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  1. #11
    Senior Member Bamby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by riverrats52 View Post
    Is it possible to get ABYC credentialed inspectors to inspect the boat in stages of building to affirm it is built to standards for insurance?
    I doubtful that you could actually get anyone to come to your place and inspect it in stages and even if I'm sure it would get expensive. When I did mine I took a lot of photos throughout the entire build. And like you I had to summit to the state for them for a state issued title and vin number for the boat. For me at least it was pretty painless fact is a lot less painless than I ever contemplated it would be.

    A state ODNR Officer was attending a event a a large sporting goods retailer near my place. So I packed my photo album and jotted down some notes about a few completion issues I needed clarified and went off to talk to him a bit. It was pretty darn neat he sat down and looked through the album asking a few questions here and there while also answering mine. He then said all he needed was to borrow a few photos from my album to take back to his office and he'd complete the title and vin paperwork and I should receive everything back in the mail in a week or two. He was good to his word too, rec'd it and my photo's back ans was saved the agony of hauling my boat a hundred miles of more to their usual point of inspecting such projects.

    As far as insurance goes on mine we went with declared value. We found a value that was high enough that should we have suffered a total loss we wouldn't be out much. It should have been about 10K more on the boat but they wouldn't go there so we put it in contents.
    Respect Our Recreational Resources
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    Boating on the Muskingum River
    1972 35' Crest Pontoon Houseboat
    2007 90 hp. Yamaha

  2. #12
    Junior Member
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    Thanks -good info

    Quote Originally Posted by Bamby View Post
    I doubtful that you could actually get anyone to come to your place and inspect it in stages and even if I'm sure it would get expensive. When I did mine I took a lot of photos throughout the entire build. And like you I had to summit to the state for them for a state issued title and vin number for the boat. For me at least it was pretty painless fact is a lot less painless than I ever contemplated it would be.

    A state ODNR Officer was attending a event a a large sporting goods retailer near my place. So I packed my photo album and jotted down some notes about a few completion issues I needed clarified and went off to talk to him a bit. It was pretty darn neat he sat down and looked through the album asking a few questions here and there while also answering mine. He then said all he needed was to borrow a few photos from my album to take back to his office and he'd complete the title and vin paperwork and I should receive everything back in the mail in a week or two. He was good to his word too, rec'd it and my photo's back ans was saved the agony of hauling my boat a hundred miles of more to their usual point of inspecting such projects.

    As far as insurance goes on mine we went with declared value. We found a value that was high enough that should we have suffered a total loss we wouldn't be out much. It should have been about 10K more on the boat but they wouldn't go there so we put it in contents.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Tony B's Avatar
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    Just some thoughts about personally designed and built boats.

    1).You can get insurance, but the amount of companies that will cover you are probably limited.
    2). Custom boats that are home built usually are amateurish looking and if you sell it, you will probably only get pennies on the dollar. And that make take a while. This also includes major
    modifications inside a factory built boat, such as adding cabinets and storage units that the original manufacturer had not intended. Minor changes are usually OK.
    3). Sometimes, what is already available on the market will be less expensive that what you can build yourself and quite often of a better quality. The mere fact that you came to this forum with a fairly basic question means you don't have any experience in boat design. This is not to say that you cant build a great boat. Just saying that it is unlikely.
    4). Statistically, most home built boats never get finished. There are various reasons such as the time it takes to build and the cost was way more than expected. Building a boat yourself is similar in respect to buying a 'project' boat in that your new hobby will be boat building and not playing on boats. Each person has different hobbies and interests. Boatbuilding may be yours.
    5). If you really want to build your boat "just because", I can certainly understand that. I had a commercial woodworking business after 20 years as an engineer. I built 3 boats from Glen-L designs.
    I would highly recommend their plans because of the full size patterns on the frames and their detailed instructions and their book on wooden boat building. Their assistance along the way was great.
    With purchased plan/blueprints, you will not be going into this blind. You get a materials list for free on their website. That will give you an idea of some of the costs. As far as insurance is concerned, you will have all of the technical data. If you have any questions on how to load and balance the boat, they are their. You wont over spend on an overpowered motor. If you bought their plans, they wont help you much if you purchased your own aluminum pontoons, but you could find the buoyancy of your purchased pontoons as compared to building your own from plywood and cover with fiberglass. This would help in load and balance.
    Design is very important. Over-building is not necessarily a good idea with boats, especially with wood structures. Boats are continually flexing and 'moving' in the water. Not stable like a house on solid ground. In our eagerness to make it stronger, we will be making it heavier. Home-built boats have been known to collapse under their own weight.

    I wish you the best of luck in your endeavor, whatever you choose to do.
    Houseboater at Heart
    1986 Mainship 36 Dual Cabin Pointed Ended House Boat

  4. #14
    Junior Member
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    Thank you-I have researched and decided I'm not experienced enough so I need to abandon the build it plan! I wanted to build it because I wanted my floor plan backwards (salon and galley in back) and back deck the biggest for more use than front deck, and I've not seen ANY boat that way-so maybe there are reasons should not be done or just no one else would want one that way? Thanks for all the info everyone. Now to get the house we live in sold so we can buy!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony B View Post
    Just some thoughts about personally designed and built boats.

    1).You can get insurance, but the amount of companies that will cover you are probably limited.
    2). Custom boats that are home built usually are amateurish looking and if you sell it, you will probably only get pennies on the dollar. And that make take a while. This also includes major
    modifications inside a factory built boat, such as adding cabinets and storage units that the original manufacturer had not intended. Minor changes are usually OK.
    3). Sometimes, what is already available on the market will be less expensive that what you can build yourself and quite often of a better quality. The mere fact that you came to this forum with a fairly basic question means you don't have any experience in boat design. This is not to say that you cant build a great boat. Just saying that it is unlikely.
    4). Statistically, most home built boats never get finished. There are various reasons such as the time it takes to build and the cost was way more than expected. Building a boat yourself is similar in respect to buying a 'project' boat in that your new hobby will be boat building and not playing on boats. Each person has different hobbies and interests. Boatbuilding may be yours.
    5). If you really want to build your boat "just because", I can certainly understand that. I had a commercial woodworking business after 20 years as an engineer. I built 3 boats from Glen-L designs.
    I would highly recommend their plans because of the full size patterns on the frames and their detailed instructions and their book on wooden boat building. Their assistance along the way was great.
    With purchased plan/blueprints, you will not be going into this blind. You get a materials list for free on their website. That will give you an idea of some of the costs. As far as insurance is concerned, you will have all of the technical data. If you have any questions on how to load and balance the boat, they are their. You wont over spend on an overpowered motor. If you bought their plans, they wont help you much if you purchased your own aluminum pontoons, but you could find the buoyancy of your purchased pontoons as compared to building your own from plywood and cover with fiberglass. This would help in load and balance.
    Design is very important. Over-building is not necessarily a good idea with boats, especially with wood structures. Boats are continually flexing and 'moving' in the water. Not stable like a house on solid ground. In our eagerness to make it stronger, we will be making it heavier. Home-built boats have been known to collapse under their own weight.

    I wish you the best of luck in your endeavor, whatever you choose to do.

  5. #15
    Senior Member Tony B's Avatar
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    Little Tennessee River (Tellico Lak) near Knoxville
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    I think you made a wise decision. I'm sure if you look hard enough, you will find a houseboat that fits your needs or can be modified to your personal likes without too much work.
    Check out places like yachtworld.com and search all of the manufacturers. Look at their layouts and see if you can retro fit any of them to your likings. Then, look for a used boat in your price range.
    Hope you don't abandon this forum. Many people join forums and take several years to actually find and buy their dream.
    Houseboater at Heart
    1986 Mainship 36 Dual Cabin Pointed Ended House Boat

  6. #16
    Senior Member easttnboater's Avatar
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    There are reverse layout houseboats out there. It is a relatively new design. Some folks on my dock just had a new Thoroughbred 17.5 x 80 delivered with the reverse layout. Inside it is very, very nice. It does look funny from the outside though.

  7. #17
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    oh I won't abandon this forum! I'm learning too much info. I been looking at used boats on internet for 8 years-since we sold house to live aboard and husband changed mind at last minute. Now he wants to again and now we have another house to sell first! Just thought I would go ahead and start now if build--but decided to buy so have to sell house first! I wanted reverse floor plan so when at dock can look behind at water instead of at houseboat across dock--back to dreaming again instead of making a reality. temporary though--when house sells houseboat here I come-with or without hubby--sounds awful to those who don't know me I know.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony B View Post
    I think you made a wise decision. I'm sure if you look hard enough, you will find a houseboat that fits your needs or can be modified to your personal likes without too much work.
    Check out places like yachtworld.com and search all of the manufacturers. Look at their layouts and see if you can retro fit any of them to your likings. Then, look for a used boat in your price range.
    Hope you don't abandon this forum. Many people join forums and take several years to actually find and buy their dream.

  8. #18
    Junior Member
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    So I'm not the only crazy one with backward ideals!! Much too big houseboat for my pocketbook though!

    Quote Originally Posted by easttnboater View Post
    There are reverse layout houseboats out there. It is a relatively new design. Some folks on my dock just had a new Thoroughbred 17.5 x 80 delivered with the reverse layout. Inside it is very, very nice. It does look funny from the outside though.

  9. #19
    Senior Member Tony B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by riverrats52 View Post
    ................ I wanted reverse floor plan so when at dock can look behind at water instead of at houseboat across dock--................

    I'm really confused now.
    If its the view you want, you can either pull in or back into a slip. I've never heard of any rules on that.
    We always pull into a slip so that we can be on back deck in privacy. Not only a better view, but we don't have to see people going up and down the dock.
    Houseboater at Heart
    1986 Mainship 36 Dual Cabin Pointed Ended House Boat

  10. #20
    Senior Member Endurance's Avatar
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    Tony, I think you're going the same direction (sorry, bad pun) as the original poster. The difference is that, unlike pointy-end boat, a usual houseboat has most of the living area like the salon and the galley at the front of the boat. A typical houseboat has the master suite at the back of the boat. So making what the original poster called a reverse layout would put the galley and salon at the back of the boat, much like your boat is now.

    It's true that, in theory, you could just back a houseboat into a slip. Maybe I lack docking skills, but I think that would be more difficulty than I would want to tackle on every boating trip. It might serve someone well if they had what I call a "slip queen" that rarely went out on the water.

    The real beauty of a reverse-design houseboat if you find yourself beaching on boring shoreline. With the galley and salon at the back of the boat, you do your cooking and living at the back of the boat where you have unobstructed view of the water. The reverse layout has less appeal if you like to watch your kids build sandcastles on the beach.

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