Retirement Houseboat or Floating Home

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Greenseas2, Aug 25, 2008.

  1. Eric Sponberg
    Joined: Dec 2001
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    Location: St. Augustine, FL, USA

    Eric Sponberg Senior Member

    This reminds me of the crabclaw cat from Shell Boats in Vermont;

    http://www.shellboats.com/sb_crabclawcat.html

    Eric
     
  2. brian eiland
    Joined: Jun 2002
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    Location: St Augustine Fl, Thailand

    brian eiland Senior Member

    Astoria houseboat

    You were correct Rwatson, there were a significant number of photo images of that Astoria houseboat on goggle images.

    There was also a very pleasant blog that mentions that vessel, Thames Nature Notes
    ...living on a river
     

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  3. CanneryRogue
    Joined: Jul 2013
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    Location: Monterey, Ca

    CanneryRogue New Member

    Last year I made this design.
    It´s a self propelled houseboat that fits the slots and bridges in the french canals, so in europe you can go almost everywhere you´dd like.
    It meets the CE-requirements class C(sheltered waters) and is fully self supporting by means of powersupply, potable and wastewater etc.
    Let me know waht you think.

    To CAD ART. Very nice design, I had an opportunity to cruise the canals and rivers in southern France and loved every minute. my (17 yrs now) dream is to build something that will be appropriate for U.S lakes, rivers and canals (Erie?) AND Europe. To that end I found that it would cost you about $6,000 to RO-RO from U.S to a European Port.
    Probably NOT France as I've heard that they will TAX the heck out of you. Anyway, dreaming and exchanging information with like minded people is probably as far as I'll get!
     
  4. myark
    Joined: Oct 2012
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    Location: Thailand

    myark Senior Member

    A low cost cannal boat
     

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  5. tugboat

    tugboat Previous Member

    definitely reconsider making the floating home "Nautical" looking and add an engine. once it is a boat(and the greedy city council cannot define truly what a floating home is), you are in the clear. I spent three years moored on a river in northern Ontario. yep-winters too- froze in- used propane heat. was 22 degrees C inside and - 30 c outside. You could hear the ice cracking at night-like gunshots. in summer I just swam off my front porch.
    The adage that comes to mind here concerning houseboat or float home is-

    "out of site out of mind" . If possible keep your vessel away from prying eyes.
    I was lucky to not have any restrictions, taxes or moorage fees on my vessel which was an a-frame cabin on a barge hull. I will say- it is/was the most rewarding experience and I have never felt more freedom.
    I am going back to that lifestyle within three years. I miss it- and once you live on the water- living on land just doesn't cut it. I own land - but its just for building my boat and maybe a small cabin on later. for living -it is going to be on water...

    good luck!
     
  6. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Tug raises a good point. If the houseboat looks like a boat, not a floating Winnebago on a barge, you'll have much less difficultly with the local officials. Most houseboats look like a monolithic mobile home on floats, which many find offensive along their water front. A well styled riverboat (like attached) hasn't this issue and you can avoid a lot of the problems now form in certain parts of the coastal areas.
     

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  7. brian eiland
    Joined: Jun 2002
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    Location: St Augustine Fl, Thailand

    brian eiland Senior Member

    Are you reading my mind PAR ;)....ha...ha . How about like this?
    Canal Trawler, ps.jpg

    I'll bet you could even put this superstructure on a flat rectangular barge hull....sort of a tug-barge, or barge-tug.

    I'm actually looking at some ideas like this for a live-aboard for my Thai wife and myself, particularly as I began to see the difficulties with local city authorities about 'floating houses'.

    I'm looking at "Steel Hulls with Polypropylene Panels for the superstructure
    http://www.plascore.com/pp-polypropylene-honeycomb.php
    PP honeycomb core.jpg
    http://www.plascore.com/custom-composite-sandwich-panel.php
     
  8. tugboat

    tugboat Previous Member


    Its so incredible how bureaucracy (bureau -crazy) thinks...mind numbing stupidity. it seems houseboats/float homes are some form of logic altering narcotic to city council members.

    I once had a guy who owned a 50 ft. sailboat ask me why I didn't pay taxes on my houseboat. his reasoning was- I had a bed and shower and all the things found in a house so why wasn't I paying taxes?. I not so politely pointed out how his 50 ft. yacht had the same bloody things and that if I should pay taxes- so should he!
    Ha- I was thinking "wow isn't that what I tried to do a few years ago, make a barge -tug" :eek:
    ill upload a version of what I think your saying- its a boat I built for fun a few years ago,. As you can see- this is what happens when you don't really know how to design...but it is a barge hull with a tug style superstructure.
    yes it rough as guts! but with enough goop- it could work. had lots of room.
    btw plascore is a great product.
     

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

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Steel is great, but heavy and difficult to work. Honeycomb sandwich is costly compared to other materials. With costs being what they are, why not a one off 'glass hull with a encapsulated plywood superstructure. Hard to beat for cost, weight and durability.
     
  10. Eric Sponberg
    Joined: Dec 2001
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    Location: St. Augustine, FL, USA

    Eric Sponberg Senior Member

    I don't mean to change the current subject, but it has just been pointed out to me by a reader that the link I posted in post #10 for the Marine Dragonfly black water treatment system no longer works. It got hacked some time ago. Their new website is: http://www.dragonflymarine.com/

    Eric
     
  11. peterAustralia
    Joined: Mar 2006
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    Location: Melbourne Australia

    peterAustralia Senior Member

    changing tack somewhat

    there is a thread elsehwere, that shows cheap used multihulls for sale. Many of them were once very nice boats, theseadays they have been gutted and not really worth doing up as a yacht. What I think they could be used for is houseboats. You have a large hull, say 40ft x 20ft, though often bigger, a pair of cat hulls which are generally pretty sound and well made. You put a box on top of that, a curved roof, a wood stove, and off you go. A pretty cheap spacious houseboat. Better than just burning an old cat hull.

    you can put catamaran into craigslist, etc. Some of these hulls go for $2k, save a heap of work as all you have to worry about is the topsides. These hulls seem to be built during the 1970s, and are no longer really suitable for being cruising multihulls anymore, thread below

    http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f48/cheap-multis-and-projects-87193-36.html
     
  12. El_Guero

    El_Guero Previous Member

    Ask Chris: http://cwbblog.wordpress.com/2011/10/18/third-friday-speaker-series-chris-cunningham/

    ;)
     
  13. El_Guero

    El_Guero Previous Member

  14. brian eiland
    Joined: Jun 2002
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    Location: St Augustine Fl, Thailand

    brian eiland Senior Member

    SUPERSTRUCTURE, not hull

    Lets just talk superstructure here.

    Aren't the superstructures of a lot of 'metal boats' (alum and steel) built somewhat along the lines of that wood structure that Tugboat posted,....studs and skins??. And then one has to provide some 'battens' (or whatever they might be termed?) on the interior surfaces in order to attach the 'interior finish surfaces/materials' to the vessel. And often you need to provide some insulation to keep down the condensation problem that occurs often with metals.

    Couldn't that entire 'house structure' on that barge be simply made of a relatively thin fiberglass skinned 1 or 2 inch thick polypropylene honeycomb cored panels?


    So I am NOT talking steel in ANY of the superstructure. And I believe you would find that the Polypropylene honeycombs are a lot less expense that many of the other 'hi-tech' honeycombs.

    Plus I don't have any 'encapsulated wood' to eventually get wet and start rotting. I would be willing to pay a little bit more to keep all wood out of any coring on a vessel, even a houseboat.

    And I believe once you got a little system in place (something like Kelsall's KSS system), you could build that whole 'house/cabin' structure faster than that 'stud-skin' method.
     

  15. brian eiland
    Joined: Jun 2002
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    Location: St Augustine Fl, Thailand

    brian eiland Senior Member

    I checked with them, and they said their minimum size unit was for 10 persons, and prices started at $115K....wow
     
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