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Tillerman7
06-23-2015, 06:13 AM
My name is James and I live in Cincinnati. That being said, I am wanting to come back to boating. As a child my family had a 47' Watercraft houseboat, which we sold when I was 13. As I mentioned, it has taken a while but I long for the friendship of the boating community once again.

It seems that the houseboats I remember growing up are a thing of the past. Am I wrong, or does it seem that there are very few boat manufacturers what actually make what I would call a traditional houseboat. Aluminum hull and top structure, not the current pontoon or RV trailer that floats. Not that there is anything wrong with these :D, just not my style. It seems these boats have given way to the tug/cruiser/trawler, or am I just missing something.

I guess my question is are there still quality houseboats out there? If so, who are the manufaturers? What are the benefits of gas vs diesel? I seem to think that a diesel would be more efficient, but they seem even harder to find. Can the modern day houseboats make the great loop without having to worry about weather? Is there a benefit of a new vs older boat?



Any information on houseboating or similar boats to this style would be great.

GoVols
06-23-2015, 06:58 AM
Houseboat manufacturers in this region for you to consider would be Sailabration, Destination Yachts, Sumerset, Startdust, Thouroughbred. Any one of these companies would be able to build you any boat you want.

To get an idea of what's available out there, look up any website that has boats for sale and just look at all the pictures. Prices go as high as your dreams. Good luck!
www.houseboatsbuyterry.com
www.boattrader.com

desimulacra
06-23-2015, 07:30 AM
Welcome James,
GoVols sent you in the right direction, also I am sure you have read this recent thread http://www.houseboatmagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?1372-Houseboat-Builder-and-Location-Advice it has some go info. The great thing is the Aluminum houseboats of the past are mostly still in good shape. The life of an aluminum hull is basically as yet unknown (they are still afloat).
The only reason I would go with a diesel is if I was planning on doing a lot of traveling. Then a houseboat, like most on this site, are not really ideal.

As a side note we were sitting out at Rock Port Bluffs the other day and a houseboat went by with gas engines that was very quiet then 1 mile behind it came an aluminum houseboat with diesels that was extremely noisy. I mean the engines were loud. More so in front than the rear. I was wondering if the hull was projecting the sound. Anyone?
Good luck and keep us posted.

Tillerman7
06-23-2015, 07:34 AM
Houseboat manufacturers in this region for you to consider would be Sailabration, Destination Yachts, Sumerset, Startdust, Thouroughbred. Any one of these companies would be able to build you any boat you want.

To get an idea of what's available out there, look up any website that has boats for sale and just look at all the pictures. Prices go as high as your dreams. Good luck!
www.houseboatsbuyterry.com
www.boattrader.com

Thank you. I am not sure that a new build is for me. I am looking for a 44-50' boat for my family and I. What is the typical cost (yes, I know there are lots of factors) for a new build?

Tillerman7
06-23-2015, 07:37 AM
So, the cost of fuel of gas vs diesel dosen't really come into play? There isn't a benefit on GPH on gas vs diesel?

GoVols
06-23-2015, 07:53 AM
There's always a benefit for diesel when fuel consumption comes into play, but you'll need to put a LOT of hours on them in order to recoup your money from initial investment, as diesels are significantly more expensive than gasers.

An interesting spin I saw recently was gas propulsion engines, but a diesel generator. THAT IS AN EXCELLENT COMBO!

Tillerman7
06-23-2015, 07:58 AM
Welcome James,
GoVols sent you in the right direction, also I am sure you have read this recent thread http://www.houseboatmagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?1372-Houseboat-Builder-and-Location-Advice it has some go info. The great thing is the Aluminum houseboats of the past are mostly still in good shape. The life of an aluminum hull is basically as yet unknown (they are still afloat).
The only reason I would go with a diesel is if I was planning on doing a lot of traveling. Then a houseboat, like most on this site, are not really ideal.

As a side note we were sitting out at Rock Port Bluffs the other day and a houseboat went by with gas engines that was very quiet then 1 mile behind it came an aluminum houseboat with diesels that was extremely noisy. I mean the engines were loud. More so in front than the rear. I was wondering if the hull was projecting the sound. Anyone?
Good luck and keep us posted.

So, this site here is aimed more towards the larger houseboats that are more stationary or am I missing something regarding your post. " The only reason I would go with a diesel is if I was planning on doing a lot of traveling. Then a houseboat, like most on this site, are not really ideal. " Please advise.

GoVols
06-23-2015, 08:34 AM
The wide body boats are more comfortable for inland lakes where you leasurly cruise to an anchor spot and stay the week / weekend and then go back to the dock for the next work week. If you want to cruise in the intercoastal or will go in salt water, you'll most likely need a cabin cruiser or a costal-going fiberglass houseboat that has a more pronounced bow that's capable of taking the waves.

Gibson is making boats again. Their boats can doing the intercoastal waterways or The Great Loop.

Tillerman7
06-23-2015, 09:17 AM
The wide body boats are more comfortable for inland lakes where you leasurly cruise to an anchor spot and stay the week / weekend and then go back to the dock for the next work week. If you want to cruise in the intercoastal or will go in salt water, you'll most likely need a cabin cruiser or a costal-going fiberglass houseboat that has a more pronounced bow that's capable of taking the waves.

Gibson is making boats again. Their boats can doing the intercoastal waterways or The Great Loop.

Gibson is making boats again? I have had no luck in contacting them. Can you please point me to where you found that information?

GoVols
06-23-2015, 10:45 AM
Someone posted a thread on here several months ago about Gibson reopening. Not sure of the status, but here's their website and phone.
http://www.gibsonboats.com/default.htm
(615) 325-9320

desimulacra
06-23-2015, 10:48 AM
What Go Vols said

easttnboater
06-23-2015, 12:35 PM
Gas propulsion and diesel generator - maybe not as great as you think. Typically diesel generators are paired with diesel propulsion. Because of this, in general, diesel generators are not spark protected. So, I would want to make sure that the diesel generator was fully spark protected/enclosed.

It sounds like the OP is looking for something along the lines of a Hilburn or a small Pluckebaum or maybe a Monticello - a river type houseboat made to cruise and made of aluminum.

OLD HOUSEBOATER
06-23-2015, 05:25 PM
There are 2 types of houseboats. Lake Style which may have a mono hull or 2 or more pontoons or hulls and Cruising which has a cruiser hull and lots of power for traveling and operation in more weather. NOTE: not blue water.

Your probably remembering Gibson, Harbor Master, KingsCraft, Pluckebaum etc. Currently Pluckebaum is still building but the others have gone bye bye.

With fuel costs being what they are Lake Boats with small engines are the norm. Good used boats are still the best all around deal. If you plan on extensive traveling Diesel is the way to go. All that being said diesel houseboats (other than Pluckebaum) are few and far between.

Tillerman7
06-24-2015, 05:21 AM
Someone posted a thread on here several months ago about Gibson reopening. Not sure of the status, but here's their website and phone.
http://www.gibsonboats.com/default.htm
(615) 325-9320

That is there old site. None of the numbers work that are attached to the page. Also, the newest boat they have listed there is a spec sheet for 2012 boats. The main page states they are looking for someone to purchase their business. FYI

Tillerman7
06-24-2015, 05:23 AM
There are 2 types of houseboats. Lake Style which may have a mono hull or 2 or more pontoons or hulls and Cruising which has a cruiser hull and lots of power for traveling and operation in more weather. NOTE: not blue water.

Your probably remembering Gibson, Harbor Master, KingsCraft, Pluckebaum etc. Currently Pluckebaum is still building but the others have gone bye bye.

With fuel costs being what they are Lake Boats with small engines are the norm. Good used boats are still the best all around deal. If you plan on extensive traveling Diesel is the way to go. All that being said diesel houseboats (other than Pluckebaum) are few and far between.

Thank you Old Houseboater! I have found a Gibson diesel and gas that I like. Just nervous about a wood and fiberglass boat. Mainly the wood super structure. My old boat was aluminum, which felt like it was built like a battleship.

boatlover
06-24-2015, 05:55 AM
Just nervous about a wood and fiberglass boat. Mainly the wood super structure. My old boat was aluminum, which felt like it was built like a battleship.

You should be. Plywood decks with thin a fiberglass covering. I owned a older Gibson product and over time had to replace every piece of the lower deck. I completely redid the interior and was shocked at how cheaply they were constructed. I went aluminum with a Pluckebaum and would never go back. In addition the aluminum will hold its value unlike the fiberglass. IMO worth the higher initial cost.

OLD HOUSEBOATER
06-24-2015, 05:59 AM
If your buying a boat for the long term Aluminum is the only way to go. Pluckebaum is the best you can buy. We lived aboard our 55 for 7 years. Best of our lives.

Tillerman7
06-24-2015, 06:28 AM
Old Housboater/Boatlover:

Thank you so much for the information. It's very hard to decipher all the different opinions and facts. So swear by the Gibson others swear it off. Cost like always, is a big concern. If it were possible, I'd love to commission a new Pluckebaum boat, but that isn't in the cards. At this point, I have three boats I am looking at heavily. Two are Gibson (one gas (2005) the other diesel (2006)) and one Pluckebaum houseboat (1995). The Pluckebaum is much older which also makes me nervous about all the hidden gremlins.

Advice?

desimulacra
06-24-2015, 12:08 PM
Just an fyi my old Sumerset is a 77 and I tested the hull 5 years ago with a D meter and the thickness was all with new spec. I don't know about the Pluckebaum, lol could not spell it, but I hear they are great boats. Everyone will recommend a survey before you buy. Most of the big problems from aluminum houseboats seem to come from the roof. If it is not maintained replacing is costly, course this applies to all types of boats.

boatlover
06-24-2015, 03:08 PM
Tillerman

I would not be afraid of the 95 Plucke. All used boats can have small issues but if the structure is sound the rest can be addressed. The Plucke is 100% aluminum, there is no roof to replace as it is aluminum also. The only wood is paneling, cabinets and the sub floor. A couple years ago I asked Dennis Pluckebaum " Since you started building boats how many have been damaged beyond repair and scrapped " . The answer was ZERO . They are truly forever boats.

42gibson
06-25-2015, 03:18 AM
You should be. Plywood decks with thin a fiberglass covering. I owned a older Gibson product and over time had to replace every piece of the lower deck. I completely redid the interior and was shocked at how cheaply they were constructed. I went aluminum with a Pluckebaum and would never go back. In addition the aluminum will hold its value unlike the fiberglass. IMO worth the higher initial cost.
this is the truth! I've had 2 Gibsons and put a fortune in repairing rot. the one we have now was 34,000 to repair the decks and roof. they use cheap yellow pine and when water gets to it(and it will) it delamiminates and rots costing a fortune to fix. if your looking for long run get aluminum..

OLD HOUSEBOATER
06-25-2015, 07:30 AM
I would take the 95 Pluckebaum over any thing else. New or not.



Old Housboater/Boatlover:

Thank you so much for the information. It's very hard to decipher all the different opinions and facts. So swear by the Gibson others swear it off. Cost like always, is a big concern. If it were possible, I'd love to commission a new Pluckebaum boat, but that isn't in the cards. At this point, I have three boats I am looking at heavily. Two are Gibson (one gas (2005) the other diesel (2006)) and one Pluckebaum houseboat (1995). The Pluckebaum is much older which also makes me nervous about all the hidden gremlins.

Advice?

42gibson
06-25-2015, 09:44 AM
I would take the 95 Pluckebaum over any thing else. New or not.

the best advise you can get.

desimulacra
06-25-2015, 11:07 AM
Tillerman

I would not be afraid of the 95 Plucke. All used boats can have small issues but if the structure is sound the rest can be addressed. The Plucke is 100% aluminum, there is no roof to replace as it is aluminum also. The only wood is paneling, cabinets and the sub floor. A couple years ago I asked Dennis Pluckebaum " Since you started building boats how many have been damaged beyond repair and scrapped " . The answer was ZERO . They are truly forever boats.

Wow that seems great! What is the boat constructed of? Aluminum over foam in a sandwich? Is it quiet?

Bamby
06-25-2015, 02:12 PM
All the talk going on here about them led me off to view a few of them. They seem pretty attractive and timeless in design and I ran into an older one I'd simply haft to see if I were in the market for one. 1970 Pluckebaum 52' x 18' (http://www.starvedrockmarina.com/52--1970-pluckebaum-house-boat.html) Aluminum Houseboat . It's 10 grand cheaper on this posting than any of the other posting I found on this boat, and take a look at his photo album on the posting plus a lot of sweet features including diesel power.

OLD HOUSEBOATER
06-25-2015, 04:54 PM
I live Pluckebaums but that one is ugly.

Tillerman7
06-26-2015, 10:25 AM
I agree... it is not attractive at all!

boatlover
06-26-2015, 10:58 AM
The evolution of design in 21 years.

http://i944.photobucket.com/albums/ad290/picabo1/Plucke/1983625_1.jpg (http://s944.photobucket.com/user/picabo1/media/Plucke/1983625_1.jpg.html)

Stmbtwle
06-26-2015, 06:05 PM
Beautiful, but I HATE split-levels...

OLD HOUSEBOATER
06-29-2015, 07:06 AM
They also make single levels. Our 55 was single. My wife is mobility impaired so it was perfect for us.

JTAlberts
06-29-2015, 07:18 AM
Just a note. That 55x18 Pluckebaum has a bit of nostalgia attached to it. That was the very first boat the Dennis Pluckebaum rolled out of his shop under the Pluckebaum Custom Houseboat name. I heard this straight from Dennis. That owner had Pluckebaum add the enclosed flybridge to it after the fact and Dennis drove it up river with a bunch of friends to deliver it back to the owner. The owner said they used it for one year after that and it has sat dormant since. Ugly but a fantastic buy.

42gibson
06-29-2015, 09:42 AM
if that's the case, have that cabin taken off and a flybridge added and it should still be a bargain.

Tillerman7
06-30-2015, 07:24 AM
Thanks for the information. We are still reviewing the options.

boatlover
06-30-2015, 08:17 AM
Good Luck with what ever you decide on. Be sure to come back and post pics of your new boat.

Dave

Tillerman7
07-07-2015, 02:17 PM
I'm concerned that that draft on the 95 Plucke is 4'. That would make beaching very difficult. Thoughts?

JTAlberts
07-07-2015, 06:01 PM
Mountaineer can talk more about this, but he has a 65' Plucke and has no issue beaching. It will make a really nice cut in the beach so make sure it is deep sand and not dirt with rocks under.

Dockmaster
11-19-2015, 10:12 PM
bluewaters-boatel