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Aug 16, 2003, 09:18 AM
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Pontoon Barge

Hey Bronco, I am trying to think of a way to make a towing barge for the Dickie Tugboat. your Pontoon boat sounds like it might have pontential for a barge too. What are you using for the pontoons? I would have to make something that floats in a straight line but has enough floatation to carry a 9" diameter buoy with a heavy chain on it. Can you offer some tips?
Aug 19, 2003, 07:10 PM
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I think pontoons might be the simplest way to make a quick barge. My pontoon is from Andy Zigan Woodcraft plans, and uses 3" thin-walled PVC about 36" long with wood plugs in the ends. I also stuck in a piece of foam swimming "noodle" in case of a leak. That foam spray stuff might bea good filler. The pontoon is about 12" wide. If you aren't going for scale, you could go to 4" PVC and get alot more flotation. Keep us informed with your design, I suppose I will need to build something for sailing bouys, too.
Bronco XLT
Aug 19, 2003, 07:15 PM
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Aug 19, 2003, 07:22 PM
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Another thought, You could make three or four pontoons instead of just two. Some real pontoon boats are going to three, I've noticed.
Aug 19, 2003, 11:34 PM
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Hello Bronco, Thanks for your ideas and suggestions. How did you make the cone shaped front ends for your pontoons? That would be important for smooth tugging by the tug boat. I just got my second Dickie tug boat because I sent the first one back due to it veering off to the left. I sailed it one morning and since then the motor no longer works. I am wondering about this boat. I think the quality control is not very good for this boat... and yet they charge up to $150 for it! Now I have to send the second one back! Grrrrrrrrrrr
Aug 20, 2003, 07:19 AM
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Sorry about the Tug Boat trouble. I'm new to boating and am tempted by boats in the $150 range, But I haven't bought any yet. Hobby People has a complete sailboat(Sea lite) with radio for $80! We made the front and rear pontoon plugs from Pine wood that we first turned on a lathe and then shaped with ban saw and sandpaper. I've pondered another way to do it, and I think you might could shape a plug from foam, then epoxy into the pipe, and then cover with fiberglass cloth and epoxy for durability. Also I don't know the properties of PVC, But I wonder if you could heat it and simply pull the sides together to make a pointy end.
Aug 27, 2003, 03:03 AM

Re: Pontoon Barge

On Wed, 20 Aug 2003 07:19:06 -0500, BroncoXLT
<[email protected]> wrote:

>We made the front and rear pontoon plugs from Pine wood that we first
>turned on a lathe and then shaped with ban saw

>I don't know the properties of PVC, But I wonder if you could heat it
>and simply pull the sides together to make a pointy end.

I've not really been following this thread, but you caught my eye with
that last post (anything containing the word "lathe"...

PVC pipe (as in plumbing/drainage pipe) is the material, right? That
stuff is quite pliable when carefully heated to the point of being
plastic (tech term rather than generic - meaning when its softened but
not liquified). That's the standard practice for bending long lengths
of it when burying it (ie for drainage etc work). Carefully heated
with a blowtorch, you should be able to coax it into a pointy end for
a pontoon - especially if youre working with a turned wooden former
you could force into the tube to work the heated PVC around. PVC pipe
strikes me as being an ideal material for the whole pontoon actually,
*if* what im picturing is what you actually want to make. Matching
the ends of reduced-diameter joins in order to make a 2-piece pontoon
would solve the "smooth outer surface" issue (youd end up with ugly
joins, otherwise) - alternatively, heat the end of one of the pieces
and "shrink" it around a turned wooden former (that lathe's gunna be
handy so you end up with a short length at the end of that piece,
the short end bit having the same outside diameter as the inside
diameter of the other piece, so they just slide together. Better to
have the join right at one end though - having the join in the middle
would weaken the structure as a whole. Making a single-piece pontoon
would rule out the ability of forming the ends over a wooden former.

Please note: this advice may be *utterly* irrelevant - as i said, ive
not been following this thread. If you *are* thinking "Hrm, that's
worth a try!", may i suggest you get a LOT of practice on a few
offcuts first? ;/ Just heating the stuff to the right temperature is
NOT easy... just a wee bit too hot and it burns, make no mistake.

Btw: the "bandsaw" processing post turning on the lathe... this could
indicate youre after something other than a round (cross-sectional)
pontoon - perhaps semi-circular? Heating and flattening PVC tube may
be viable (ive not tried it), as might bandsawing one finished
circular PVC pontoon in half lengthwise and using flat sheet to
enclose the open top, giving you two flat-topped pontoons (and a
headache). Or both ideas might suck - its your call.

Hope this helped (or was even relevant

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