Things to know about life on a houseboat

Published online: Sep 22, 2011 News DANNY HENLEY - Hannibal Courier-Post
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 What do you do when the river floods?
The boat rises along with the river level, so there's no risk of flooding. In 2008, to get out the Steinmans would take their john boat to the northern entrance of Riverview Park, where they parked their vehicles. They would then drive up the walking path and on to work.

 How do you heat and cool the houseboat?
The houseboat, which is all electric, is equipped with air conditioning and furnace units. Their highest cooling bill was around $200. Last winter their peak electric bill was around $350.
"It's expensive heating the boat in the winter because it's sitting on an ice cube," said Tony Steinman.

 Do you lose electricity often?
The Steinmans' boat is equipped with a generator. Consequently, while nearby residents were without power for 37 hours following July's damaging storm, life went on as normal at the Steinman home.

 What are the biggest advantages to living on a houseboat?
It's mobility, the river's scenic view, the opportunity to watch an assortment of wildlife and "having no gutters to clean, trees to trim or grass to mow."

 What are some disadvantages?
Frequent cleaning of the boat's exterior, expensive repairs, a lack of insulation and walking down the gangplank to the boat when it's slick.

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