Lifeboat Conversion to a Houseboat during COVID

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by DouglasM, Feb 19, 2021.

  1. DouglasM
    Joined: Feb 2021
    Posts: 6
    Likes: 2, Points: 3
    Location: Wilmington NC

    DouglasM Junior Member

    I hope this thread will be useful to anyone else out there converting a lifeboat.
    PART ONE: The Decision.
    Buying a lifeboat for conversion means you probably have limited funds. For $2700 plus another $2000 in shipping if needed, you get a rock solid hull and an engine with limited hours. Paying to have it converted doesn't seem to make any sense. If you have the money to have others do the work, simply buy a purpose built model. If you like to use your hands and head and enjoy construction projects, it is the cheapest and most rewarding way to get something you can spend living on the water.
    PART TWO: Sourcing a lifeboat. Proximity is everything. Shipping is expensive and often requires a crane. I bid $2700 online at IronPlanet to purchase a 32' x 11' enclosed lifeboat. It cost another $2200 for the crane and the truck. aboat.jpg
    bajansailor and KeithO like this.
  2. DouglasM
    Joined: Feb 2021
    Posts: 6
    Likes: 2, Points: 3
    Location: Wilmington NC

    DouglasM Junior Member

    invt.png sun'.png .. and ...
    For $4700 I have a rock solid hull and a 70hp diesel engine along with a lot of gear I am not sure what to do with yet. Most likely the air and water tanks will be repurposed for grey water. The external fire extinguisher lines might make a nifty shower.. to be decided.
    PART THREE: Power. After reviewing a bunch of questionable used marine generators on EBay and the nifty new ones ($12K and up) I looked at construction generators. About $3-5K. Problem is these are not meant to be below decks or run in a marine environment. My priorities are #1 affordable and #2 quiet. After a good deal of research I decided on solar. It is affordable and can be augmented as power needs increase. And it's nice and quiet. So for my immediate needs of running a chop saw, sanders, and other misc tools as well as a few LED lights, I decided on the following parts from Amazon.
    LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Battery 12V 100Ah with Built-in BMS, Perfect for Replace Most of Backup Power and Off Grid Applications $615.00
    AIMS PICOGLF40W12V120V 4000 Watt and 12,000 Watt Surge 12 VDC Input to 120 VAC Output Pure Sine Inverter Charger Backup Power
    DOKIO Semi-Flexible Solar Panel 4X100W(400W) 12V Lightweight Monocrystalline for Caravan RV Boat Camper
    HQST 40A 12/24V MPPT Solar Charge Controller, Compatible with Sealed, Gel, Flooded, Gel, Lithium, User Define View attachment 165318 View attachment 165318 View attachment 165319 View attachment 165319 d Batteries$114.00
    And $100 in connectors and wire.
    ALL IN $2178. This should do for now. Best part is that if more power is needed in the future, more storage can be added and if needed another alternator on the diesel engine.
    That's it for now. Will post pics and instructions on tear-out and wiring electrical next.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2021
  3. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
    Posts: 1,624
    Likes: 488, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 37
    Location: Barbados

    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

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