe as suggested below, offset the joints for greater overall strength.

    Some ABS pipe is now actually made of foamed plastic with inner and outer skins. The stuff is flexible to some degree depending on the size but if you took a bundle of it and wrapped it in something it could potentially be very stiff. Stiffness could be enhanced by foaming a pipe within a pipe. Think of a modern day papyrus/reed raft like the early Egyptions and Thor Heyerdahl used. A bundle of pipes filled with foam and wrapped with fiberglass pallet bands would be bulletproof. If you wrapped it in cloth and resin in would probably outlast the pyramids. You would need to develop a faring for the front and back, otherwise you get atrocious drag that will cause the thing to go nowhere fast. I actually believe that a sophisticated and rugged vessel could be built this way if one dared to think outside the box. Just in case the world is about to come to an end and you need to make a quick getaway, nobody is going to think to raid the hardware store for sewer pipe!!
     
  4. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Contrary to what some would have you believe, PVC pipe will not make good pontoons. Simply, it will not support it's own weight, in air, let alone afloat, it's quite fragile and will not tolerate UV for any real length of time. It can't be used as a structural member as a result, canceling out any advantage it may have provided. This coupled with the fact it must be welded, rather then glued or joined with fasteners, makes the prospect a poor choice for pontoon hulls. The early Egyptians and Thor Heyerdahl (SP?) mentioned, used materials that were self supporting and also quite strong for there weight, so they had success to a limited degree. Frankly, folks should speak what they know, rather then what they think will work. People can get hurt following ill thought out concepts, without the math, physics and understanding of the principles necessary for the proper engineering of structures.
     
  5. PowerTech
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    PowerTech Senior Member

    It's gheenoe http://www.gheenoe.net/ and this site has some sweet ones http://www.customgheenoe.com/ And as for building a boat out of PVC pipe no but a raft no problem.I have seen more crazy rafts tied up in the mangroves than you could believe from Cuban refugies crossing the Gulf stream to Florida for freedom.You should ask one of them what you can make a boat out of, them folks are wild.I had a 17 foot gheenoe with a 8 HP mariner when I was a kid and loved it.So I baught last year A brand new 15 footer with a 15 mercury it is not over powered at all it is just right.
     
  6. surfstylen
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    surfstylen New Member

    Thanks So Much
    Very Funny. About The Raft...:)
     
  7. JonathanCole
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    JonathanCole imagineer

    ABS versus PVC

    As I mentioned in my last post, there is a difference between PVC and ABS pipe. I have worked with these materials for many purposes over the years and am confident that ABS pipe would work as flotation and as the substructure for a bouyant hull. For efficient powering of such a vessel it would make a lot of sense to have a means of faring what would otherwise be a very hydrodynamically resistant body. Maybe not so important for a raft.

    Just to make sure I wasn't losing it I took a 3 foot piece of schedule 40, 3" ID ABS sewer pipe (standard stuff) closed the ends and it exhibited a draft of about 1/3 of its height, so it certainly can support its weight. It has 1/4 in wall thickness and is difficult to break with a sledge hammer. Way more puncture resistant than a many composite stressed skin constructions (other than kevlar/carbon fibre) which I have also worked with.

    As far as UV vulnerability, it certainly can easily be coated with paint which seems to adhere well. The issue of welding is correct but it is welded with a special solvent glue which is really more like gluing than welding.

    I am quite confident that a 10-30 inch ABS pipe filled with marine quality flotation foam and fitted fore and aft with a fair nose and stern could make a durable and simple pontoon. If it had several smaller ABS PIPE foamed into place on the inside it would result in considerable stiffness versus a single pipe - sort of 3D stressed skin principles.
     
  8. PowerTech
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    PowerTech Senior Member

    Sounds like a great floating dock :p
     
  9. marshmat
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    marshmat Senior Member

    PVC (polyvinyl chloride) would probably be a poor choice as PAR says. I'd be very reluctant to take to the seas in something built of plumbing supplies. PvC is generally not used as a structural plastic.

    ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) comes in different forms for different purposes. There are whitewater canoes built of this stuff that can be kicked, dropped, thrown over cliffs, bent in half, slammed on rocks- and still spring back into shape and float fine. Having said that, pipes may be made of a different form, and may or may not work.

    Any home-desing home-build project is of course tackled at your own risk. I personally would only take to the seas in a craft I am confident in and where I know it has been properly engineered. Others have different opinions; travese the ocean on your hardware-store raft at your own risk.
     
  10. JonathanCole
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    JonathanCole imagineer

    Thought experiments

    There are waters besides oceans and seas. Lakes, rivers creeks, bayous, ponds, swamps, etc.

    Since the original inquiry related to shallow water fishing, perhaps that is what he had in mind.

    Anyway, I think if people want to keep an open mind about new ways of doing old things, they had better be careful and proceed with caution and as much good advice as they can muster. At the same time, there is always something to be learned by collaborative thought experiments which is at least partially what this site seems to be about!
     
  11. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Attempts have been made using PVC to build boats in production form. The few tries had the problems typical with the material, which can be engineered much like epoxy for various qualities, and UV break down, excessive weight, difficulty in fastening and painting caused the efforts to fail. Styrene is more stable and is seeing some limited successes in the production market, as it has in other products. I too have seen the rafts and contraptions the Cubans have been using to cross the straights, but a lot of these folks die in route, which would suggest the methods, materials and madness should be questioned.

    The USSR use to send their astronauts up without pressure suits, so they could carry more gear and another person in the capsule. This was a risk, but they (like the Cubans) had some success and for a while it worked, but then there was a pressure leak and they vented to atmosphere at 100,000 feet and well, they didn't survive long. The point is you can get lucky when your father from shore than you'd care to swim back too, or you can rely on solid concepts, principles and engineering to get you home, especially when you no brain yourself into a corner, or something goes bad like the weather or equipment failure.

    You can build a raft out of those swimming pool noodles, bundled together if you want too, but frankly, I like a bit more thought put into the effort. This means thinking out of the box is good, but also means when out of the box you should have a firm hand hold on the skills necessary or the idea can't be accepted by those that do. This is the typical jinx that plagues new ideas and thought, but when informed minds see new things they may rebel to the changes, but must credit the idea.

    Now if you sealed up a refrigerator box real well with plastic packaging tape and made one end pointy . . .
     
  12. Skippy
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    Skippy Senior Member

    If all you want is half-decent pontoons that are easy to build, get a copy of Phil Bolger's "Boats With an Open Mind". He has plenty of flat-bottom, square-side pontoon designs. A couple sheets of marine ply, a few lengths of lumber, some screws and glue. Most of the angles are 90 degrees, you can bang one together in a day. And the hull shape will leave straight tubing far behind.
     
  13. mackid068
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    mackid068 Semi-Newbie Posts Often

    Seems pretty un-safe to use PVC. It's not a choice material for boat building.
     
  14. mackid068
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    mackid068 Semi-Newbie Posts Often

    PVC filled with foam? Maybe....
     

  15. surfstylen
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    surfstylen New Member

    thanks to everyone who replied .
    i 've decided to buy a Gheenoe . ive used them before and they are amazing little boats......
     
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