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building your own pontoon
Posted 22 January 2005 - 11:31 PM
Posted 23 January 2005 - 12:43 AM
Posted 23 January 2005 - 12:53 PM
First off, are you building a one man or multi person boat? Have you picked out tubes yet? Any boat can have a standing platform, but not ALL tubes are designed to have someone stand up. Building custom will usually cost you MORE money then a prebuilt. Unless you're buying cheap tubes, or you are a welder (which buying the supplies and not paying production costs helps ALOT). I don't use enough frames to warrant learning how to weld. You want to pair up the proper frame for the proper tubes. I can actually really help here, especially designwise if you'd like. Can even draw you custom plans (no, I don't charge, I've always done this for free). Just need to know alot more details. I've designed quite a few frames over the years. This is the last boat I designed for myself (have another one in works now, have frame on paper). Just sold this boat. But will have another soon.
So, let me know if you have a specific tube in mind, how much you want to spend on tubes, if you want the frame to be takedown or solid, easy access out of the boat or climb out, possibly two man or simply a one man always, etc etc. Hard to get plans, since each tube is different, and application of the frame is different.
Posted 23 January 2005 - 01:11 PM
Posted 23 January 2005 - 01:44 PM
You can buy replacement tubes from about any manufacturer of pontoons out there. Just you won't be "replacing", you'll be building a frame for it. I know the company I like to buy boats from sells his tubes, they're about $600-800 for the tubes. My actually whitewatering tubes (boats over 12') usually run $2,000 a set for tubes only. You can buy Sotar Coho tubes at 11'. But price is in the $1,200 range, if not more. But best tubes on the market. Outcast, Waterskeeter, Scadden, all those mass produced boats sell tubes usually. Personally, I'd either buy from a whitewater company, or buy one of the Skookum tubes. You want a "fishing" boat, those are the way to go.
Posted 23 January 2005 - 02:06 PM
Posted 23 January 2005 - 02:22 PM
You'd be surprised, those welders charge alot. Luckily, I have a friend who's a lifelong frame builder for whitewatering who does my work pretty much for cost of the material. Funny thing, I won't use aluminum. Long story, but it's what happens to aluminum when it actually is damaged is why. I mostly use EMT (yeah, know the spiel on the gasses from welding it). Tough, cheap, and if you nail it hard (which I have on class V's) it will come out with a bend, but still holding it's strength.
Posted 23 January 2005 - 02:28 PM
Posted 23 January 2005 - 02:35 PM
Posted 23 January 2005 - 02:46 PM
After seeing the prices the last place i worked for charged for me to build some of the stuff that went out the door nothing surprizes me now.
If I only had the cash to open my own shop i could cut the price that my old job charged by 40% and still live comfy....not that i have ever given any thought to stealing my old boss's customers
Posted 23 January 2005 - 03:04 PM
If we were closer, I'd be giving you ALOT of business. Hate having to drive to Oregon for a frame build. Have some friends here in WA though, but sometimes it's nice when the guy building it KNOWS what you're making, not just fabricating. Have had him call and say "hey, I could move this here to help with rowing space". Just tweaking stuff.
Posted 23 January 2005 - 05:32 PM