Putt Putt (Pop Pop) Boat Home

Putt Putt Boat Index


The first time I saw a putt putt (aka pop pop, Ponyo) boat I couldn't believe my eyes! I must have gotten every science toy known to mankind when I was a kid: rockets, airplanes, slinkys, the bird that dunks its head in water, the junior chemistry set that I almost burned down the house with...I could name dozens. But it wasn't until I was an adult that I encountered a putt putt steam boat. It was chugging away in an outdoor market in Bangladesh-- in Southern Asia-- one of the poorest countries in the world. Made mostly from a recycled milk tin, it sounded like a tugboat and it really zipped fast--all powered by a little vegetable oil lamp. How could such a cool thing have existed without my knowing about it? ...Read More>>

Pop Pop Boat Gallery

You can see other people’s projects (and add yours if you send a picture) from around the world in the Pop Pop Gallery.

Before You Start

Photo by Jordan

Before you start building, understand that this is not a slop-it-together project.

Hull, Deck, Cabin and Rudder

You can make the body of the boat with a recycled, cut-up milk or juice carton.


Another kindred spirit looked up putt putt boat patents and scanned them into PDF files.

Giant Putt Putt Boat

Have you thought about making a giant pop pop boat? You’re not alone–and I mean that in a good way.

I'd like to know how this project goes for you. I'm happy to answer questions about it. Feedback from you is an important way for me to know what works and what needs clarification.