We built this web site to share our passion for boating, as well as to offer our experiences as guidelines for shopping for boats, and related marine electronics and accessories. Like most of us we were looking for our little piece of heaven when we had some quality downtime.
Our Odyssey really began about 15 years ago, when we purchased a really nice camper, which we thought we would use a lot as our "get-a-way", we love seeing new places and enjoying the serenity and beauty of nature.
Please follow through this link if you'd like to view several entries, photos, and documentation of our pontoon houseboats restoration. So we then found ourselves looking and admiring the houseboats at our marina and others we saw on the water and began the search for one that we liked and could afford. Thus began our search, we saw some beautiful houseboats, both new and used and many needing a major restorations. When we finally found and purchased a trailer-able 1972 Crest Pontoon Houseboat (pictured top above) but it just had a 25HP Johnson motor on it. If you choose to buy a basically sound boat, and attempt the renovations of rebuilding it yourself, some of the tools we found indispensable, were a cordless drills with several driver bits, circular saw, square, hammer, rule, level etc.
Though everyone has their own idea of what a houseboat is, it can be exactly that a house floating on the water. Most houseboats are also generally equipped with a generator to supplement their power needs when underway. The convenience of running water, refrigeration,electronics, sound systems, televisions with satellite reception can be a big draw on battery reserves.
The hull facilitates the installation of thrusters, which is really difficult on a pontoon boat.
So you've checked out this site and maybe several others and decided you are going to buy your own boat. After you have run your lake test drain a little gear oil from lower unit into a catch tray. Since this page has been published I've put together quite a bit more relevant additional information on what to look for, and be weary of when buying houseboat. We would like to take a moment to thank anyone who have their time to send us some kind and also encouraging emails concerning the development of this site and it's content.
All I can pass on to all of you, is this, that we will continue to improve and that we welcome any and all suggestions (anonymous or not). This Site was written using Firefox as the primary Browser so if you're using another Browser and having Issues seeing anything. This entry was posted on March 18, 2012 at 5:51 pm and is filed under Ideas, Slideshow, Video.
The Vanguard models are equipped with the most popular options including full steel steps, aluminum diamond plate, chrome rims, recessed lights and recessed brake couplers on models of 5000# capacity or less.
The drive on tube frame Wide Body design of these models yields a very stable road worthy trailer for bulky pontoon boats. Regardless of size, damage, service or repair Hot Headz Marine can meet all your needs to keep your watercraft safe while being transported. Know your limits: Legal Limit is 12 lobster per person, per day in South Florida except in Monroe County and Biscayne National Park where the limit is 6 lobster per person per day.
Legal Size limit is 3” or larger than the carapace (the upper part of the lobster from where the tail meets the head). If you need a boat trailer for rent in Miami or have questions about the 2015 lobster season in South Florida call us at (786) 728-9988. This entry was posted in News and tagged boat storage, boat trailer rental, Happy Trailer Rentals, Lobster Season, Miami, Mini-Lobster Season, south florida on July 28, 2015 by admin. Happy Trailer Rentals Miami would like to remind boaters that just because we’re half way through the 2014 Hurricane Season doesn’t mean we’re out of the choppy waters yet.
In the last few decades, South Floridians have seen our share of storms, from Hurricane Andrew to Hurricane Wilma and every Hurricane, Tropical Storm and Depression in between.
During Hurricane Season, you stock up on canned food, bottled water, batteries, flashlights, and other supplies to keep you and your home safe, but, what about your boat? Hurricanes are inevitable when you live in South Florida but there are strategies to help mitigate the damage caused to your boat during a hurricane. If you have a smaller boat, under 35’ feet, it is safest for the boat (and for your mental well-being) to get it out of the water completely. We recommend that you take anything off the boat that’s not supposed to get wet, or that is light enough to fly away in a heavy wind. If you have no choice but to leave your boat in the water during a hurricane, try to find a safe harbor to anchor. Finally, it is wise to make sure that you have all of your boat documents in an easily accessible location and that the insurance is up to date. You can take all the precautions in the world to secure your boat, however Mother Nature sometimes gets the best of us. To learn more about hurricane preparedness tips for boats and dry boat storage in Miami, Florida call Happy Trailer Rentals Miami at: 786-728-9988  or click here. This entry was posted in News and tagged Boat Trailer, boat trailer hurricane, boat trailer rental, boat trailer storage, How to Keep Your Boat Trailer Safe During a Hurricane, Hurricane preparedness tips, Keep Boat Safe During a Hurricane, Miami Boat Trailer Rental, rent a boat trailer, South Florida Boat Trailer Rental on August 26, 2014 by admin. Happy Trailer Rentals, boat trailer rental and boat storage facility located in Miami, Florida owner Cory Reiter sits down to talk about why this boat trailer rental facility is unlike any other place in the country. This entry was posted in News and tagged Boat Trailer, boat trailer rental, Boat Trailer Rentals, boat trailer rentals Miami, boat trailer video, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, rent a boat trailer on June 30, 2014 by admin.
How can you tell what is the best style of boat trailer to rent that will fit your boating needs for South Florida? When it comes to renting a boat trailer in Miami there is no better place than Happy Trailer Rentals. This entry was posted in News and tagged boat trailer rental, Combination Boat Trailer, Happy Trailer Rentals, hot to choose a trailer, how to choose a boat trailer, How to choose the right boat trailer, rent a boat trailer Fort Lauderdale, rent a boat trailer Miami, Roller Boat Trailer, salt water boat trailers, selecting a boat trailer on March 26, 2014 by admin.
This entry was posted in Products and tagged boat trailer rental, Catamaran Trailer, Catamaran Trailer Rental, Florida, Miami, Pontoon Boat Trailer, Pontoon Boat TrailerRental on June 20, 2013 by admin. This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged boat storage, boat trailer rental, Florida, Miami, rent a boat trailer on April 27, 2013 by admin. Channelside Watersports offers Boat Rentals, Waverunner Rentals and Kayak Rentals in Tampa Bay.
Waterfront Pub, Boat Ramp Boaters Gas Located On The Beautiful Alafia River Tampa Bay Florida Just Up The Alafia River, Between The Hwy. Boat Rentals in the Tampa Bay area Vessel Collision Center, Hull Body Shop, Custom Building Painting. A lot of the things we learned during our pontoon houseboat rebuild were by trial and error, and we're hoping to help you avoid some of the expensive mistakes we made, that being said, we would not trade boating for any other type of recreation. The reality of trying to use the camper was frustrating, you either rented a space in a crowded campground, with the related noise and congestion, or if you were able to find a more secluded type of campground (more primitive) your neighbor's would insist on using their noisy generator's to power TV's, microwave, air conditioners, so much for enjoying wilderness camping and the sounds of nature.
What we really wanted was a good used boat, and we drove hundreds of miles and burned up a lot of weekends in this pursuit.


But our favorite waters to boat on are a little too far away to drive after a day on the water.
So we then also picked up a 1989 Sun Tracker pontoon that was just sitting in a horse pasture as a salvage boat for it. It can be as simple as a cabin on some pontoons, to something as lavish as a multi-million dollar home. The length of the boat or the hull length will be first and the foremost importance to the marina. A boat with the appropriate generator can provide all the comforts of home leaving a person wanting nothing when underway. With a hull a wake or wave will contact more hull area creating more lift to get the bow over it.
Nice if you need a lot of bedrooms and don’t mind sleeping with someone either directly above or below you. You're calling a boat owner to inquire about a boat you seen posted somewhere, here's a checklist of perspective questions. A warning, people who are selling after just a brief ownership may be trying to dump a problem. The value here is if you are dealing with the first owner you can inquire about its entire mechanical history. If the answer is no then forget about all assurances of low hours, for without a meter there's no way to verify hours.
Just like autos a rebuilt or re-constructed wreck has a lower resale value than one without a history. Crawl under the boat and check it bow to stern for gouges where fiberglass matting can be seen.
As many of you have pointed out, there generally isn't any real content at a lot of sites, and there is our real difference.
This top of the line full tube frame and bunk support system offers the ultimate in custom appearance. It’s always a great time to get your fill of lobster (and to share some of the lobster with your friendly boat rental staff, of course), but we want you to come back safe and sound. Hurricane Season runs from June 1st through November 30th with most of the activity happening in the month of September.
There has been major damage and sometimes just inconveniences, but we all know that no matter what Mother Nature throws at us, it’s best to be prepared.
Below we have compiled a list of tips that can help you protect your boat this Hurricane Season and also included some resources for more thorough information. Whether the boat is on a trailer next to your house or at a dry storage marina, the boats that are stored dry typically see less damage than those left in the water during a hurricane. The cover on the boat will collect rainwater and strain the cover, tearing it in the process. If the boat fills up with water, the added weight can negatively affect the way it sits on your trailer or dry-rack.
Also, to help with insurance claims, keep receipts and take photos or video of your boat and trailer. Petersburg and Tarpon Springs in Florida – Camp on one of our prisitne barrier islands. We then thought about purchasing some land and putting something on it but that also had its drawbacks.
There are a wide variety of boats available out there and there's bound to be one that fits your needs. At that time there was not a lot available on the Internet, so we did it the hard way, visiting marinas and the newspaper classifieds hoping to find our perfect boat. You can camp on them and we spent many a night on ours but there's a lot of compromise to deal with to do so. Some of our happiest times are spend on a sand bar that we frequent, all of the boats nose into the beach side by side (the picture at the top of this page is the sandbar), and there is a lot of visiting from boat to boat, our decision was that a pontoon houseboat would give us a lot more flexibility to do this type of boating. We had the opportunity to meet some wonderful people during our search for our pontoon houseboat, and they welcomed us aboard to show us their boats and the personal touches and features they had done to them.
We really needed the trailer, but it also had a 115HP Mercury mounted on the center pontoon, and the additional flotation of a third pontoon for the houseboat would be a real blessing for it. We paid strict attention to the fitting of materials around the windows and doors, not only for the appearance of the joints and miters, but to enforce the strength and integrity of the cabin, for we plan to enjoy this boat for a long time.
Be forewarned of the fact that many houseboat rentals will require a short schooling course before they cut you loose with their boat. The black water issue can be resolved by using one of the various porta potties that are available. It may list a little but there would be enough flotation in remaining sections to keep you afloat. Now the goal is to maybe provide you with enough knowledge for you to know what to look at and for when purchasing yours.
Often it's because they have an inflated opinion of the true value of the boat and are unwilling to deal for its real true value.
If grease comes out looking like double creamed coffee there is probably some water and will need some seals.
Are you also aware that as the economy is getting worse, there are more derelict houseboats for sale listed as "once in a lifetime bargains", "fixer uppers", "project boat" or "distress sale". Just jot a line or two about it in your email and we will attempt to follow it up and expand it for you, if you'd like us to. If the cover comes loose during a storm, it will fall victim to the wind, and more than likely get ruined. Marinas typically keep the drain plugs out, however, if your boat is on a trailer, it’s a good practice too keep the drain plug out. However, there are many external elements like the sun, salt and crazy hurricanes that can affect the life of a boat trailer, especially in South Florida.
But either I'm getting older which is also a fact, or the quiet country roads are not as quiet as they used to be. There were a lot of pontoon boats in the ads that sounded wonderful, but we drove a lot of miles only to be disappointed time after time. What we really wanted a pontoon houseboat that was 8 feet wide so that we could put it on its trailer and pull it to whatever destination we wanted to travel to without special permits that are required by wider boats.
Most of the waterways around where we live are generally shallow, we realize from owning a regular pontoon boat that pontoons can navigate in these types of areas easier with less draft and fear of running aground.The boat owners we spoke with also advised us that a pontoon houseboat probably would be our best choice for our needs. We also utilized some of the fencing off the Sun Tracker on our houseboat rebuild, and you'd be amazed how many other useful pieces we were also able to use from it on our restoration. Therefore all the material used needed to be moisture resistant as well as for easy carefree maintenance, so we could have and spend more pleasurable times with our friends and family on the water, and less time maintaining and working on the boat, other than normal housekeeping. Don't feel intimated by this fact for there is a learning experience in handling such a large boat.


There also has been a movement towards solar panels to help replenish the battery banks with quiet cheap power once past initial investment.
For this reason most folks isolate a battery(s) for the motor(s) so they insure they will have reserves left to start them. A propane water heater, range, and refrigeration allow extended use without the need to run a generator. If a new boat is within your budget you'll still find a lot of the information still applies.
And that truthfully many of these houseboats are actually beyond economical repair, and are actually Junkers that the owners are trying to dump on somebody. In order to avoid wasting money on repair bills and storage, we suggest you rent a boat trailer. We have a large inventory of boat trailers for rent all year round, at the best prices in town. But it's definitely hard to relax and enjoy the ride when you rear view is filled with someone's grill. We have enough of that at home and it defeats everything we were trying to achieve and definitely kills any quality downtime. We then visited a boat dealer at a beautiful lake about 130 miles from our home, when we told the salesman the type of boat we were looking for and wanted and what our plans for using it was, he developed quite an insulting attitude, saying that people on that lake wouldn't dream of "camping" on a boat, they all had homes on the lake. It seems as if you have to wait till noon the next day before they are dry enough to take down, fold, and put away.
We also liked the design of the pontoon houseboats with the cabin and decks are all on the same level.
We then sold the remaining pontoons and deck of the Sun Tracker to a fellow boater on the river to use as a boat dock and recovered some of our investment.
Many boaters will also install amperage and volt meters to monitor the amount of power left available. When in the slip or marina shore power is usually available but there is usually an additional fee for it. But let's assume that to buy one adequate for your family it's looks like a used boat is in your budget, now the question is how do you tell a good used boat from a bad one. Disposal is becoming a real expensive proposition and they'd rather see you be the one paying the bill. Needless to say, after that he couldn't have sold us a boat at any price; we took our insults, and our money, and proceeded to search elsewhere. We own a dog and it's much easier for her to get on and off the boat whether it's beached or tied up at the marina. Who are willing to share everything from their food and good advice and information and knowledge on everything pertaining to their houseboats. We had considered ourselves to be savvy enough to spot any real problems and issues with this houseboat. Power heads are painted after assembly, look at all gaskets and if they are not painted it is an indication the motor has been torn apart. What obstacles can the boat come into contact with during violent winds, storm surges, or in the event that the boat breaks loose from its anchor? We thought there has to be a better way and there is though it took us a while and some expensive lessons to find and experience it. In desperation we finally decided to take a look at new boats and ordered our pontoon boat with the floor plan we wanted as well as the camper enclosure to go with it.
Ain't complaining about it myself but the wife was sometimes cantankerous for the experience.
So if you are like we were and don't have any friends or acquaintances who own boats or not sure you're ready to make the investment in your own yet.
Others charge a set fee per boat which can be unfair to people who choose to use very little of it.
The drawback to this approach is that we have limited storage, and the camper enclosure consumes a lot of space. That's when we started thinking and talking about a houseboat and how it could provide what we were looking for. We realized that the boat needed some restoration work, but we weren't prepared for the extensive rot and problems we found when we decided to replace the dark interior paneling with something brighter. It's a critical measurement so you can avoid damage to hull by scraping or hitting rocks or other obstructions. If you should happen to have one hull in the trough while other is on the crest the effect can be even worse. However many houseboats admittedly are sold marina to marina often to avoid transportation issues, so this is a simple step to step guide about buying a boat. But for the exception of the very big ones you'll never be able to take as many of your friends with you when you go. By the time you get everything on board, it is very difficult to keep the boat neat and orderly. Think about it there is no longer a rush to the ramps about dark and waiting in line at the ramps to load the boat, while everyone else is rushing around frantically at the end of a wonderful day.
Finding these problems, we realized that it was beyond just simple repairs, and we began a total rebuild and re-construction of the cabin.
You'll want to run the motor for a few minutes and also check for fuel, water or exhaust leaks. But it is a beautiful pontoon boat and a lot of people on the river like to come aboard and check it out, so we try to keep it neat and presentable at all times. We could be sitting back relaxing and sometimes enjoying the commotion going on around us and then enjoy a wonderful peaceful evening on the water. The "up" side of the complete restoration is that we were able to design the floor plan to conform to our usage of the boat, specifically more storage, larger more comfortable beds, and adding a shower. But Can you think of any better place to spend a relaxing afternoon with family or friends? We have spent a lot of happy hours on our pontoon boat, but it still didn't accomplish everything we had in mind, which leads us to next part of our Odyssey.
And sitting on water with a cup of morning coffee in the peaceful solitude and surroundings before the water warms up defies description or appropriate words.
There is just something about the tranquility of boating that's hard or impossible to find anywhere else these days. Others like to slowly cruise around out from the shores and observe the scenery as they pass by.
It's even interesting to watch individuals and sometimes good size groups canoeing or kayaking out on the lakes and rivers.



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