The evolution of the custom houseboats being built today compared to those built even just ten years ago is nothing short of amazing. The exterior look alone has completely changed, thanks to forward-thinking manufacturers who do more than dabble outside the box with their thinking. Lately the trend is to include more yacht-like features, but when Bill Jasper and his wife Angie proposed their houseboat plans to push creativity to another level with a futuristic build, there were probably some who felt they might just be crazy. Turns out, the Jasper’s new 20- by 106-foot Stardust Yacht Series really is Cra-Sea.
The name of the boat is just a glimpse into the fun personalities of this Kentucky couple who are currently on their third custom-built houseboat. From the water, the unique qualities are as clear as the inset windows.
“Most of the outside features come from the yacht world,” explains Bill. “We wanted to make the lines very sleek and bring what I call an Intracoastal yacht quality to the boat, which is really the next level of houseboats from a typical square box on an aluminum hull. This boat has a full hull with a full fly bridge and party top and again, most of the designs came from the yachting industry.”
At first glance you might think the entire hull is made out of a fiberglass mold, but thanks to the very time-consuming Awlgrip fairing and paint system on the all aluminum hull and front and rear walls, the end result is a yacht-quality paint finish with no seams. There is even a custom aluminum integrated couch in the rear seating area with a hydraulic hatch storage compartment built into the backside.
The actual hull design is equally impressive. Stardust Cruisers is known for taking on challenging projects and the marriage of the a traditional V-hull and a catamaran style hull is the result of some innovative thinking. The custom hybrid bow gives V-bow performance and the front deck space of a standard hull, while also tracking very well. The narrow V in the center flattens out on the sides, which also helps improve the stability in rougher water.
The houseboat includes a reverse floor plan with the master stateroom in the front and the galley and living area in the rear. The Stardust was designed with four bedrooms, but the Jaspers made a walk-in closet out of one of the lower staterooms. What makes the master suite unique is the hidden flip-up helm that stows away nicely when not needed and also includes a 42-inch television on a lift.
The master stateroom also includes a king bed, built-in couch and extensive cabinetry that leads to a private bath with a solid glass shower enclosure and custom cabinetry and linen closet. The large walk-in closet below with 6 feet, 2 inches of headroom and custom cabinets can be converted into a fourth bedroom with two queen beds if desired.
A second master state room includes a king-sized bed, en suite bath and full wall window. The third bedroom is a lower stateroom with 6 feet, 5 inches of headroom, custom curved wall and stairs and two portholes.
Moving toward the back of the houseboat, the large galley with pantry, granite counters and eight-person counter height table is inviting and one of Angie’s favorite areas.
“I like to cook so I really love the kitchen,” says Angie. “It has a great pantry and a lot of great features that make it ideal for cooking and entertaining.”
The salon area includes all stainless appliances, custom padded walls with real cherry cabinetry and trim, large sectional leather couch and two chairs, plus an atrium raised ceiling that really opens up the space while serving as a sun pad on the top deck.
Included in the area is an oversized three-level entertainment system with 55-inch LED TV, custom radius bar with granite top and glass upper level, custom Stardust glass top cherry coffee table and end table, plus those huge custom windows that gives the couple a 360-degree panoramic view of their favorite lake.
“Cumberland is the nicest houseboating lake in the country with over 1,200 miles of shoreline and 100 feet deep,” says Bill. “There’s not a better houseboating lake.”
Bill and Angie’s love of Lake Cumberland led them to State Dock where as president, Bill runs the marina that includes both covered and uncovered slips for boats of all sizes. Naturally it’s where the Jaspers keep their new houseboat, but with the all the recent upgrades and new features, this Lake Cumberland marina has become a popular choice for a lot of other houseboaters too.
The topside includes a custom all-aluminum full width deck with fly bridge and side rails. The large custom aluminum bar with granite two-level counter tops is a focal point of the upper deck that also includes an oversized U-shaped couch with custom upholstery, drop down 50-inch LED TV and a one-of-a-kind stainless steel captain’s bench at the helm. With this kind of a setup it’s sure to attract a lot of friends, which, according to the couple, is what they love most about houseboating.
“There are lots of friends in this lifestyle and that’s what it’s about,” adds Bill. “This is where your best friends are. People come down to the marina all winter just to be around each other and everyone is here for the same reason, and that’s to have fun and to get away. The people here work hard and well, they play hard too.”
The 106-foot long houseboat is powered by twin 5.7L MerCruiser straight inboard engines, 22.5 KW Westerbeke Generator, 12-inch thrusters front and rear and Follow Up Steering where you control the rudder by a lever at either the upper or lower helm stand.
There is a four-camera system for side and rear views that doubles as a DVR security system, a five-ton Geothermal HVAC system, plus the entire boat includes a Sonos entertainment system that allows you to control the stereo from your iPhone, anywhere on the boat. Now that’s a lot of systems. And to top it all off, there is even a KVH satellite television tracking system.
While you could make a strong case for why any of the many popular places to hang out onboard this houseboat would be, for Angie it’s in the stern.
“I especially love the back deck where everyone can sit around and talk,” says Angie. “It’s easily one of my favorite places to be.”
The back deck does complete the yacht feel with its rounded and curved design, which again is what the couple had in mind when they designed their latest Stardust. The Yacht Series houseboat turned out beautiful so who’s Cra-Sea now?