Houseboat Forum Spotlight: Amelia

Published in the May 2014 Issue May 2014 News

There are a lot of great forum members on our site and one of our favorites is Amelia, aka Amelia “Mimi” and Rob Reiheld. We followed up with Amelia and these are some of her thoughts on her entirely homemade houseboat.


1. Tell us about your houseboat. Our houseboat is laughably unconventional. While we think it is almost 75 percent finished, it still has a good 75 percent left to go. And that has taken 10 years, not including the 50 prior years of dreams and idle doodles when Rob’s Family Medicine practice permitted. You do the math.


2. What would be your dream houseboat vacation? The dreams have downsized as the project drags on. Doing the Great Loop is looking less and less likely. Now the wildest limits of our cruising ambitions extend from the northern Chesapeake to maybe as far as Charleston, S.C. I will be tickled to go dip our toes in the  Atlantic ICW, a two-day voyage from here, and thus emboldened, scale it up from there.  


3. What’s your favorite meal onboard? Pardon my derisive snort. I am actually looking forward to a real galley, with running water and a stove. Thanks to my eagle eye on second-hand websites, we now own these components, but the cabinetry to contain them still exists only in my imagination. One of these days, we WILL serve fresh-caught striped bass, marinated and grilled on the rear deck, baby lettuces, tomatoes and herbs harvested from the top deck flowerpots, fine (boxed) wine from the cellar.


4. How did you decide on the name Lotus Eater for your boat? Remember from Homer's Odyssey? Those worthless bums who seduced poor Odysseus's crew with lovely food, strong drink, and sloth, not to mention other, ahem, amusements? The sailors longed to linger in "the land where it was forever afternoon," and never wanted to return to harsh reality as they knew it. Who could blame them?


Make sure you view the complete interview on the website at so you can check out the photos. Thank you so much Amelia and Rob for all that you contribute to this forum.

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