How to Build a PVC Boat

by Contributor

A PVC pipe boat is a quick and inexpensive project. This design makes a kayak-type boat. This boat allows people to have a kayak with less than half the expense of a new fiberglass or plastic kayak. You can also make a PVC pipe Jon Boat by altering the design slightly.

Make the Shell

  1. Cut the PVC pipes for the boat. Cut six pipes 5-inches long, two 28-inches long, and six 3-inches long. You need to have six 10-foot pipes left over because these make up be the other shell of the boat.

  2. Place elbow connectors on each end of the 28-inch pipes. Place 3-inch pipes into the ends of the elbow connectors and then place elbow connectors onto those ends. Connect two of the elbow connectors with a 3-inch pipe. Repeat for the other open connectors. This gives you two shells for the boat.

  3. Cement the connectors and pipes together. Allow the cement to dry.

  4. Lay one of the outer shells flat on the ground or on a large table. Measure 42-inches from each end and place an inner shell on the mark vertically. Cement the pipes together where they connect. Another option is to hold the pipes together with a waterproof tape such as duct tape.

  5. Attach the second and third outer shells. Cement the second shell at the middle 3-inch pipe on the sides. Attach the third shell at the top 45-degree elbow connector. Secure zip ties around the pipes to hold them together.

  6. Bring all three of the shell's ends together. Zip tie the end poles together. Use three zip ties on each end.

  7. Place the plywood into the base of the boat. Measure the plywood to fit over the two inner shells. Leave about 1 inch of wood on each end of the plywood. Measure the width into five equal sections. Drill two holes in the wood on each side of the bottom horizontal pipe. Put the board into the bottom of the boat and feed zip ties through the holes and around the pipe. Pull tight on the zip ties to secure them in place.

Cover the Shell

  1. Lay the tarp down flat on the ground. Place the boat in the middle of the tarp. Wrap the tarp around the frame. It needs to fold tightly over the top. Measure 4 inches in from each of the sides and each of the ends. Cut off any excess tarp. Measure one inch from each end of the boat then every 10 inches to the inner shells. Mark the measurements of each side of the tarp.

  2. Remove the tarp. Use the grommet installation kit to place grommets in each mark on the tarp. The grommet kit gives detailed instructions about how to use the kit.

  3. Wrap the tarp around the shell and attach it to the boat with the rope. Lace the rope through the grommets as if lacing a shoe. Pull tightly and tie it around the inner shell. Repeat for the other side. Wrap any leftover rope around the inner poles.

  4. Place two clamps over the tarp on each edge of the side and between the two inner shells. This holds the middle of the tarp in place.

Items you will need

  • 10 3/4-inch PVC pipes cut 10 feet long
  • Hacksaw
  • 10 90-degree elbow connectors
  • 28 45-degree elbow connectors
  • PVC pipe cement
  • Zip ties
  • 3/8 inch or thicker sheet of plywood
  • Drill
  • 11-by-15 foot heavy-duty tarp
  • Scissors
  • Grommet installation kit
  • 2 50-feet sections of rope
  • 4 PVC Clamps


  • Cement drying times vary depending on type.

About the Author

This article was written by a professional writer, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more, see our about us page: link below.