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.
The houseboat plans section is constantly expanding, so in order to get a good overview, I've included these to show the design possibilities. Tips for Building with Free Houseboat Plans* Once you have decided to build a boat, you will be needing some building materials, marine parts, and technical building information. You will find different houseboat models that are available, and that can be built by someone who is handy with tools and have the space for construction.
Build your own House Boat PlansYou're building a house boat and curious about house boat construction? More Houseboat PlansYou're building a house boat and curious about house boat construction?
More Build your own Houseboat PlansYou're building a house boat and curious about houseboat construction? Stay connected with this sectionThe Houseboat Plans section is constantly growing, so it's best to stay updated and signup for our Houseboat Insider magazine, it's free, informative, shows the updates, and is sent directly to your Inbox. Location: Milwaukee, WI Water tanks are replaced when they are corrode and leak.
Boston Previous Member   while I wouldnt go so far as the previous I am also planning a build for a live aboard, although mines going to be along the lines of the old style commuter yachts.
Find someone you trust, get self educated as to what you basically want and go in with a succinct but flexible plan.
Location: Michigan Whos job is gonna be rounding up two of every animal to put aboard?
Ill be building it myself as having been involved in construction my whole life I can assure you if you want something done right you really do need to do it yourself. Am working up the funds now and should be starting in the next year or two depends on what the economy does.
Im developing the modifications that will make it seaworthy and will be presenting them to a NA eventually once I have a grip on what my options are and how they interact with the rest of the boat.
Location: Michigan Well good luck, that would take one man a lifetime to design and build a quality boat like that, and about 250,000 - 500,000 or more depending on what materials are used and such. Other than that Im loading up a futon, a folding table and chairs, a cooler, a grill, a mini fridge, speakers and a radio, a captians chair, and chicks.
Now this is a houseboat, that runs on an outboard and can actually navigate rivers and small bays too. Location: Gulf Coast Poly Pontoons I am currently looking for house boat plans too.
Location: Eustis, FL Those old Whit designs are little more then floating Winnebagos. Originally Posted by PAR Now this is a houseboat, that runs on an outboard and can actually navigate rivers and small bays too. Diagonals And Offset Tables » Thread Tools Show Printable Version Email this Page Display Modes Linear Mode Switch to Hybrid Mode Switch to Threaded Mode Search this Thread Advanced Search Similar Threads Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post Has anyone here started a boat building business from scratch? When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Options and Designing Your HouseboatEvery Stardust Cruisers is custom designed for the owner with your needs and budget in mind.

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.
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. Here you'll find house boat design and floor plans for pontoon, trailerable, catamaran, or full hull models.
What I would strongly recommend is hangin out and reading up on a lot of different threads here. Lots of folks live on houseboats and so can you, just that if your designing your own and its your first, your going to be making lots of mistakes and you need someone to be watching out for you. I hope to be on the water by June 10th and house part built by July 4th so I can go out and watch fireworks on the lake.
The pontoons and their support framing will account for about 12% of the total build effort required on a vessel as you've described. 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. 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. My theory is dont cheep out on the guy watching your back, you can build it yourself out of all kinds of funky stuff but get an NA to watch out for you or one of those mistakes may cost you or your family more than you can afford to loose. Maybe someone has a persepective that will help both of us with using the right hull or pontoon design to suit your needs. 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. 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. Most have "study prints" available to give you an overview, and there's even some pontoon house boat kits available to help speed things up.Try to document & photograph you're project. I plan on taking my projector and Xbox and playing on a 6' screen in the middle of the lake!!!
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. 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.
I have been building custom structures for years in my neck of the woods, and grew up on the water, even so, I plan on getting a naval architect to assist me and check everything Im planning, a second and informed opinion is invaluable in a one off custom. The exterior walls are exterior grade plywood panelling, a tin roof, sheet rock inner walls, wired for electricity and well insulated. Building a little houseboat that you can motor about in and still enjoy some of the comforts of home.
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. 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. 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. If you lose control in docking or in a high wind you might need the insurance to build a houseboat for someone else!
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. 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? We strongly recommend a displacement hull for buyers who will be traveling significant distances in their boat or those who are concerned with improved performance and handling. Control systems can be standard marine breaker system or a digital system with computerized controls and system monitoring. This also allows remote monitoring and control of on board systems from home or mobile devices.

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