From The Forums: The Hull Truth

April 2017

One forum member recently started a conversation about the pros and cons of different hull types:

Truckerbill: Just for discussion sake, would you rather have a fiberglass or aluminum hull? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each? Which is better if used "occasionally" in brackish/saltwater? Inboard, I/O, or outboard?
I have done some cruising on the traditional flat-bottomed houseboats. I’ve only been on one that had a semi-planing hull and it was an "okay" ride but seemed to rock and roll when stopped a good bit. I have cruised a bit on pontoon hulls also and found they seemed too close to the water (very little freeboard). While stable at anchor, I just couldn't stop wondering if a big wake came up how much wash would come on deck. I got to go recently for a nice ride on a Power Catamaran (48-footer). I was really pleasantly surprised at how well it rode, took waves, how little draft it had, and how fuel efficient it was. It got me to thinking about if a houseboat cabin layout was built on the cat hull, wouldn't it be the best of both worlds? Does anyone build such a beast? What are the forum’s thoughts?

easttnboater: There was one of these on my previous dock. It is basically three rooms inside—kitchen/den/dining, bathroom, and bedroom. The basic construction was much more like a motor home than a houseboat.
Would it work as a liveaboard? Depends on what you want. They are small boats with very limited outside deck space.

desimulacra: We have had two at our dock; one’s still there. Very well built and seem to hold up well. One had a wash down interior and the present one is being used every weekend. There was also a Lil Hobo the next dock over and he was out on the water every weekend. I like those Catamaran Cruisers and they are built one town over from me.

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