So if you’re going to build a boat, why not combine it with a tiny house and build one you can spend some time on!
Chris Carr’s Darwin ,  is one really great example of houseboat building and great boat design. The great thing is, there are lots of varied plans and designs…different designs for different uses. There are some pioneering folks in Vermont who are involved in a project that will prove the commercial value of a “triloboat” derived sailboat design. I’m sure the first thing our primitive ancestors thought when they say some bird standing on a floating log was “how many logs would I have to tie together to be able to stand like that?” The beginning of boating.
I looked on Craigslist and quickly found a 27’ 1989 Catalina for $9,500 and that included a 2 year old Tohatsu 9.9 kicker. While thinking about ways to retire cheap I thought about the idea of retiring on a houseboat. On Lake Norris in Tennessee it will cost between $250 and $450 a month and there is a waiting list everywhere. At the Gangplank Marina in Washington,DC it will cost you about $12 bucks a month per foot on a yearly basis, plus electricity. Some folks report that they were quoted as much as 20% of the boats value for a years insurance.
To sum it all up, if you add all these costs together it can easily cost $750 and more a month to live full-time on a boat or a houseboat. Most boat owners who live full-time will tell you that they don’t do it to save money, they do it because they love boats and the lifestyle. Please leave a comment or suggestion on how to make this blog better Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment. In the face of these threats and many others, thousands of otherwise normal people are preparing to meet these challenges with a great variety of plans and ideas. I have found some interesting people and sites that can help you prepare for the possible SHTF occurance.
Lance Long has written and lectured extensively on how to prepare your boat for the SHTF event.
The content and information here is for entertainment purposes only and should not be taken as advice. If you’d like to build a houseboat but aren’t sure if you would really like it when it’s finished, now you have chance to check one out for yourself. If you have spent any time on the web at all looking at houseboats you’ve probably seen it. When he originally built it he powered it with only a 25 hp Tohatsu but when he recently switched to a 40 hp Honda he noticed a great improvement in handling and gas consumption.
From what I can see the construction is not more than most guys are capable of, but the quality might be. There is a lot more information about this boat and you can find some of it at the following sites. From Key West, Florida to Kodiak, Alaska or even down under in Murray, Australia they are rolling out the houseboat plans and laying out  the tools. That’s OK, but think of the pride you’ll have cruising along in a beautiful small houseboat you built with your own hands!
Built on sections of treated plywood pontoons, it can easily be cruised along the Albermarle sound for day trips or lived on full-time. This little barge houseboat is so nice that even the old-time boat building snobs who usually turn their noses up at the flat-bottomed crowd are giving it up for Kerry Elwood and his homemade houseboat.
Some houseboats are just big floating barges that stay anchored in a marina and hook up to the shore for all the conveniences of a regular home. The construction of your own houseboat would do much to satisfy all the primal “boat building” urges that reside in the heart of man. So he makes a great big raft out of logs and ties them together with “coconut fiber rope” and floats across the river.


I’ve figured out the cost of a small houseboat several ways and it always comes out to at least $15,000. And did he do a great job or what! The Darwin, is one of the coolest looking little houseboats around, and he figures it cost him about $12,000 to $15,000 to build it. True, its not a “houseboat” or even a tiny home but it’s a live aboard boat that does pretty much the same thing.
Even if I never hoisted the mainsail I could slide along the waterways for about ? gallon an hour. For more on houseboat insurance read Insurance If you are still reading at this point I think you too are dreaming about building a houseboat. Depending on how many people and how long you feel you will need to eat the supply can be as simple as a garden or as intricate as a bunker files with freeze-dried food packed to last 25 years. 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. All you’ve got to do is jump on a plane and fly to Saugatuck, Michigan and try it out for yourself.
He told me that he hauled it out in the winter with with a big travel lift, but that with the right trailer you could probably pull it out yourself. The builder did an excellent job of finish inside and out, something of which I’m probably only capable of in my dreams. The way he built the pontoons in sections and then bolted them together is a unique way of houseboat building and definitely worth some extra study and consideration. See the fun and the challenges, as well as some serious setbacks he encountered building this great houseboat.
If you ask me this boat shouldn’t be in the water …it should be in a boat museum! In fact, they have already made their first trip down the Hudson river to New York and delivered agricultural goods all along the way!
Also, it would be much easier to push along at hull speed and way more acceptable in most marinas. Add to that a pump-out fee of $60 if you’re not in a marina with free pump out and the price could run $520 to $640 a month.
You can get a yearly pump-out contract for about $400 to $500 and the dock usually supplies the water.
But, if you desire different and possibly interesting lifestyle it is a great alternative to sitting in your 2 bedroom condo looking out the window for the mailman to go by. The reason is that there are so many things which could quickly take place in our society that would almost immediately bring about a SHTF event.
If you are prepared to live on the water for an extended period of time it could be a good alternative. The author takes a serious look at the viability of using a small sailboat for a bug out boat.
You can book a cruise for the afternoon and learn all about building it from the guy who did, Chris Carr.
And now for the best part, you can book a cruise on it for a few hours and experience it for yourself. While commercial houseboat sales in the US have dropped  from over 500 a year  12 years ago to  around 100 a year  this year, its still possible to build  your own houseboat and enjoy  fun of living on a houseboat. Imagine how society would collapse in just a few days if we were all afraid of contracting something deadly from another person.
Something around 20-25 feet according to the author would be just about right to lay offshore… far enough to be safe and still be able to maneuver the islands and the coastlines of America. It’s a houseboat, a riverboat, and probably one of the best ways this summer to spend an afternoon or a week-end.
Michigan is a long way from North Carolina, but if I lived in the midwest I’d be making plans for a mini-vacation just to get onboard and check out out myself.


It took Chris 5 years to build the Darwin in his spare time and the quality of the finished product shows it. Some insurance companies offer boat insurance as part of a larger package, so check with your homeowner’s insurance company first.
There is no reason why its construction should not be undertaken by any one at all familiar with the use of tools and woodworking.
The work must, of course, be carefully done to insure the hull being watertight, but since all the joints are straight, little or no difficulty will be met.The dimensions chosen - 30' long, 16' wide, and 5' deep - are large enough to give good accommodations, and yet not so large as to make the labor required excessive, or to prevent its being built by two or three persons in a reasonable length of time.
Building a little houseboat that you can motor about in and still enjoy some of the comforts of home. The only tools required are the simplest of carpenter's tools.A general idea of the boat may be obtained from Fig. With modern plywood, fasteners and epoxy finishes a nice small houseboat can be built and enjoyed for decades.
They don’t want you puttering in and around their million dollar yachts without the insurance to pay for the damage. If you lose control in docking or in a high wind you might need the insurance to build a houseboat for someone else! This room is also used for a dining room by the addition of a portable table, which may be taken away at night if desired. In ordering the stock it might be advisable, unless one is used to that sort of work, to take the sketches directly to the lumber dealer and let him pick out the necessary stock, as he may be able to select lengths which will cut to better advantage, and so avoid waste.
In selecting the stock for the planking of the hull it will be impossible to get it long enough to go the whole length, and it should be selected with the idea of making the joints near the ends and not in the middle. The planks should be at least 6" wide and a few 8" wide; it is not necessary to have absolutely clear stock for this, but it should be free from large knots and cracks, which might leak.
It should be tongued and grooved, and preferably of white pine, as it is easier to work, and finishes up better, although spruce or cypress could be used. The window-sashes, doors, and other fittings will be considered later.Construction of Hull. If there is any-possible means of turning the bottom over when completed, either by tackle or any other way, it should be built wrong side up if possible, and turned over after being planked ; this will simplify the labor, as it will allow the plank to be laid on the top instead of having to work underneath the bottom, which is very tiresome. It must be remembered, however, that it will be quite heavy, and that care must be taken not to strain it and start the joints during the process of turning over.
4, the frame is composed of two 2" x 4" joists laid on edge along the sides, and cross timbers of the same size laid between them every 2 feet, also on edge, and fastened to them by spikes into their ends through the side timbers. The cross timbers, 15 in number, should now be cut exactly 15' 4" long, and put between the side timbers and nailed, each one with two 4" spikes through the side timber into each end.
The planed edge should be uppermost, and care must be taken that they are all even with the side timbers and with each other, so that the plank will lie smoothly. A straight edge laid across them will help in adjusting them, any uneven spots being dressed down with a plane.
Before putting on any plank be sure that the cross timbers are square with the side timbers. When this is done, it will be well to fasten the frame to the floor, or else cross-brace it to keep it in shape until it is planked, as the shape of the whole boat depends upon the shape of the bottom. When this has been done, the end of the side timbers and the outer edge of the outer cross timber should be beveled off to the slant of the ends. This angle can be obtained by laying out a triangle, using the depth 5' as a vertical, and squaring out 3' from the top, since the boat overhangs 3' at each end.



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