first time boat builder. considering houseboat

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by coricivic, Mar 31, 2011.

  1. coricivic
    Joined: Mar 2011
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    Location: United States

    coricivic New Member

    so i'm 24 and in a wheelchair. recently i had some things in my life that made me want to pursue a more free form of life. that came to me in the form of wanting to try the houseboat life.

    with needing to keep atleast a 30" gap for my wheelchair here's my layout with the front to the left of the pictures. i just based it on a 20' by 8.5' pontoon platform. drawn to scale in autocad. 4' deck, 14 foot quarters, 2' rear deck for generator/propane etc.

    oh, and i kept the highest counter at 36". not only because i'm in a wheelchair, but because i think being able to see out every corner from everywhere makes it more open.

    sorry for total noob status
    so starting from scratch i know i need to figure out all of these things:


    i know nothing about any of this. well, starting to learn. the one thing i'm most wondering about is the price range i'm looking at.

    for the kitchen, i just need to figure out power consumption for fridge, microwave. + any lighing on boat and entertainment consumption. wiring for 12/110

    what materials are best for construction of walls, roof, insulation, etc w/ weight & cost in mind. never done anything w/ boats before but did my share of home upgrades and working on cars. my question is this. knowing i have to keep it as light as possible what would be the best material for floor, walls, roof, and joists?

  2. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The first thing you need to do is establish a SOR, then preform a rough weights estimate so you know how much hull(s) you need to hold all this up. Of course, this assumes you have enough engineering and hydrodynamics ability to process the information and apply it as best as you can to you SOR.

    Considering the very basic nature of your questions, you aren't skilled enough to "design" a houseboat. This isn't meant to offend you, not everyone can, in fact very few can, so you're in the majority in this regard.

    Buy a set of plans. Modify the inetiour arrangements to suit your needs, but the best advise anyone can offer you is to buy a set of plans.

    Start here:
  3. coricivic
    Joined: Mar 2011
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    coricivic New Member

    The weight estimate is why i was asking about materials. it looks like they just have the boat made out of plywood. i was thinking on frp with foam. i understand that weight, and how it's distributed is probably the most important thing. from what i found, alot of people succesfully have built these outta old pontoons. they have the bill of materials on the site. based on that i can tell roughly how its setup. i know nothing about boats or hydrodynamics. i dont claim to. the weight being so high off the water sucks but a pontoon houseboat seems to be the easiest type to deal with because of the wheelchair.

    my plan was to calculate weight and the balance of the weight. once i figured that out i was going to try and figure out the size pontoon needed and if it seems possible on my budget.
  4. brian eiland
    Joined: Jun 2002
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    Location: St Augustine Fl, Thailand

    brian eiland Senior Member

  5. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    hoytedow Carbon Based Life Form

    You should consider building the painter[dinghy] first, to see if boat-building is your cup of tea. Those results should be enlightening, to say the least.
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