Building a Steel Pontoon Houseboat

by Dean
(Front Royal Va.,USA)

An example of Building a Steel Pontoon Houseboat

An example of Building a Steel Pontoon Houseboat

Here are my plans for building a steel pontoon houseboat. I will have steel pontoon chambers, 3'h x 4'w x 8'l, with a sealable access hatch 2' x 3', and all the pontoons will be welded end to end, which will give a total of 24 feet.

Im building pontoons of steel because of Cost, Workability, Strength. Connected with wood timbers, wood floor overall 28'L x 16'W. Building a cabin with a small porch on both ends.

Seems to me to be a way to get lost from time to time, and be free. Tie off along the bank in secluded places The Ohio River &
it's tributaries and stay out a month or so at a time. So much to see.

I'm looking for a place to connect the 2 completed pontoons, a marina, or someplace along the banks. I have the tools, materials & electricity. I just need a place, near Parkersburg,WV. would be most convienient as I am in N.Va.

I am open to other places where something of this nature might be permitted. Any information would be appreciated.
Thanks Dean.

Reply - Answer
Well Dean, congratulations on your decision to build a steel pontoon houseboat. By looking at the plans, it looks like it will be useful and perfect for tying up to the banks and enjoying "quiet times".

Be sure to take some pictures of your houseboat building project to show us here. I'm sure there is many houseboaters that would love the hands on experience that you can share with all of us.

Lastly, hopefully some of our readers will share and post comments about their pontoon houseboat building experiences. Feel free to use the "Click here to post comments." link found at the bottom of this page.

Thanks again for sharing, IAN - from

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Put your money in your barge or pontoons
by: Ricky Brown

If you plan on building your own pontoons make sure they are going to support the weight you are going to place on them.

Best way to figure out how much weight they will support is to figure out how much water they will hold and multiply that by 8.3. That is what a gallon of water weighs. Don't forget you have to figure the weight of the pontoons also.

You will be supprised how much weight you will be putting on them. You will also know how much they will sink at a certain weight.

I built my pontoons with 1/4 steel and they are 4 ft deep x 6 ft. wide x 55 ft. long. They are 24 feet outside to outside. Just my barge weight in a 47000 lbs. I figure I have a camp with pontoons that comes in at about 100,000 lbs. with a 740 sq. ft. living area.

Put your money in what your building is sitting on. If you are going to have water on board that will add a great deal of weight very quick.

I have water tanks but my weight does not include water. Also figure out how much free board you are going to want.

Ricky Brown

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