Home Depot Brand Boat Costs $29.18


It is a common belief (or fact, depending who you talk to) that boats are money pits. Surely, it is a fun past time even for the lucky person flipping the bill, but what if you could build a boat from locally found and purchased items. [Bill] did just this and he did it for a mere $30. His creation is affectionately called Thunder Bucket.

The overall design is a pontoon-based sail boat. You’ll notice from the photo that the pontoons are made from many 5 gallon buckets attached together. The wood frame and deck come courtesy of old pallets that were taken apart. The mast is a fence post and a standard blue tarp rounds out the resourcefulness as it is used for the sail.

Admittedly, this may not be the coolest boat on the waterways but it is a boat, it’s made from non-boat-like items and it works. Believe it or not [Bill] is a professional boat builder. Sometimes ‘why not?’ is the best reason to do something.


  1. Edak says:

    I think this is somewhat misleading, it might only cost this much of you already have most of the materials. 14 x 5 gal buckets plus a tarp and fasteners would cost more when if the pallets were free.

    Notice no pics of it actually being used?

  2. Bob says:

    If only the Professor on Gilligan’s Island had had 5 gallon buckets.

  3. charliex says:

    Never own a boat, have a friend with a boat.

  4. Nate B says:

    We used to compete in a race called the Unboatable Floatable, and I’m pretty sure this would be disqualified for being too boat-like. Depending on who was judging, anyway…

  5. Hirudinea says:

    They day boat stands for “Bust out another thousand”, but in this case not so much. (Looks like fun though on a small pond.)

  6. Reg says:

    The more you know, the less you need to do something.

    I think the idea is build a boat from what you’ve got, not build a boat from buckets.

  7. noone says:
  8. Isaac S. says:


    You can make a canoe from a tree, probably for less than 30$. I’ve seen beautiful birch bark canoes that are entirely built with traditional methods. Of course you need a few hundred hours to spare.

  9. Jonny says:

    As a kid, I once build a boat completely out of free parts that my parents had lying around.

    It was made by cutting scrap wood boars into thin long strips and then connecting them into a framework for the boat hull. This framework was then covered by sheets of polyethylene construction foil by stapling them onto the wood and tightening the stapler holes with parcel tape.

    A 2 stroke lawnmower engine I had lying around was converted into an outboard engine.

  10. rich says:

    Reminds me of the pontoon boat made from two heating duct and duct tape from the “Red Green” show years ago….

  11. Brian says:

    I tried this once as a kid except with some second hand barrels. I wish he had some more info/pics on the sail. My boat only blew sideways. without proper luff sewn into the sail they don’t generate much lift and cannot tack.

  12. asheets says:

    I’d be more impressed if the components bought from Home Depot included a couple sacks of QuicKrete. My alma mater regularly had concrete canoe races on the campus pond, and elsewhere: http://news.engineering.iastate.edu/2012/05/04/iowa-state-concrete-canoe-team-places-2nd-in-midwest/

  13. 1.21Gigawatts says:

    This is like Jack Sparrow’s boat from the beginning of the 1st Pirates movie, but from a Trailer Park Boys perspective.

  14. jason says:

    am i the only one who gets the joke behind the name? god i’m horrible….

  15. Circuitmage says:

    “Hey look at this cool boat we just got, isn’t it *blurb* *blurb* *blurb*…..”

    This is the kind of thing I think about doing, but never actually put the time and money into.

  16. WFT says:

    “Pastime.” Not time in the past.

  17. itznu says:

    A cat design with stays can be much faster and cheaper than a monohull of similar dimensions. I don’t imagine it keeps one dry but I can believe that the design is cheap and effective.

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