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Published in the May 2011 Issue Published online: May 07, 2011 Ask The Expert
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When life is out of balance, you may want to visit a chiropractor or therapist to get everything straight again. When your houseboat is out of balance, visit the Houseboat Forums for advice on how to rectify the situation. That's exactly what harvrbt did recently, and obtained some good advice. Let's see what happened.

[harvrbt] posed the question: We have a 1978 Kayot steel pontoon houseboat. It is 14 by 54 with twin Johnson 60hp outboards. We remodeled it last year, added solar power, etc. It doesn't sit level in the water and I am not sure what we can do to bring her level. I have my batteries in the rear and I added a swim deck. The batteries are pretty heavy and I am looking to move them up front, but don't know how much difference that will really make. I thought about possibly mounting some dock floats under the swim platform, but I don't know how effective that would be. Any suggestions?

[OLD HOUSEBOATER] had a simple suggestion: Since you're carrying 1200 pounds of water, I would split it up and move it forward. Moving the batteries is problematic as you need the power where it is.
The basic problem is that you added a heavy swim platform on a boat not designed for it. The real solution is to minimize the swim platform size and weight.
Since you have a steel boat, it's really not that big a deal to construct and add sections to the rear of your pontoons. Every cubic foot of pontoon in the water supports 62 pounds of weight.

[harvrbt] gave additional information: All of my water storage is up front under the gaucho beds. We removed the tank under the rear bed and installed a pump and filter system so we draft all of our water from the lake, thus eliminating the need for so much storage. I now only have about 100 gallons of fresh water storage and they allow us to dump gray water so no storage there. And of course black water is minimal. We do have about a 100-gallon tank, but it is dead center in the boat. The swim platform doesn't even weigh 300 pounds, it is aluminum. We did this on purpose to try and eliminate the weight, but for sure it is compounding the problem. That was why I thought of installing the deck floats under it, behind the outboards. The problem with adding on to the pontoons is the outboards-they are hanging off of the back of the pontoons. The batteries for the engines can stay to the rear, but I have the six golf cart batteries that I was thinking about moving, not a lot of weight but probably 200 pounds or so. Thanks for the suggestions and the info on the cubic feet/support.


To read this discussion in its entirety, visit the forums at and search for the "How Do I Level Her Up" thread.

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