From The Helm

Published in the May 2013 Issue May 2013 News Brady L. Kay

For the last few years we’ve added the “I Love Houseboating” logo to the pages of our magazine. Okay, so how many of you just looked at the bottom of this page to verify? It’s really there for those who stayed focused and continued reading.

The idea actually started at our On Water Expo when we first launched the theme on t-shirts one year. It’s a simple, yet effective, way for houseboaters to show their love for the unique lifestyle of houseboating that can never be duplicated. We’re proud of our love for this industry and that’s something we’ll never back down from.

Last summer I was walking the docks while sporting my I Love Houseboating t-shirt when I ran into a man who is well-known in this industry whom I’ve been working with for years. When he saw my shirt, he smirked a little and began to give me a hard time by questioning just how much I could possibly love houseboating.

“You love houseboating, yet you live in Idaho,” he continued to press. “How can you really claim to love houseboating when you’re so far from the lakes in Kentucky and Tennessee, which are dominated by houseboats?”

This seemed a little harsh, especially coming from someone who does own a houseboat on a large lake, but mostly leaves his boat at the dock. In the real estate business they say it’s all about location. But for me, you can’t possibly measure my passion based on where I call home.

I asked him if he’s ever spent a week on Lake Powell in Utah where all you see is red rock when you step off the bow of the houseboat. Or fed the deer at Lake Shasta in Northern California while anchored in a secluded cove? He’s probably never houseboated on Lake Ouachita in Arkansas either, which just happens to be one of the cleanest lakes in the U.S. where I was able to spear a fish in the clear water.

What about alligator hunting on the St. Johns River in Florida, cruising Lake Texoma in Texas, or sleeping on the top deck after a blues concert on the Mississippi River? Or how about houseboating just over the border on the beautiful lakes in British Columbia?

As representatives of Houseboat magazine we’ve stayed on big boats, old boats, expensive boats, first boats and yes, I’ve even slept on a houseboat once owned by Hugh Heffner! We’ve traveled long distances on SkipperLiners, Gibsons, Sumersets and others. Yeah, we love houseboating and you know what? We’re proud of it too.

My intention is not to add another verse to “I've Been Everywhere” by Johnny Cash, but rather to let people know we really are passionate about houseboating and that our location allows us to be in position to cover the U.S. and beyond and not just one region of this great country. Don’t get me wrong, I still proclaim Kentucky to be the houseboat capital of the world, but there are a lot of other great places where people enjoy houseboating just as much who are just as passionate about houseboating.

Take it from me, I’ve visited these places and I’ll continue to explore and find great destinations to cover in our national publication. Why? Not because it’s my job, but because houseboating in my passion. And it’s why I’m able to wear my shirt with pride and let everyone know, I Love Houseboating.


[Pull Quote] “My intention is not to add another verse to “I've Been Everywhere” by Johnny Cash, but rather to let people know we really are passionate about houseboating.”

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