Saturday, September 8, 2007

DIY: Man Powered Pontoon

Ok, so I found some instructions on how to build your own pontoon on JEM watercraft's website and after getting most of the plywood I started contruction of it today. It is a work in progress but being a guy without the means (read: wife and kids) of buying an actual boat of any type, this seems to be the next best thing. The instructions are simple enough, almost to the point of omitting information that would be very helpful.

Link to instructions: Free Pontoon Instructions

I'd be more than happy to answer any questions you may have on this project.

A couple pointers.
  1. Get Luane Plywood for the 6 sheets of 4x8 1/4" plywood, it should work as well as the B/C stuff and you'll pay half the price ($8.00 vs $16.00 at Menards in Mankato).
  2. Get all 6 sheets at the same time, I was short on cash and got 3 sheets, after cutting out the bottom and sides, I realised that the chance of them being identical to the other pontoon were slim to none unless I used them as patterns, so I'm waiting for next pay day to get 3 more sheets and finish the pontoons.
  3. Not really a tip, but a question. The most expensive part of this project is going to be the Epoxy Resin, if anyone knows a place that sells it cheaper ($35.00/gal at Advanced Auto), please let me know. As it stands the resin is going to be the most expensive part of this project.

I'll update this post with pictures as I make progress on the project so stay tuned for images!

9/11/07 Update - Finished the bulkheads lastnight, will post pictures tonight after some more work.

St James Lake This Morning

I'm heading down to the T docks in St James this morning with my two boys. We've yet to catch anything big off the docks but the boys enjoy it. I'll be posting some pictures later if we catch anything mentionable. I'm hoping the fishing will be better now that we've gotten some rain. Only bad thing about the docks is the weeds that can make it impossible to do anything more than bobber fishing and sometimes the wind that makes it impossible to cast out beyond 10 feet.
If the wind is bad we'll head down to Kansas Lake, just a few miles SW of St James. It looks like there is another T dock there and on the opposite side from the ones at St James so we should be in good shape in either case.

More when I get back.

I got skunked at St James, my youngest caught a tiny Blue Gill so we headed down to Kansas Lake (just 5 miles SWish of St James). The public park is very nice, if a bit small, there is a decent T dock but alas we caught nothing there either. We could see what looked to be bass and northerns jumping but we couldn't get them to bite on anything we were tossing.

Alwell. There is always tomorrow/today (sunday). Probably head out to Lake Sleepy Eye.