Margie, I have so often wished I could come up there and get to personally see all those beautiful floating homes! It's very possible to install your existing structure on a suitable hull and create a houseboat. I'm looking to buy a used houseboat and am looking for some in-depth information on the various hull materials.
For my steel hull I have been lifting up the floor boards in the bilge, and wire brushing any rust I see then painting the interior with corroseal. I have decided to build a catamaran houseboat since I have been looking for years to find just the right boat having come close a few times, however, the price has alway's been out of reach. I have nothing but well wishes for you, and I am glad to hear that you are taking the bull by the horns and building your Catamaran Houseboat and not caving in and paying those high costs that the boat building industry are charging..! I'm considering building a pontoon boat using 55 gallon steel drums and I would like to cut and weld the front one into a "Bow" shape. Hey all I was able to find more photos finally so if you reload the page you’ll see more pics, links and info related to this project.
This is not the first time i have seen this home, but I must say every time I come across it, I have to look the pics over again, and again….!
The content and information here is for entertainment purposes only and should not be taken as advice. To all those people who spent a boat load of money on your houseboat just to find out the pontoons are shot, fear not.I found a company in Ohio, owner lives in Houston Texas that make plastic pontoons.
I recommend that you patch any leaks in pontoons then ziebart them with a rubber coating just as we, northern people, do to out carsand trucks to stop corrosion and leaks. Hi we had steel pontoons on our houseboat here in Qld Australia, being over 55ft you are support to have insurance to get the boat registered, but to get that you need to have an out of water survey done, but to get the boat lifted out at a marina to do this you have to have insurance.
Hi David, I've a 1971 Carri-Craft with the flybridge and would like to do something similar to your window treatments to update the boat.
David, just yesterday I was trying to find out some more information on the Aristocat and how she sank. As an owner of an older, less than perfect Carri Craft Casa Grande 57 let me say that with a full understanding of the construction and design problems with a job of this size, I am impressed and in awe of your talent and drive to accomplish such a daunting task. You can always call her since see can possibly make you an appropriate floating hull for you.As to whether you're building is suitable, or if it is better to start from scratch, that is impossible for me to say from here. The hard part is to make it meet regulations, obtain insurance, and find a place to moor it.
What are the "drawbacks or downsides" to buying a steel hulled used houseboat verses aluminum or fiberglass? Therefore, I decided to build what I could not afford to buy.I started by building a plywood mold.
Where could I find a pattern that I could mark on the barrel to cut it and have it match up when welded like the bow of a boat? Thanks for your patience with me and for those of you who helped research and find where it originated. And people can bring their THs from all over the country for a week-end of bar-b-ques, hibatches, open house meets and greets and presentations from different builders on new ideas and products offerings. While we strive to provide accurate and helpful information, we are not professionals so the owner of this website disclaims all warranties expressed or implied regarding the accuracy, timeliness, and completeness of the information provided. Do not wire money in any way without first seeing the home (or other product), checking title, and doing your proper due diligence. Over the weekend I spoke with the mechanic at the marina explaining that I wanted to have the boat pulled out of the water and the pontoons checked, coated, repaired, whatever was necessary to ensure their continued performance.

This will make your pontoons last a lot longer and though it may not look so hot, you will be able to count on the pontoons lasting longer.I agree that aluminum pontoons may set you back a lot, I have been searching the net for a suitable set of pontoons but aluminum is out of the qustion as I plan to put it on salt water or tidal waters.
It's on the hook and first off doing all the mechanical repairs first and cleanup, then windows and interior.How and what did you do for the ceiling treatment? I am considering retiring to a houseboat but do not want it to look too "boaty" (I lived on a sailboat for 6 years in the 80's).
I would love my home to look like this but I'm not thinking about that as much as how you colul see the structure and really believe you could rebuild it. We have a 12' x 24' wood frame building that is built about 4' off the ground on cement blocks.. Was surprised to read your suggestion to contact the Guntersville Alabama folks who have the floating condo's! There are a number of commercially available house boats on Lake Guntersville Alabama (your picture seems to be one of those) that reflect your intent. I see that there are big price variations depending on the hull construction material.Any help would be greatly appreciated, Larry. I have had some experience in building fiberglass boats in the past but nothing of this scale, however the only real difference is that's its larger. I am a metal worker of 22 years so the obvious although an old method is to build it in steel. You can build a metal frame work to house the pontoons.Then you drill holes in the pontoons and use the Nutsert tool to install threaded rivets, they can then be bolted to the frame work. I used it and sure enjoyed it until hurricane Rita came in, and I guess she liked it more than me, because she destroyed it. And hence one liter of air, displaces one liter of water, and can carry one kilogram of weight.You don't want to submerse your barrels more than half way in the water. I was shocked to find out that pulling the boat out of the water was not even recommended because of their age. Even then most insurance companies are not interested we had to go through an insurance broker. If you tell a judge they told me this he will not believe you if you show a email it proves what you have said. It might be a good idea to contact these people for their advice.It's a shame that we are so restrained by laws and regulations that creativity is stifled. The only comment I can make about fiberglass is it has wood support members and they will rot.The key to the metal hulls is firstly make sure the hull is sound and without deep electrolysis pitting. One of my major concerns in planning its design was making certain that if caught in bad weather that its hull design would be very seaworthy.Now that lamination is completed I am considering to either sell or rent the mold in order to help reduce some of the invested cost. My idea is to get discarded 270 liter hot water tanks, cut an access panel in them, clean out and rust proof each tank and reseal it. The mechanic explained some of the steel is probably paper thin and putting the boat on a trailer could damage the pontoons beyond repair.
The only thing I found yesterday was the same archived news article from the Royal Gazette saying she sank off Whites Island in Hamilton Harbor in 1992. As you probably have seen, prices of used houseboats can vary greatly depending on the construction material.If you were to look at the current market, you will see that aluminum construction is becoming the norm for houseboat materials. Secondly, with this passing the test, have the hull bead or corncob blasted to bright metal and only top shelf bottom paints applied. The next step is to start joining the two hulls together and then build the superstructure on top of the 32x80 ft flat deck.The boat will be powered with twin 405hp Cummins engines, interior layout will be pretty much a cross between a home and a typical motor yacht. We have plastic barrels under it now, but would like to have a better design for navigating the water besides the square front.

This way if there is a leak you wont lose your whole house.As far as insurance goes, ask the insurance companies what you must meet for specs to qualify for insurance.
The exterior walls are exterior grade plywood panelling, a tin roof, sheet rock inner walls, wired for electricity and well insulated. I have had no problem in making this crossing and have done it twice now.Good luck and Happy - Safe boating. The building is in excellent condition, as we've kept up with maintenance and it was used as a small studio for a few years. I bought property with existing houseboats and the State of Washington is now suing me and I have spent $25,000 in attorney fees. It will definitely reduced the clutter in the landfills.I have heard of others using 55 gallon steel drums as an alternative to hot water tanks for the pontoons. I don't even know what the cost would be to replace the pontoons, or if it can be done.I had no idea that my boat could become obsolete. My husband and I are interested in knowing how difficult it would be to turn it into a small houseboat. I truely value the time I have spent with friends and family on the water, your home is your vacation. A steel houseboat would not really be on my radar unless I had the time, money, an acceptable marine survey, an insurance policy, and lastly a marina willing to accept the boat.Lastly, hopefully some of our readers and visitors will share and post comments about the various houseboat material experiences and tips. If you miss throwing your money around at a Carri Craft I will offer mine as your next target, I am anchored in Sarasota harbor wishing that my boat looked like that. Since the foundation is raised off the ground, it seems it would be easy enough to get under it to construct some type of floatation. Buy land so you control your life not some landlord that might need to move a relative there or sell the place because you have fixed it up.
Either way, be sure to take some pictures of the progress and do come back and keep us posted with the project.Lastly, hopefully some of our readers will share and post comments about their houseboat building experiences using recycled products. Your window and wheelhouse changes have left something that will outlive you and will most likely outlive us all. I don't recall the sizes of the floor and underjoists, but the construction is subtantially better than just a storage shed.
They ALSO sell ferry barge type docks, made to carry TRUCKS across bodies of water, and are again legal boats.NOW THEN, if you are legal to carry a full size TRUCK across a body of water, well, then you can simply have nearly ANY cargo weighing thousands of pounds, yes? Go ahead click the book and sign-up, it's free and filled with great articles, tips, information and website updates. Thirdly, if you chose a metal hull, (my preference) after you have cleaned and painted the bottom, make sure to use ample zinc blocks to ward off the evil spirits of stray electrical currents in the water. I can see that you have planned the whole thing out well and the twin Cummings should push this baby just great.Do keep us updated with the progress as there are many folks here that are considering building a boat, or that are actually currently involved in building a boat. Lastly, hopefully some of our readers and visitors will share and post comments about their catamaran houseboat building experiences and tips. Russell.Reply - AnswerRussell, I couldn't have said it any better, and truly an inspiration for everyone.

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