In February, Sunstar Houseboats will be in business 19 years. They recognize the craftsmanship of the workers that has allowed them to build a “very well-built boat.” Another thing that has helped them to achieve their goals is their employees have had a lot of input on how to improve something and make it better or more user-friendly. While business is off approximately 60 percent over the last several years, Sunstar has diversified to maintain some strength in the houseboat industry. The manufacturer now offers boat brokerage through Sunstar Yacht Sales & Brokerage and they have ventured into the large houseboat transportation venue. Sunstar has procured some of the best transportation equipment in the industry to achieve this. They have moved numerous large houseboats with the largest being 22 by 125 feet. At this time, Sunstar has approximately 15 employees and hopes to add more in the future.
Date Founded: 1995
Location: Monticello, KY
Best-Selling Model or Floor Plan: 16’ X 75’ Side Hall
Smallest Houseboat Built to Date: 14’ X 43’
Largest Houseboat Built to Date: 20’ X 110’
Hull Design: Aluminum Semi-V
Water Application: Lakes, Rivers and Intracoastal
In-House Transportation: Yes
In-House Interior Designer: Yes
The year started stronger with what looked like might be an upswing in business with an increase in inquiries, but weakened in the last half of the year with sales staying flat. In the first part of the year, six boats will be delivered. While that is not what we hoped for, we are still optimistic that houseboaters will soon want to upgrade. There also should be a new “generation” of boaters that have grown up on boats and will want their own houseboat.
"As always our goal at Sunstar Houseboats is to make sure the customer is smiling when the boat is delivered. We strive to make sure that happens as our customers always win the ‘Salesperson of the Year’ award. Not sure what 2014 is going to bring. We are being optimistic that sales will continue to rebound." George Roberts, Sunstar Houseboats owner