If you’re a fishing enthusiast trying to find a cheap poling platform DIY idea on a budget, you are not alone! Many new skiff, Jon Boat, and Gheenoe owners feel like they've spent plenty of money and just can't see spending another $500-1,000 on a custom poling platform for their boat.
Unless you weld yourself, the best option for you is almost always to find a metal welding shop with skilled aluminum welders to craft you a poling platform. That said, why not spend time reading this article where we give you some other ideas as well?
Probably the best thing that could happen to you is that you find a used boat like yours that is being sold and the owner will remove the poling platform to sell to you directly for a couple of hundred bucks!
Using an already functional poling platform that someone is selling can be ideal because if it's in good shape, it will last a lifetime and you can get it at a good discount.
Even a custom-made platform will undoubtedly be more affordable than getting it from a marine aluminum fabricator or the manufacturer of your boat.
If you really want to save some money with a custom job, buy the aluminum tubing and platform directly yourself and bring it to a welder to put it together for you. You'll likely have to cut the pieces to the right specifications and then someone may help you out with welding it for you.
Cheap Poling Platform DIY Idea for a Jon Boat
To build a DIY poling platform for a Jon boat or small skiff, you might be able to mount metal brackets to the transom and use straight aluminum or metal tubes to put the platform over your motor.
This is one of the simplest solutions because you don't need to deal with bent tubes or even welding. You can use stainless steel bolts and brackets to hold your platform.
Some people who really want to save money will use a very sturdy cooler as a poling platform. You'll need to anchor it down really well so it doesn't slide around, but if you have a strong cooler already why not try to use it as a poling platform to see if it works for you?
That could save you a lot of money if it works. Another benefit is that you can move the cooler to the front of your boat and use it from there. You get a choice of where to put it.
Alternatively, you can make a very inexpensive DIY poling platform using structural PVC, fiberglass, and metal brackets. This approach works better for smaller boats with smaller engines that you don't need to build too high to clear.
Some people do this and swear by it. I probably wouldn't. With my luck, the PVC would crack and I wouldn't see it and I'd launch myself into the water. I weigh over 180 lb. and I wouldn't feel like this option is sturdy enough. If you're not so heavy, it might be a cheap option for you to try. It's probably the cheapest option I've heard of besides using a cooler to stand on.
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Where to Buy a Poling Platform for Your Jon Boat or Skiff
If you don't know how to make your own cheap poling platform for your boat and you don't want to take a chance on wasting the time and money on a self-project you can find poling platforms on old boats or sold in classifieds.
Check Here for Used or New Poling Platforms
Craigslist boat section
Fishing and boating forums and classifieds online
Your boat manufacturer
At the end of the day, it may make more sense for you to get a trolling motor for your jon boat instead of a cheap DIY poling platform.
Do you have any cheap poling platform DIY ideas that either worked for you, or you think would work? Feel free to share your ideas with us in the comment section below!
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