Pontoon Houseboat Floatation - any damage or sinking protection?
by Ron Bishop
(Fitzgerald, GA, USA)
Pontoon Houseboat Floatation - Any Sinking Damage Protection
Looking at floatation on a pontoon houseboat, and wonder about protection from damage or sinking if a pontoon ruptures?
I am building a pontoon houseboat, and don't want it to sink if I hit a rock in a river or lake. What measures can be taken to protect any possible pontoon rupture? And can we do it cheaply if at all possible?
Thanks for any help, Ron Bishop
Reply - Answer
Well Ron, welcome to the houseboat forums, and congratulations on asking a great question about pontoon floatation.
As you are probably aware, one of the advantages that pontoons have over a tradition hull design is that they can have either sealed chambers, or foam filled chambers, which greatly reduce the danger of sinking.
Now you didn't mention if you were building steel, wood, fiberglass, or aluminum pontoons, but if wanted sealed chambers, think of taking a bunch of cans of soda, and welding them "end to end" to make the length of cylinder (pontoon) that you need.
Many people have created the same kind of sealed chambers and have filled them with an expanding foam which would restrict the amount of water that could even enter into the chamber. If you only have room in the chamber for 5 gallons of water, it would have very little effect on buoyancy.
Now possibly some of our houseboaters that have experimented or built pontoons have some better or simpler ideas to help you with pontoon floatation.
Lastly, hopefully some of our readers will share and post comments about their pontoon houseboat damage or sinking experiences. Feel free to use the "Click here to post comments." link found near the bottom of this page.
Thanks again for sharing, IAN - from www.all-about-houseboats.com
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