pontoon

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pontoon,

one of a number of floats used chiefly to support a bridge, to raise a sunken ship, or to float a hydroplane or a floating dock. Pontoons have been built of wood, of hides stretched over wicker frames, of copper or tin sheet metal sheathed over wooden frames, of aluminum, and of steel. The original and widespread use was to support temporary military bridges. Cyrus the Great built (536 B.C.) the earliest pontoon bridge in history, using skin-covered pontoons. However, Homer mentions pontoon bridges as early as c.800 B.C. The U.S. army began experimenting with rubber pontoons in 1846 and in 1941 adopted collapsible floats of rubber fabric with steel-tread roadways. At the same time the navy developed box pontoons of light, welded steel for ship-to-shore bridges during landing operations. These box pontoons could be assembled into bridges, docks, causeways and, by adding a motor, into self-propelling barges. Permanent civilian pontoon bridges have been built where the water is deep and the water level fairly constant or controllable, often also where the crossing is narrow or where the bottom makes it difficult to sink piers. The modern permanent pontoon is composed of many compartments, so that if a leak occurs in one compartment, the pontoon will not sink. Permanent pontoons are fastened together and several anchors are dropped from each. Often a section of a bridge built on them can swing aside to let a ship pass. Several pontoon bridges have been built across the Mississippi River. Pontoons for raising sunken ships are watertight cylinders that are filled with water, sunk, and fastened to the submerged ship; when emptied by compressed air, they float the ship to the surface. A pontoon lifeboat consists of a raft supported by watertight cylinders.

Pontoon

 

a very simple vessel without its own means of propulsion, usually with perpendicular sides and a flat bottom, with or without a deck. The pontoon may have a contoured bow and stern lines to decrease resistance to a current.

By connecting pontoons by means of special coupling devices, pack bridges and the floating supports of raft bridges and ferries are formed. Pontoons are the basic elements of the ferrybridge equipment of bridge trains. Floating docks on which cranes are mounted are also assembled with pontoons. They are used to hoist sunken vessels and to guide deep-draft ships along shallow channels. Pontoons were first used by the Dutch Army in the early 17th century. Other armies adopted them later. Modern pontoons may be made of metal (steel or light alloys), inflated rubberized materials, or reinforced concrete.

pontoon

[pän′tün]
(aerospace engineering)
A float on an airplane.
(naval architecture)
A low, flat-bottomed ship, similar to a barge, carrying cranes, capstans, and other machinery used to lift weights, to lean ships on their sides for repairs, and to perform other such operation.
A wooden flat-bottomed boat or other float, used particularly to make temporary bridges.

pontoon

1
Nautical a float, often inflatable, for raising a vessel in the water

pontoon

2
1. a gambling game in which players try to obtain card combinations worth 21 points
2. (in this game) the combination of an ace with a ten or court card when dealt to a player as his first two cards
References in periodicals archive ?
The kit comes with a pair of beautifully-sculpted plastic grips, four #32, 3" x 1/8" rubber bands, and easy instructions on how to assemble four empty beer cans (or any other drink) into pontoons.
After the pontoons were assembled, the bottom and lower halves of their sides were covered with fiberglass fabric and resin to protect against ice.
The pontoons have been manufactured in Abu Dhabi by a Finnish company and are currently being transported to site by trailer.
Additionally, Damen Pontoons & Barges has started building a second new design: the Damen Crane Barge (CBa) 6324, a transshipment barge for handling dry bulk and container operations.
Boats can now book to moor on the pontoons during the day at a cost of pounds 10 for boats up to six metres in length, and pounds 15 for longer vessels.
We have had temporary pontoons before for special events like the Tall Ships, but what this project will do is bring a whole new facility to the city centre.
DWF construction and real estate lawyers also acted for British Waterways on the commercial arrangements, which included a Pontoon Ag reement.
The first cycle of pontoons are scheduled to be completed in 2012.
Septech Emirates will install Unifloat pontoons - floating concrete systems - known to be eco-friendly causing no harm to marine life.
There, 150 employees take rolls of aluminum and form it into hulls and pontoons, fabricate aluminum rods into the railings of pontoon boats and build trailers to get the boats to the water.
The Seabees deployed the pontoons, and the Shermans began rolling up to join the infantry that waited for their support.
The pontoons are for visiting boats and allow yachts and cruisers to moor alongside the vibrant waterfront after entering the bay through the Barrage,'' he said.