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Building a Boat Flag Pole: Our Comprehensive Guide

No matter what type of boat you own – from jet boat to drift boat – it’s fun to be able to fly a flag. You’ve bought the flag of your choice, but you decided not to buy a flag pole. It should be easy enough to make one yourself, right? So do you know how to make a boat flag pole?

You soon will! In this guide, we will cover our top designs for making a boat flag pole on your own. We took these designs from various friends and boating enthusiasts that have been around boats for many years. 

Depending on how big your flag is you may need to adapt your design to fit it. Lucky for you, it doesn’t matter how big your flag is – we have instructions on how to fit your boat flag pole to it.

Let’s get started!

Materials Needed to Make a Boat Flag Pole

American Flag flying in wind behind a boat

Before we get into how to make a boat flag pole, let’s first go over the materials and equipment you’ll need. We recommend going to your local hardware shop and picking these items up before you begin.

  • 2 or 3 inch wide PVC pipe
  • Nylon rope, wire ties, or zip ties
  • Electric drill
  • Hack saw

That’s it!


Once you have bought the above items, you can then begin to build your boat flag pole. 

  1. Cut the PVC pipe to the desired length of your boat flag pole. A few things to consider – the longer you make your boat flag pole, the more the PVC pipe will flex. If you want to make a large boat flag pole (longer than 6 feet) we recommend sizing up to the 3 inch wide PVC pipe. This will ensure your boat flag pole doesn’t bend too much at speed.
  2. Next, measure how far apart the grommets are on the flag. This is how far apart you will need to drill holes on the PVC pipe. Remember to always measure twice and cut (drill) once!
  3. After measuring and marking where your holes should be on the PVC pipe, use the electric drill with a wood drill bit to drill the holes in the pipe. We like to use a drill bit that is slightly larger than the diameter of the nylon rope or wire ties so that it is easy to thread them through the pipe.
  4. Now you’ll need to cut the nylon rope into short pieces that you can use to attach the flag. We recommend using 6 to 10-inch pieces, but if they’re a little bit longer that’s fine too. You can always cut off the extra pieces once you’ve tied the flag on.
  5. Be sure to not tie the flag on too tight – you want the flag to be able to flap in the wind and not be stuck to the pole. 
  6. If you’re using wire ties, twist them together leaving enough room for the flag to rotate efficiently.
  7. You’re ready to go!

Mounting Your Boat Flag Pole to Your Boat

Another important thing to consider when making your own boat flag pole is how to mount the flag pole to your boat. We like to either use a fishing pole holding hull bracket, or you can mount a flag holding slot yourself.

Here’s how to mount your flag boat pole to your boat.

  1. Buy the appropriate pole holding bracket. Make sure you have the right kind of screws for securing it to your side or hull wall. If your boat is aluminum, use metal screws. If your boat is wooden, wood screws are fine.
  2. Be sure to pick a place on your boat where the flag won’t get in the way of operating the boat. If you have a salmon fishing boat and plan on trolling a lot, make sure your flag mount location won’t interfere with where your downriggers are. If you have a jet boat that you use for water sports, don’t mount your flag close to where the tow rope tie-off is. You should also think about where people get in and out of your boat and take that into consideration.
  3. Use your drill to attach the mount to your boat. Some mounts work with screws, but with larger flag mounts, you may need to drill holes and use bolts. Pay attention to what the user manual says and follow its instructions. If you do need to use bolts, adjust the size of your drill bit to fit the bolts. Something else to note about drilling through metal – go slow and use a lubricant to prevent your drill bit from heating up too much. Drilling through metal can be dangerous if you go too quickly or create too much friction on the drill. 

Things to Consider When Flying a Flag While Boating

American flag flying in the wind.

Now that you have a homemade boat flag pole, there are a few things you should consider when flying your flag.

  • Be careful when it rains. When flags get wet they become much heavier. This will put additional strain on your boat flag pole, which depending on the size could damage it. It also could potentially rip out the grommets or break the nylon rope ties. Use your judgment and either take your flag down when it rains or go slower.
  • Wooden dowels also work for flag poles. Another material you could consider for making a boat flag pole out of is a wooden dowel. Wooden dowels work especially well for flags that are smaller than the traditional size (three by 5 feet). You can also easily spray paint a wooden dowel to match whatever color scheme your boat has.
  • Have an old saltwater fishing rod? You can use it as a flag pole! If you have an old rod that your no longer use or that has a broken eyelet, you can use it as a flag pole. That’s right, depending on how big your flag is, using a fishing rod can be a viable option to fly a flag. Just be aware of how much space your flag needs to fly appropriately and make your decision off of that.

Parting Thoughts

Being able t fly your favorite flag while boating is a ton of fun. Instead of spending more money on a boat flag pole, you can easily make one yourself out of basic materials. We hope you found this guide on how to make a boat flag pole useful! Depending on where your put your flag pole, you can also use it as an aftermarket leaning post.

If you have additional questions or tips for making boat flag poles, feel free to send us a note in the comments below. 

Happy Hunting!


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