Houseboats vs. Cruisers

Square-foot faceoff

Published in the September 2012 Issue Published online: Sep 07, 2012 Shootout Brady L. Kay

You don't have to be big to appreciate the space and roominess that a houseboat offers, but it does help. Have you ever had to back out of the head because there wasn't enough room to turn around inside? That's really more of a problem for cruiser owners than houseboaters who not only use full-sized toilets, but in most cases enjoy full showers as well.

All it takes is one good head smack to the ceiling either going to bed or waking up in the night, to truly appreciate the comforts and the extra space on a houseboat. Not to mention the awkwardness of nearly being on top of each other with no room to escape when you have guests onboard. No wonder cruiser owners feel they have to "add on" to their boats by creating elaborate docks.

Slip Additions

I've seen setups built forward of a boat slip that would blow away any apartment I've ever lived in. We're talking full-size refrigerators, sinks and flat screen televisions, all sitting out under a covered slip for everyone walking past to see. Maybe privacy is overrated in their minds, but that seems a little odd to me that you'd create your little home away from home into your slip so you'll have a place to hangout. Why would someone go to all this trouble? The answer is simple: they own a cruiser boat and don't have another option.

Unlike a houseboat where you and your guests can comfortably come inside and relax or lounge on the top deck, a cruiser boat is too small to fit your "larger than intimate" groups. So while his houseboat neighbor is enjoying the same summer breeze from the top deck, the cruiser owner doesn't have much of a buffer from the guy out walking his dog past his slip.

Cooking

Houseboat GalleyCookbooks about how to make a good meal Cruiser Slip Additionwithout using your oven were made for cruiser boats. With such a small RV-like area to prepare a meal, who can blame owners for not wanting to spend too much time inside cooking? This can obviously hinder your menu to say the least. Not true on a houseboat.

You can prepare a gourmet, restaurant-quality meal from your galley with plenty of room to spare. Anything you could ever dream of cooking up from your home can be duplicated onboard. So if you prepare a meal using only your microwave it's by choice, not because you didn't like the idea of being cramped up in a small galley. As for the top deck grill, I don't even need to compare. Up top on most houseboats or even on the bow, there is plenty of room to grill up a masterpiece that makes my mouth water just thinking about it.

Everyone Welcome

Houseboat DockWhen it comes to enjoying the lake, everyone Cruiser Slip Additionappreciates having a friend who owns a boat. As an owner, it's fun to invite friends and family along and if you're on the other side of this, it's great to be invited. But often your guest list can grow to the point where you could be faced with a situation where you need to turn some friends away.if you own a cruiser boat. With a houseboat, the more the merrier, right? There is plenty of room onboard so your friends could bring their friends if that's okay with you. You're only limited by the number of people you want onboard, instead of the size of your boat dictating what you can possibly hold.

The space advantages to owning a houseboat compared to other types of boats are truly endless. If you're currently stuck with a cruiser-style boat or in the middle of trying to decide between the two for your next boat purchase, maybe it's time you discovered the square-foot advantages to houseboating.

"Discover Houseboating" is a recurring column that focuses on the advantages of houseboating as well as the benefits of this unique lifestyle.

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