Houseboats - At home on the water
Posted on May 21, 2020
Posted on May 21, 2020
With so many vessels designed with accommodations for living aboard, what distinguishes a Houseboat from a Motor Yacht or Trawler? The familiar adage, Form Follows Function, is truly the criteria for determining the type of vessel. Even within a category, there is so much variety and choices depending on individual needs and desires. A motor yacht or trawler are also designed for comfortable living aboard for extended voyages, but the primary purpose is cruising, not to be a major domo.
As the title suggests, a houseboat is primarily a home that floats. The two basic types are houseboats that are stationery and houseboats that cruise. To be able to float, the houseboat is built on a base or hull designed to float and move in water. The most common hull forms are pontoon, catamaran and planing monohull, most commonly built of fiberglass or aluminum, depending on usage. The rectangular deck is built on the hull or as integrated form. Most houseboats are custom-built to order, just like a land-based home, but many are available as pre-owned vessels. Price varies from a low-cost basic houseboat to high-end, custom luxury builds.
Although a houseboat is designed and built to be a home, it could be classified as a vessel. Financing, Insurance and Regulations could be based on a Vessel, rather than Real Property, so you will need to check your local laws and regulations. These are realities that must be considered when deciding to liveaboard fulltime. Houseboats also are great vacation or summer homes and an affordable way to enjoy waterfront living!
The cruising houseboats are ideal for extended cruising travel, such as America's Great Loop and Intercoastal Waterway (ICW), the Bahamas and the interior lakes and rivers. Popular places are Lake Cumberland, Kentucky (the houseboat 'cradle of life'); Lake Powell, Utah; Dale Hollow and Center Hill Lakes in Tennessee; Lake Lanier in Georgia and Lake Mead, Arizona/Nevada. Another amazing houseboat location is in New York City's 79th Street Boat Basin on the Hudson River; a small enclave of adventurous and hardy people, who enjoy one of the greatest views and marina lifestyles in the Upper Westside of Manhattan! Seattle, WA's Lake Union is another popular houseboat location, site of the movie, "Sleepless in Seattle" with Tom Hanks (character, Sam Baldwin lived on a houseboat) and Meg Ryan. Around the world, Amsterdam in the Netherlands, India and Thailand are just a few places well known for large houseboat communities. Amsterdam, with all its canals, is famous for houseboats that can be rented or owned as a second vacation home. In fact, an old 1914 boat named "Hendrika Maria" was converted to a houseboat in the 1960s and is now Amsterdam's Houseboat Museum!
Savanti 43' by Eco Sea Cottage
One very interesting modern style catamaran houseboat is the Savanti by Eco-Sea Cottages - a futuristic looking houseboat that can easily and efficiently cruise the Great Loop, ICW or cross from Florida to the Bahamas and tour the islands; with its shallow draft, is beachable, which is typical of most catamarans.
Other current popular houseboat builders are Gibson Boats, Sunstar, Horizon Yachts, Stardust Cruisers, Sailabration, Destination Yachts (high end custom), Twin Anchors Marine (custom built to order), Holiday Mansion, Fantasy and Catamaran Cruisers.
For a pontoon hull base, Gibson uses extra-large diameter pontoons with multiple sealed bulkheads to make them virtually unsinkable. And the reduced hull drag of pontoons, has the added benefits of fuel efficiency and speed to cruising houseboats. The houseboat built on the hull platform, can be entry-level basic or fully equipped with every option or amenity the owner desires, such as a home theatre room, office, guest rooms, sun decks, laundry area and kitchen with full-size appliances. Luxury interiors can rival land-based homes and can be completely self-sufficient with a watermaker, generator, solar panels and a larger inverter for electrical power. They can be propelled by either fuel-efficient gas outboards or inboard diesels and driven by upper and/or lower helms, or they can be stationery and towed. Like a land-based home they can be multi-story and outfitted with Thermopane glass windows and insulated for cold weather climes. The focus is on living space, built on a seaworthy hull and built for easy maintenance with modern materials and engineering.
Houseboat owners cite the lifestyle of living on the water for a fraction of the waterfront real estate costs and the marina camaraderie as primary reasons for loving houseboat living. To enjoy a morning coffee on your sun deck or walk out and fish or enjoy a BBQ on your front deck, working from your houseboat office; no lawn maintenance or snow shoveling; freedom to cruise the Great Loop in your home; sunrises and sunsets on the water; like living at a holiday resort as these are some of the perks!
Are you ready to make a move to a waterfront home? Contact us for a pre-owned houseboat that may become your "home sweet home" dream boat!
Aug 14, 2020
Yacht Photography and Why It's Important
Photo's are the very first impression. Needless to say they are key to reeling anyone in. So here are our tips and tricks for getting the best photography for your boat.
Aug 06, 2020
One in Three boat's sell on United's Hot List!
One in three! That's how many boats listed on the weekly United Hot List program have either sold or are under contract since it began back on May 4th. Every yacht brokerage firm has what they called "featured listings", but are they really that special? United does it differently with the Hot List.
Jul 03, 2020
Happy 4th of July 2020!
As most people are figuring out what to do this weekend, the majority of boat owners are going to celebrate on the water. There is plenty to do by boat this weekend and we want you prepared with all the essentials.
Jun 26, 2020
HCB Yachts - A Journey from Bass Boat to Center Console Yacht
Founder Joe Reese was an avid fisherman in Tennessee who started Hydra-Sports Bass Boats in 1972 when he realized there weren't any affordable high performance bass boats for fishermen...
Jun 09, 2020
World Oceans Day
This World Oceans Day we give you 5 tips to protect the oceans. Read here to find out ...
Jun 08, 2020
Buying a Yacht? Advice what to look for when purchasing.
Buying a yacht can be a great investment in the quality of your life. Here is some advice on buying a yacht for the first time ...
May 21, 2020
Houseboats - At home on the water
With so many vessels designed with accommodations for living aboard, what distinguishes a Houseboat from a Motor Yacht or Trawler?
May 15, 2020
President Yachts International
Founded in 1968 by Eddie Yeh, this highly respected Taiwanese ship builder has been building and exporting luxury yachts worldwide for over 40 years ...
May 13, 2020
Azimut Motor Yachts - Innovative Italian Beauties!
Azimut yachts distinctive Italian styling and sleek lines turn heads everywhere they go; you just cannot help admiring them. Much of Azimut's success is due to founder ...