The How To Houseboat Staff Report

Installing rain gutters on a houseboat

Published in the September 2012 Issue Published online: Sep 08, 2012 Feature
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After Don and Barbara Brewer purchased a 1986 Jamestowner houseboat, they christened her the Double Diamonds and began to vacation onboard at Lake Wateree in Liberty Hill, S.C.

While traveling they discovered that during rain storms, the roof water poured off mid ship and aft outside their bedroom directly over their heads. It made their deck carpet wet and mildew with large growths of algae. The most annoying part of all this was the constant dripping for hours on end after the rain.

"It was a true torture," says Don.

They quickly called a gutter installation contractor to come take a look at the boat, and get a proposal on installing new gutters and downspouts. After the contractor came, he informed the couple that due to the rounded corners of the roof on Double Diamonds he wouldn't be able to install gutters and downspouts that would work without compromising the houseboat's design and looks. The Brewers did not want to do that, so they kept their options open.

A few weeks passed, and their good friend Scott Ghent was visiting and Don told him the water problems they had been having. Scott's primary skills are in welding, but he gave Don some advice and offered to take on the job.

"Scott is very creative," says Don. "He replaced the entire front deck of Double Diamonds with welded steel plates a year ago."

After reviewing several of Scott's designs, Don agreed and Scott began the process. He first cut aluminum plates to block off the spillway at mid ship. This forces the rainwater to the aft spillways located on each corner of the boat. He then cut, bent and welded the curved sections of aluminum to fit over the rounded aft spillways. Scott then installed PVC downspout material and applied silicone caulking to prevent leaking. The process worked extremely well.

"It fits the exterior motif like a glove," says Don. "The bonus is the elimination of the water torture. I am very happy with how everything turned out and how great it looks. Scott did a fantastic job, and it really wasn't too hard."

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