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Thread: My houseboat

  1. #1
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    My houseboat

    I am not new to boating and living on a boat. 4 years ago, I purchase a sailboat - Watkins 27. Decent living space for that size a boat. Last year, I got power boat - 28feet Carver. More "living space". I like living on a boat - peace and quiet ( not always with sailboats around on windy days). I had 2 sailboats in past, but never any one complain of my lines banging on a masts. 2 weeks ago, I got 1981 37 feet Holiday Mansion, and very disappointed with quality build. What kind of idiot will use particle board on a boat. The sleeping area was design with disregard to safety of occupants. Not only some will have to go down on knees to get there, but the only way out is small staircase - no escape hatch. Cheap wood paneling on the walls. I got a lot work to do to make it livable - replace all crumble cabinets(particle board), replace wall paneling and re-design sleeping are. Well, I got it cheap and still floats - that positive side.

  2. #2
    Senior Member easttnboater's Avatar
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    Well, it is 33 yrs old. It was not designed to last forever. As long as it has good bones and does not leak, you can rehab it however you want.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator OLD HOUSEBOATER's Avatar
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    Did you not look at the boat before you bought it? It didn't change overnight. I suggest you sell it and go back to something your more comfortable with.
    Last edited by OLD HOUSEBOATER; 11-19-2014 at 10:16 AM.
    The fries are cold so we gave you extra.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Endurance's Avatar
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    Good to hear you will be doing the work right the second time around. If you'll take time to post about the particulars of the projects as you tackle them, you will get some great input here.

  5. #5
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    The boat was almost free. I trade my 1979 Hunter 33 that I got for free, but moving that sailboat to Fl, cost me over $550. From what I saw - so far - the "bones" are in decent shape and worth restoration. About the 33 years old - I saw 1969 sailboat with inside better shape. Particle board will fall apart when get wet - year does not matter. I know, that water should be outside, but moisture will always build inside and ruin it. Time to rip apart all the wood and replace with marine plywood. The fun part has just begun.

  6. #6
    Senior Member easttnboater's Avatar
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    It sounds like it sat closed up for a long, long time to build up that much moisture without a leak. Either way, good luck and keep us up to date on your efforts.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    That cheesy construction (especially the tiny studs, particle board, tacky carpet and plastic paneling) material was exactly why we decided not to buy a ready-made houseboat. Trouble is, doing it right, with real wood and house-grade framing, is HEAVY. Ask me how I know...
    But, in fairness, we would have had 9.5 years of actual houseboating, instead of that many years of watching it come together, ever so slowly.

  8. #8
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    The wood to replace will take me around 2 months and then I have to deal with "frozen" engine. Working with engine is easy (for me), but the wood work is scary. I was never able to make straight cut. You should see my outboard bracket I made - 5 times measuring and still come out crooked. Then I will have to solve the "head" mystery - direct outboard. Maybe, I should start on the "head" first.

  9. #9
    Senior Member easttnboater's Avatar
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    Amelia - I have seen you post the same bashing of production boats multiple times. I would like to know what boats you looked at. I have owned a 1976 Sumerset, a 1989 Jamestowner, and currently a 1993 Jamestowner. My father has owned a 1996 Lakeview and currently a 2007 Lakeview. I have not seen tiny studs, particle board, tacky carpet (that is highly subjective), or plastic paneling in any of the boats I listed. According to the two transporters that have moved it, my 1993 Jamestowner weighs in at 55,000 to 60,000 lbs. Seems plenty heavy to me.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    No offense intended, easttn. To each his own, and that opinion, not bashing, just observation, is just mine. I like it well enough, enjoy the process and the misadventures, but our houseboat is really not my life's dream. If it had been just up to me, and I'd won the lottery, I'd have chosen a fine big sailboat already floating, with real teak all over the place, a good suit of sails, and set off across oceans blue to see the whole world. I wouldn't have had such great company on that journey, though, as our hero emphatically doesn't like big waves crashing over the lee rail, or his belly's reaction to all that excitement.
    I've been to several houseboat shows, though, walked many a dock, and even shopped for one or two while my BIL was in the market for an affordable used one, and as far as I can tell, at least then, all were built to similar standards, some admittedly showier and glossier than others. The ones the BIL could afford were certainly showing their age a lot more than comparably priced sailboats did, so he bought a shabby one and fixed it up. Runs in the family. Maximum square footage, head room, house-like space, and maximum number of bedrooms and heads, seem important to houseboat manufacturers and customers. (Ours only has one of each, for all its size and weight.) Light weight seemed to be a key consideration, as well as easy care, so quarter-inch paneling it often was, 2x2studs, and plastic or aluminum siding. Practical stuff. Good for inland lakes and calm weather, where actual boating was of secondary importance to house-party space. I can see the point. Different uses, different construction techniques, different places to put all that money. It didn't appeal to me nearly as much as hectares of teak and sail would have. Seeing the world has never been a priority for my shipwright, but a big-project excuse for wood butchery appealed to him. Finishing the dang thing also doesn't seem to be at the top of his list, but such is life. I cling to the hope that someday we will be far enough along on our strange effort at shantyboating to at least see some of the nearby ICW and rivers. Maybe.

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