TOOLS YOU'LL NEED:

Assembly of the pontoon boat frame kits for our 17" wide floats requires some basic tools. Below we have provide a list of everything that you'll need, as well as part numbers and links to where you can get the somewhat special tools from McMaster, which is a reasonably priced industrial supplier. Click on the part number to be brought to where that item is available on the McMaster web site. Many customers will already have the majority of these tools, if not all of them. These tools (other than the transfer punch) should be stocked at your local home supply or hardware store as well.

REQUIED TOOLS:

23/64" transfer punch McMaster PN: 3374A31
Center punch (optional) McMaster PN: 3451A31
3/8" drive ratchet
9/16", 3/8" drive socket
3/8" drive ratchet extension
9/16" box wrench
5/16" hex-key wrench (Allen wrench) McMaster PN: 7122A25
Long needle nose pliers
3/8" or 1/2" chuck electric drill
1/4" drill bit McMaster PN: 2896A25
3/8" drill bit McMaster PN: 8870A36
3/4" countersink (optional) McMaster PN: 2846A39
Carpenter square
Tape measure
2 saw horses
C or F style clamp



STEP 1

Place one of the pontoon MAIN BEAM extrusions on top of two saw horses. This piece is the aluminum tube that has a "T" shaped cross section with two slots on the top. Place the extrusion so that the slots face down as shown and use a C or F style clamp to clamp it down onto one of the saw horses. Be sure to place the saw horses so they are at the ends of the aluminum extrusions.

STEP 2

Place one of the plastic float STRAIGHT SEGMENTS over the aluminum main beam on your saw horses. Point the "button end" of the float toward the empty portion of the main beam as shown here. This button end will insert into the next float. Adjust the float position so that it is even with the end of the aluminum main beam.


STEP 3

Insert a 23/64" transfer punch into each of the mounting holes and use a hammer to tap it into the holes to make a mark (dimple) on the aluminum main beams. This will mark the center position of the bolt holes. You MUST do this through every 3/8" mounting hole on the float, so be sure to use the transfer punch on both sides of the float to ensure proper bolt alignment later on. You may have to trim a little bit of "flash" (thin scrap left from the molding process) from the edge of some holes in the float for the punch to fit easily.

STEP 4

Remove the float from the aluminum main beam extrusion and place it aside. Use a standard center punch (carpenter type works fine) to make the marks made with the transfer punch in the prior step more pronounce. This isn't necessary if you were able to get a good swing on the hammer in the prior step, but making the dimple mark a little deeper in the aluminum makes the next step a little easier.

STEP 5

Use a 1/4" drill bit to drill holes where you marked in the prior step. Only drill through one wall of the main beam extrusion at a time. Do not drill straight through from one side to the other, or the holes may become misaligned. When doing this, be sure to keep your drill bit perpendicular to the surface to properly locate the hole.

STEP 6

Using a 3/8" drill bit in your electric drill, drill the 1/4" holes out to 3/8" diameter. Once again, do this from either side of the main beam and do not drill straight through both sides of the extrusion.

STEP 7

The method you use for this step is up to you. We recommend using a 3/4" single-flute (one cutting edge) deburring (counter-sink) drill bit to debur the drilled holes, as this is easiest and quickest method. You can also use a sanding disk on a grinder or hand sand each hole, but whatever option you decide to use, be sure to remove sharp edges and burrs from the holes you drilled. If you're assembling multiple boats, we fully recommend the counter sink bit we use.

STEP 8

With the aluminum main beam clamped into position on your saw horses, place the straight segment float back on it and visually align the holes. Use your electric drill with a 3/8" drill bit and put the drill all the way through the rear hole. You'll want to have the bit go all the way through one side of the pontoon, through both sides of the aluminum main beam, and through the holes on the other side of the float. This makes sure that everything is perfectly aligned. Do this only for the rearmost hole.



STEP 9

Slide a 3/8" flat washer over one of the included 3/8" x 4 1/2" stainless steel hex bolts and insert it into the hole you just cleared out in step 8. The fit will still be a little tight, so take your hammer and tap it all the way through the hole.

STEP 10

Continue to use your 3/8" drill bit to drill all the way through the holes ahead of the rear hole and install the 3/8" bolts. After drilling through a single hole, install a single bolt. Do not drill through multiple holes before installing bolts. Drill through one hole and install one bolt. Drill through the next hole and install one bolt. After doing that, install a 3/8" flat washer and 3/8" lock nut on the end of the bolt. Securely tighten the nut onto the bolt.

STEP 11

Place the next straight pontoon segment onto the aluminum main beam so it butts right against the float you have installed. You will want to orient it the same way as the installed float so the button ends both point in the same direction as shown here. Tap the float so it is securly against the other float and all the way down onto the aluminum main beam.

STEP 12

With the float on the aluminum main beam, repeat the process described in steps 3-11 until all the floats, including 1 nose cone, for one pontoon assembly are installed onto the aluminum main beam. Repeat the whole process again to assemble the second pontoon assembly as well, but BE SURE TO INSTALL THE MOUTING BOLTS FROM THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF THE FLOAT ASSEMBLY. YOU WANT THE BOLTS THE FACE INWARD ON THE BOAT.

Steps to follow:

-Place straight segment float on aluminum main beam
-Use 23/64" transfer punch to mark all the mounting holes
-Remove float from aluminum main beam
-Use standard center punch to make marked holes more pronounce
-Drill 1/4" holes at center punched marks
-Drill holes out to 3/8" (drill through one side of the beam at a time)
-Install float back onto main beam
-Use 3/8" drill bit to drill all the way through the float flanges and main beam
-Install 3/8" bolts through the holes

Follow these same exact steps for all the floats that fit on your main beam, including the nose cone.






STEP 13

Now that you have two assembled pontoons, it's time to build the platform for your boat! Place the two assembled pontoons next to each other so that the centers of the pontoons are about 5'9" apart. There's no need to measure here, just eye-ball it. Be sure that the pontoons are arranged so that the pontoon mounting bolt heads are on the outside of the boat and the nuts are toward the center of the boat (mounting nuts face each other). If possible, we recommend that the rest of the assembly be done on grass. If you're building the rest of the boat on concrete, pavement, or dirt, we recommend at least putting cardboard or something somewhat soft under the floats.

STEP 14

Slide 6 of the included 3/8" stainless steel square nuts into each slot at the rear end of each of the pontoon main beams (more nuts shown installed in the last picture in this step - main beam shown installed on our larger floats). Slide the first four nuts for each slot a few inches away from the end of the rear end of the aluminum main beam so they are out of the way for the next step. The sides of the nuts are typically symetrical, but if any of the nuts have a side that is tapered, be sure to install this taper facing down when sliding it into the slot.



STEP 15

Place one hat channel cross member on top of the rear portion of one of the floats and align the back edge of the channel with the back end of the aluminum main beams. Align the mounting holes with the nuts in the aluminum main beams and install four sets of the included 3/8" diameter, 7/8" long stainless steel hex bolts with a lock washer and flat washer as shown here. Only finger tighten the bolts for this step. During this step, it's helpful to have the other float assembly hold up the end of the hat channel.



STEP 16

Use a carpenter square make sure the hat channel is perpendicular to the aluminum main beam. Also be sure sure that the hat channel stays even with the end of the aluminum main beams. Tighten the four bolts in the hat channel. You will require a 3/8" drive ratchet, 3/8" drive extension, and 9/16" socket. Now install the bolts at the other end and bolt the hat channel to the other pontoon assembly. Be sure to square up that float with the hat channel as well.


STEP 17

For this step, you will need to reference the cross member positioning diagram that is appropriate for your boat. Click on the small diagrams below to see full size versions. For 6'x11' and 6'x14' boats, place the set of cross members labeled "Rear set" on the appropriate diagram on the main beams of your boat. If you're assembling a 6'x8' boat, skip ahead to the next step. We find it handy to have a printed copy of the diagram when bolting the rest of the cross members onto our kits. Starting from rearmost member, bolt them down onto the top of the frame. Be sure to use a tape measure to verify their positions before tightening the bolts. If you're assembling a 14' long boat, you will need to slide 2 additional nuts down each slot on the aluminum main beams to be able to complete this step.

6'x8' KIT

6'x11' KIT

6'x14' KIT



STEP 18

Referencing your cross member placement diagram, count how many cross members remain for installation and slide two square nuts down the slots of the aluminum main beams for each remaining hat channel cross member to install, then add one more for the front cross tube that will be installed next. Double and triple count the number of nuts that you have in the channel, as you'll have to remove many parts if you get to the last cross member and you're short a nut. Also note that the front cross member only requires one nut per slot. Slide the nuts roughly into their positions per the cross member placement diagram.

STEP 19

Place the included 2" x 2" square aluminum front tube cross member on the very front of the frame. Align the edge of the tube so it is flush with the ends of the aluminum main beams and adjust the placement so the holes align with the slots on the main beams.

STEP 20

Use a set of long needle-nose pliers to insert one of the included 3/8" x 3/4" long Allen bolts with a lock washer and flat washer into the end of the 2"x2" square tube. Line the bolt up with the innermost hole and square nut in the aluminum main beam. Use a 5/16" Allen wrench to thread the bolt loosely into the nut below. Do the same for the remaining three bolt holes on the front tube of the boat. Be sure that the front tube is even with the end of the aluminum main beams and then tighten all four bolts. For additional tightening leverage on the Allen wrench, use your box wrench as shown.

If you don't have a set of needle nose pliers that are long enough to reach the inner bolt on each end, you can also use a piece of wire (coat hanger works) and bend it to hold the bolt. Insert the wire tool and bolt assembly through the end of the tube and align the bolt. Below we have provided pictures showing how to do this.







STEP 21

Place the rest of the aluminum hat channel cross members on the boat in their approximate final locations per your diagram and work your way forward from the back of the boat, bolting them in place using remaining 3/8" hex bolts, lock washers, and flat washers in your kit, just like the other hat channel cross members. You WILL have some left-over hardware that will NOT be used. When doing this, measure and put the cross member in the correct position per the diagram, finger tighten the bolts, measure again (adjust position if necessary), and tighten the bolts down permamently using your 9/16" socket. Do this moving forward on the boat until they are all installed and the bolts are all tightened.

STEP 22

You have now completed the assembly of your TinyPontoonBoats.com boat frame and float kit. The rest of your build is completely up to you, but we do have other parts and accessories available for your boat. Please check out our Accessories page to see what we offer.

Good work! Pat yourself on the back!