FRAME ASSEMBLY INSTRUCTIONS FOR RECREATIONAL BOAT KITS WITH 17 INCH DIAMETER FLOATS
REQUIRED TOOLS

Assembly of our recreational pontoon boat kits with 17" diameter 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 an industrial supplier that we do business with almost every day here at Tiny Pontoon Boats. Click on the part number to be brought to where that item is available on the McMaster website. Many customers will already have the majority of the required tools, if not all of them. Most of the tools listed below will be stocked at your local hardware or home supply store as well.

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
Electric drill
3/8" drill bit McMaster PN: 8870A36
3/4" countersink (optional) McMaster PN: 2846A39
Carpenter square
Tape measure
2 saw horses
2 C or F style clamps
2-4 ratchet straps
Steel hammer
Ruber or plastic hammer (optional)




STEP 1

Place one of the pontoon Main Beam extrusions across two saw horses. This part 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 and use "C" or "F" style clamps to clamp it down to the two saw horses as shown.

STEP 2

Place one of the blunt ended floats, which we refer to as "straight floats", on an end of the Main Beam as shown here. The socket end of the float, meaning the end with an indent, will be pointed at the end of the Main Beam. Tap the float into postion so that the end of the float is even with the end of the Main Beam. A rubber or plastic hammer can be used for this. Place a ratchet starp around the float and the Main Beam to temporarily hold it in position.

STEP 3

Place the remaining straight floats for the pontoon assembly onto the Main Beams and place ratchet straps over those 1-3 floats as well. The number of floats depends on what length boat kit you purchased. Tap them securely against the first float you placed on the Main Beam and check that the first float is still even with the end of the Main Beam. Make position adjustments if necessary.

STEP 4

Place one of the nose cones on the front of the assembly as shown here. Due to the shape of the nose cone, you will not be able to place a ratchet strap over the float.

STEP 5

Using your 23/64" transfer punch, go down both sides of the pontoon assembly and use the punch with a hammer to mark EVERY bolt hole position through the molded-in bolt holes in the floats. The ratchet straps will hold the straight floats in position for this, but the nose cones will have to be held in position when you do this. The nose cones don't typically fit the Main Beams as tightly as the straight floats, so be sure that you line up the circular portion of the floats before marking the holes with your transfer punch.

STEP 6

Remove the ratchet straps. Before removing the floats, number the positions of the floats on the Main Beam as shown here. You can use a piece of masking tape to write on or you can use a marker to write on the floats and Main Beams if you have lacquer paint thinner on hand. If using a permanent marker to write on the floats, lacquer paint thinner will not hurt the floats or the Main Beams when you use it to wipe off the writing later on. Now you can remove the floats and unclamp the Main Beam from your saw horses.

STEP 7

Using a standard style center punch, make the marks you made with the transfer punch in step 5 more pronounce. This will make the holes easier to drill in the next step.

STEP 8

Now you need to drill holes where you marked with your punch. Using a SHARP (prohibits wandering of the bit) 3/8" diameter drill bit, drill through ONE WALL of the Main Beam from each marked position. This means that you are NOT drilling all the way through both sides of the Main Beam at once during this operation. Drill through every position on one side of the part, flip it, and drill through every position on the other side of the part.

For this operation, you can use a hand-held drill, but we find it much easier and quicker to use a drillpress. If you have a drillpress, you will need to use a spacer block, such as a piece of 2"x4" lumber, to make the material surface level. If using a hand-held drill, be careful to keep the drill bit perpendicular to the surface you are drilling through. You can't undrill holes, so take your time.

After drilling the holes, be sure to debur the holes. We like to use a countersink type drill bit for this, but a little bit of sand paper will do the trick as well.


STEP 9

Clamp your Main Beam back onto your saw horses and place the floats back onto the Main Beam, matching up the numbers you marked in step 6. Place the ratchet straps back over the floats and tap the floats into position so that the holes line up. DO NOT INSERT THE BOLTS YET.

STEP 10

With a 3/8" drill bit mounted in your hand-held drill, start at the back end of the run of floats and drill through the rear-most bolt hole in the float. This operation makes sure that no chips are in the way and ensures that the holes are perfectly aligned. After drilling through that one bolt location, insert one of the 3/8"x4 1/2" hex bolts with a 1" outside diameter fender washer over it, and tap it through the hole with a hammer. We prefer to use a plastic hammer for this. Drill through the next hole and insert a bolt. Do this until every floats has bolts installed in both holes. DO NOT INSTALL THE NUTS YET.

When you do this operation for the second pontoon assembly, be sure to install the bolts from the opposite side of the pontoon. The intention is to have the bolts for each pontoon assembly pointing toward the center of the boat. This is purely for aesthetics.


STEP 11

Go down the length of the pontoon assembly and place a 1" diameter fender washer over each of the bolts you just tapped into place. DO NOT INSTALL THE NUTS YET. Using the included Loc-tite capsules (blue medium strength Loctite type 242), apply a little bit of the thread locker to each of the bolts. This both lubricates the threads and makes the nuts more secure. Thread 3/8" lock nuts onto each of the bolts and tighten the nuts just until the mounting flanges on the pontoons start to flex inward. We do not have a torque specification beyond this.


STEP 12

Remove the ratchet straps and clamps. Place the pontoon assembly aside and repeat steps 1 through 11 to build your second pontoon assembly and then move onto the next step.

STEP 13

Now that you have your two pontoon assemblies together, it's time to bolt on your crossmembers. Start by placing the two pontoon assemblies about 6' apart on center (floats actually land 69" apart center to center).

If you purchased a transom from us (engine or motor mounting bracket), locate the Hat Channel crossmembers that have the words "Rear Set" written on them. These crossmembers will have holes drilled in the middle of the crossmember for your transom to bolt to. Depending on what size kit you purhcased, if you purchased a transom as well, you will have 2, 3, or 4 Hat Channel crossmembers labeled "Rear Set". If you did not purchase a transom with your boat kit, all of your Hat Channel crossmembers are identical and none are labeled "Rear Set".

STEP 14

From this point forward you will need to reference one of the diagrams below. If possible, print the diagram below that matchs the size of the boat kit that you purchased.

Each of the hat channel crossmembers (all but one of the crossmembers are this type) requires a total of 8 sets of nuts and bolts. Locate the bag of 3/8" square nuts, and referencing the appropriate crossmember placement diagram below, slide 2 square nuts per Main Beam slot into the approximate position of the "Rear Set" of crossmembers shown on the diagram.

6'x8' kit

6'x11' kit

6'x14' kit



STEP 15

Use the 3/8" x 7/8" hex bolts, flat 3/8" SAE washers, and 3/8" lock washers to loosely bolt on the rear-most crossmember on your kit. If you purchased a transom, make sure to select a Hat Channel that has "Rear Set" written on it. Place the crossmember so the edge of it aligns with the end of the Main Beam. Use a square to make sure that it ligns up at 90 ° to one of the Main Beams and tighten down the bolts on one side, leaving the bolts finger tight on the other side.

If you purchased a transom with your boat kit, the "Rear Set" Hat Channel crossmembers will have a set of holes in the middle of the part.

NOTE:

Crossmembers have an "A" written on one end. Be sure to place the marked ends of the crossmembers on the same side of the boat. When the hole pattern is machined in the crossmembers, this is the end that is referenced on the machine cutting the holes. Placing the "A" end of all the crossmembers on the same side of the boat ensures perfect alignment of all the mounting holes.



STEP 16

Loosely bolt on the remaining "Rear Set" hat channel crossmembers from your diagram above (finger tight at most) and be sure to reference the crossmember diagram for placement. At this point, check the angle of the loose end of the rearmost crossmember against the Main Beam on that end to ensure that it lines up at 90°. With those two parts square, tighten the bolts right down. Double check that the placement of the "Rear Set" crossmembers ahead of the rearmost crossmember with a tape measure and leave the bolts finger tight for now.


STEP 17

If you DID NOT purchase a transom with your boat kit, skip this step and move onto step 19.

If you DID purchase a transom with your boat kit, you will now need to loosely bolt it to the underside of the boat to ensure that all the bolt holes align. If you have one of our 6 HP or higher capacity transom kits, they bolt together as shown below, and you will need to do this before mounting to the crossmembers. With our 6-20 HP transoms, you will want to only loosely bolt them together at this point. If you purchased a trolling motor mount, they come fully assembled, as shown to the right.



STEP 18

Locate the bag of hardware that is labeled "Transom Mounting Hardware" or similar and pull out the 3/8"x1 1/4" hex bolts. Place them in the center set of holes in the "Rear Set" of hat hannel crossmembers. With those in place, use C-clamps to clamp the transom assembly against the bottom of the boat. The holes in the transom are slightly oversized, but you may have to make super minor adjustments to the crossmembers to ensure that all the holes line up. You now have a bolt in every hole in the top of the transom mounting arms or arm (for trolling motor mounts) and now can ber certain that all the transom bolt holes are ligned up for the final installation later on. Tighten down all of the bolts at the ends of the hat channel crossmembers and remove the transom completely (gets in the way if installing our aluminum decking package). Be sure to place the transom mounting bolts back in the bag for later.

STEP 19

Referencing your crossmember placement diagram, now slide a group of 4 3/8" square nuts into both Main Beams for EACH of the Hat Channel crossmembers remaining on the diagram. Place each group of square nuts approximately where each hat channel lands on the Main Beams. The front crossmember for your boat is a 2" square tube, which has two bolt holes on either end, so slide 2 square nuts into the front of the Main Beams centered about 1" in from the end of the beam for that crossmember, which we place in the next step.

STEP 20

Place the 2"x2" square tube front crossmember tube across the front end of the Main Beams. Align the edge of the square tube with front ends of the Main Beams and align the square nuts with the bolt holes in the square tube.

STEP 21

Next, from your hardware kit, find the bag with the 3/8" x 3/4" socket head cap screws (bag may say "Allen Bolts"). You will need four of these screws. Place a 3/8" lock washer and 3/8" SAE flat washer over each of the four bolts. To install these bolts, you will need either a pair of long needly nose pliers or a piece of metal wire to form a tool. If forming a tool from wire, we have pictures below showing how to do that. If using needle nose pliers, we show those doing the job to the right side of screen.

With your needle nose pliers or formed wire tool, insert the bolt with washers into the end of the square tube crossmembers and insert the bolt into the hole in the bottom of the tube. Using a 5/16" hex key wrench (Allen wrench), thread the bolts into the captured nuts under the square tube crossmember. Do this for all four positions, double check the position of the square tube (even with the end of the Main Beams), and then tighten the bolts. A great way to get extra leverage on your hex key wrench is to use an adjustable wrench or box wrench as shown to the right.







STEP 22

You can now start to bolt all the remaining hat channel crossmembers onto the frame. Working from the rear of the boat forward, position the crossmember, check your measurement against the diagram, and bolt it down loosely with the same 3/8"x7/8" bolt, flat washer, and lock washer as used for the "Rear Set" of crossmembers. Install the next hat channel forward, bolt it down loosely, and then the next hat channel until they are all loosely bolted.

Once again, working from the rear of the boat forward, tighten every bolt holding crossmembers in place. If you want a handy way to know that you don't miss any bolts, use a marker to make a mark on each bolt head after you've torqued it down. That way you can do a quick visual check to make sure you didn't miss any.


THIS PART OF YOUR PROJECT IS COMPLETE!

You have now completed the assembly of the frame and float system for your Tiny Pontoon Boat! Pat yourself on the back as you did a great job. If you purchased a transom from us for your boat, please read through the simple instructions for final installation of your motor mounting bracket below.

TRANSOM INSTALLATION

Now that your frame is fully assembled, it's either time to install the decking or your transom. If you purhased our aluminum decking package with your boat kit, the final installation of your transom happens AFTER the decking is fully installed. Decking installation instructions are listed HERE. If you are using marine grade plywood decking, you can install the transom before the wood is installed.

Installation of any of our engine and motor mounting brackets is very simple as you've already lined up the mounting holes during the frame assembly. To install you transom (includes trolling motor mounts), once again, locate the bag of hardware labeled "Transom Mounting Hardware" or similar, and place a 3/8" flat washer from that bag over each 3/8" x 1 1/4" bolt in the bag (you will have extra). Insert one bolt with washer in each of the "Rear Set" crossmembers holes that remain unused in the middle of the part so that the bolts hangs down. Now, put the transom up to the bolts and wiggle it a bit so that every bolt fits throught the 3/8" diameter holes on the top of the transom mounting arm (trolling motor mount) or arms (6-20 HP transom). Using either a helper or a couple clamps, clamp the transom under the boat temporarily.

To install the lock nuts, you'll require a 3/8" drive ratchet, extension, and 9/16" socket. From under the boat, place a 3/8" flanged lock nut in your socket (facing updward) and feed the socket into the large hole on the bottom side of each transom mounting arm. Thread a nut onto each bolt inside the mounting arm or arms. When each bolt has a nut, tighten every bolt holding the transom in place and then double check that every bolt is tight. No additional Loc-tite is required for these bolts.

That's all there is to it and now your transom installation is complete!