I'm new here and just beginning my research into houseboats. I am
really interested in ending up with something I can live on, but
that I can also island hop the Caribbean with. Kind of like living
out of your car sounded glorious as a teenager.
I would be looking for a residential mooring somewhere in the
southeast, preferably fairly close to a major airport (Miami would
Unfortunately, due to a recent divorce I'm in about the same
financial condition as a teenager, so to describe what I'm looking
for in a houseboat. CHEAP, RELIABLE, and SEAWORTHY all come
to mind. LARGE would also be good, but I can be flexible on that.
I could care less about luxury and age though.
So to anyone who could help point me in the right direction to
start looking for my dreamboat, I would be much obliged.
I dont think you can safely "island hop" with any houseboat. You do get more living space for the money with a houseboat but if you seriously think you take the boat into open water then you would be better served to quit looking at houseboats.
The cheapest boats that I've seen that have decent living space also are some of the 1970's Carvers. The aft cabins are most popular whereas some of the uglier models like the 33 ft Mariners could probably be lived on and go for around $10,000. Not sure if any come with diesels which would be safer and much more desired.
If it were me I'd try find a good deal on a solid trawler type boat (I like Mainships, Marine Traders, etc) with a single diesel drive. I think I could live on a mid 30 foot trawler and it would be much safer in open water as well as much more fuel efficient.
1973 Chris Craft Aquahome, 34' Lake Lanier, GA
Hi Crab/ Have you checked with Yachtworld.com? I punched in 'trawlers", USA, and $1000-30,000. Came up with a list of about 50 boats. There are several other categories of boats that might fit the bill, too.
Your question of moorings is much tougher. Florida is one of the places where moorings are rapidly getting outlawed. I am fairly familiar with the waters of the major ports on the Chesapeake Bay, and you don't see hardly any moorings here, either. I do remember seeing several boats more-or-less permanently anchored in Georgetown, SC, but that may not last very much longer. Let me know the results of your research on this subject.
lookin' for adventure and the next wild engine!