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Thread: Houseboat in Salt Water in Florida

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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Houseboat in Salt Water in Florida

    I am DYING for a houseboat. In a perfect world I would have one of the houseboats that they have on the lakes that are on pontoon hulls with the slides on the back. But I realize that isnt practical in salt water. Has anyone done this? My dream boat is a huge houseboat. Just dont know if our waters around here will allow it. We live in the Panhandle of Florida. Boat would be kept at a marina.

  2. #2
    Senior Member GoVols's Avatar
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    There's an 80' Sumerset in Harbor Bay, Destin, FL that's been there for several years. I was at the West Marine store nearby the harbor and struck up a conversation with the clerk about that boat. Very surprisingly, he and a few other guys were commissioned to sail that boat from somewhere in TX through the ICW to get to Destin. He said it was the scarriest thing he's ever done and wouldn't do it again. They ignored a storm warning and figured they'd be find on the ICW, but apparently waves were crashing over the front porch regularly and the captain had the CG in constant contact due to fears of sinking during the storm. They got tossed around a lot and had chairs and tables fall over as well as dishes falling out of the cabinets. What's more, when those giant cruisers would fly by on plane, they'd throw a tidalwave-like wake, which would break over the bow of the houseboat as well. The owner only takes the vessel out to Crab Island by the Ft. Walton bridge when he wants to party, so it never navigates much more than 1 nautical mile from dock to anchor point.

    The clerk told me that he's doing the maintenance on the boat and regularly changes out "tons" of anodes that line the entire hull and outdrives to prevent galvanic corrosion.

    Having an aluminum hull in salt water can be done, it's just a LOT more preventative maintenance. Also, your resale value will tank as not many wise boaters would want to mess with it after that.
    Formerly owned a 16X69' Sailabration

    Bet On Another Thousand

  3. #3
    Super Moderator OLD HOUSEBOATER's Avatar
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    Fiberglass houseboats don't fare any worse than fiberglass cruisers if yo change out the deck hardware.
    The fries are cold so we gave you extra.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Bamby's Avatar
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    How about something like this:



    It appears to have about everything a person needs except maybe if they had a large family.
    Last edited by Bamby; 02-27-2016 at 04:36 PM. Reason: to insert video properly
    Respect Our Recreational Resources
    Leaving Only "Footprints of your Passing"

    Boating on the Muskingum River
    1972 35' Crest Pontoon Houseboat
    2007 90 hp. Yamaha

  5. #5
    Super Moderator OLD HOUSEBOATER's Avatar
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    Dosen't work
    The fries are cold so we gave you extra.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Frantically Relaxing's Avatar
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    why do people take tall narrow vertical phone videos of short wide stuff?
    1988 SkipperLiner 53x14
    1995 Tracker Party Cruiser 32
    2002 Regal 2860 Commodore
    1987 Sea Ray 21' Seville midcabin
    2000 Allegro Bus 40' DP

  7. #7
    Senior Member BananaTom's Avatar
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    I had a 36 foot Gibson in Pensacola, kept it a Bahia Mar Marina on Bayou Chico

  8. #8
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    I also am interested in putting a houseboat in saltwater. My wife and i's dream is to become liveaboards on a 40+ foot houseboat in the Keys. I have been looking for a boat but I had some questions and some things that need confirmation to my thinking.

    1. V-drives better for saltwater or should I look at repowering with outboards? I think I/O's would be to much of a hastle on a full time liveaboard on mooring( to many critters trying to live aboard)

    2. Looking to be self relient i.e.
    Solar power for most electrical needs like lighting and maybe small refrigerator. Going to try and use mostly 12VDC or 24VDC
    Propane will be used for cooking and main refrigerator.
    Also a small generator for air conditioning if I can't figure out a way to have it without a generator. ( im a HVAC technician)

    What hulls should I be looking at, I know nothing like flat bottom aluminum type house boats in the 50+
    I was looking at hulls like the Gibson, Chris Craft aquahome, in fiberglass I already read the NEW BEE WARNING no steel for me although I know large ships are made of steel and I also could make repairs myself as I can weld.

    Would also be looking at having a composting toilet and only having to have a grey water tank and pump out (Didn't know if I could maybe get discount on pump out because of grey water only)

    Rain water catch system to collect rainwater to help offset showers and freshwater trips to land. My wife also wants a tub so anyway to offset that water consumer is any help.
    We have friends that live on a floating home there and I just like the idea of being able to move or get out of dodge if severe weather comes. Also would like to take it down the Mississippi River from STL to get on the tenn-Tom then hopscotch down gulf Coast to final destination FLORIDA KEYS!!!!!

    I have done a lot of research but I think experience is always better then hypotheticals any day.
    Last edited by FinsToTheRight; 04-20-2016 at 06:28 PM. Reason: Thought of more to add

  9. #9
    Senior Member GoVols's Avatar
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    I have a 2006 model aluminum pontoon 16x69 houseboat with twin Honda Marine outboards for sale. It’s in Nashville and could be sailed down the Mississippi to get to where you’re going…..
    Formerly owned a 16X69' Sailabration

    Bet On Another Thousand

  10. #10
    Super Moderator OLD HOUSEBOATER's Avatar
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    STRONGLY suggest you purchase an inexpensive boat and get 4 to 5 years experience as an owner behind you. Your dreams are all do able BUT with no experience you would be overwhelmed and give up

    Primary navigation skills are not enough to do what you want to do and go where you are going. Boat handling experience is needed because you will be going in areas that require rough water capability and a cool head.

    A houseboat is really not recommended for this trip.Yes it's been done BUT more have given up than completed the trip.

    If your determined to do do the house boat living bit I strongly suggest the Tennessee River in the Alabama Kentucky Mississippi area. (We lived aboard for 7 years)

    Anchored out in the KEYs on a hot Florida summer is really unrealistic.

    If you bound and determined, buy the boat you want and Truck it to the location of your choice.

    PM Tony B, He's been there,done that.

    Rodeny
    Last edited by OLD HOUSEBOATER; 04-21-2016 at 01:22 PM.
    The fries are cold so we gave you extra.

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