Hi All - Houseboat on a Pontoon Boat Question again

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Mrpotts, Jul 1, 2010.

  1. Mrpotts
    Joined: Nov 2007
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    Location: Hong Kong

    Mrpotts New Member

    Hi there,

    Thanks for the look here.

    Is it realistic to put a lightweight, 2-story, tiered cabin on an aluminum 24-28 foot double pontoon boat?

    What is the possibility (I'm a stick welder, not aluminum but I want to learn TIG) of adding a center vertical support pole that would do multiple duties like structure support, crane-lifting duties, rope-swing line (boat anchored), etc.

    I also would like to solar power the boat using the 3rd floor roof. Just 2 panels, 2 truck batteries (on deck), and an inverter should keep a phone and laptop powered up. Quick on the to-buy list would be a small refrigerator. Cooking could be gas easily. Music definitely.

    Motor would be ideally shared-steering for two outboards mounted on each pontoon. More realistic however (just on $$ factor) would be one single 90 to 150cc four stroke motor.

    I've never done a boat build from scratch but I am a marine engineer so I feel I have the skills. But my skills are systems & engines, not house building, nor boat design. I also have free space now to store and work on the boat. Time is a limit however as I think around September 1st I might have to leave the boat for awhile. I will need to leave it on a trailer during this time.

    I want to get my girl on the water for some amazing inland-Florida trips around me, like car-camping on a boat.

    Any thoughts are appreciated. This post is really my first step in accomplishing this. I have been watching Craiglist.org for about three months now and I can definitely get the platform and trailer for under U.S. $1000.

    Cheers,
    Phil
    :D
     
  2. Mrpotts
    Joined: Nov 2007
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    Mrpotts New Member

    Hmm, alot of views on this but no responses. What gives?? Question to dumb or something?

    Phil
     
  3. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    Location: North of Cuba

    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    Why 2 stories? Why start out complicated? KISS rules, especially for beginners. Keep it low for trailering to avoid wind resistance and tree branches on back roads. You can even pitch a tent on a pontoon deck complete with bug screens for sleeping over.
     
  4. Ike
    Joined: Apr 2006
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    Location: Washington

    Ike Senior Member

    A big problem with houseboats is sail area. The higher you make it the more it is going to be blown about by the wind and hard to control. Also, the higher you make it the less stable it will be. You don't have a lot of the hull underwater and the major contributor to the boats stability will be the width of the boat. Frankly at that size I would keep it to one story and use the top as a sun deck, fly bridge, etc.
     
  5. Mrpotts
    Joined: Nov 2007
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    Location: Hong Kong

    Mrpotts New Member

    Hi again,
    Yes, I see what you're saying. I just learned last night from a friend we're talking of about a 1 ft draft. You would need a swing keel &/or an outboard anchor for Crane use? 1 story is safer. Aluminum framework over wood?
    Cheers,
    Phil
     

  6. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    Location: Lakeland Fl USA

    messabout Senior Member

    Near the first order of business is to do some realistic (and careful) weight calculations. If you are thinking of one of those ill concieved round pipe type pontoon boats then there is a practical limit to the weight that you'd dare add, especially if it had signifigant height.

    Building a houseboat on top of a pontoon boat is a compromised proposition. Would it not be better to build the houseboat the way a houseboat is normally designed? Investigate the cost of a "starting from scratch" build as opposed to buying the platform and then attaching the house. The houseboat in the normal format will draw less water, be more stable, carry more weight, be better looking, and not restrict you to a size that must suit whatever derelict platform you chance to buy. Craigs List should not dictate the details of the boat that you end up with.
     
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