How To Keep Your Houseboat Cool During Summer

May 2017 Feature Ben Winslow, Deseret News

Life on the water can be exciting, but you should always take proper measures to keep the family cool and comfortable all season long. Houseboat living is all about embracing the all-weather conditions of summer. From rain, to storm, to breeze, to boiling, owners want to be prepared for everything. 

While you may think there are few cooling options for people docking at the marina, there are actually tons of interior design tips you can consider to keep your houseboat cool in more ways than one.

Here are some helpful pointers for keeping your houseboat cool in temperature—and style—all through the dog days of summer.

1. Let The Winds Be Your Guide

If you don’t have the luxury of a deluxe AC system, then you’ll want to work with Mother Nature’s gifts. Keep your cross-ventilation windows open when there’s a breeze, and enjoy the cool, crisp air as it skims off the water’s surface. You can also open doors and upper deck hatches for added ventilation. With some gorgeous nautical valances or other drapery, your space will be both comfortable and beautiful.

2. Keep the Drinks Cold—And Flowing

Even with a refrigerator, space is tight aboard the high seas. Invest in lots of cooler tubs and other drinkware accessories designed specifically for entertaining in the outdoors. From the upper deck to the galley and beyond, you’ll have an icy-cold beverage available at a moment’s notice.

The merciless summer sun makes it difficult to keep your liquids at the perfect icy freeze. Stock your boat's bar with insulated tumblers and other glasses. Today, retailers offer gorgeous, elegant outdoor ice buckets and coolers that will transform your space with stylish flair. Of course, complement your practical décor with some quality coasters to protect your houseboat’s various surfaces.

3. Decorate With Sophistication & Charm—But Sparingly

When a room feels cluttered, you can’t help but feel hot and claustrophobic. Not to mention, large furniture and heavy fabrics impede air circulation, making your small houseboat living room or bedroom swelter with humidity. When choosing furnishings for your floating maritime retreat, stick with light, airy materials and sleek, slim lines.

A thinly-constructed rocking chair provides timeless style and relaxation, while a classic nautical cotton sheet set is soft and cool to the touch. Remember that spare doesn’t necessarily mean cheap. You can still fill your space with gorgeous decorative finds, but furnish smartly. Choose pillows designed with outdoor materials for optimal breathability, and stick with cool woods and metals for your formal furniture.

4. Fan It Out—With Antique Flair 

Think outside the box when beautifying your ocean abode, and always keep practicality in mind. At the thought of a floor or table fan, many minds wander to the trailer park. But what about a stunning old-world design made of cherry wood or class metallic fixtures? Many designers offer unique cooling solutions that won’t clash with the rustic maritime design of your dreamboat; in fact, they'll enhance them. 

In short, there are many strategic decisions you can make to maximize cool conditions on your houseboat during those unbearable summer days. And remember—“cool” doesn’t just mean cold. You should never compromise traditional nautical elegance, so even when the heat rises, your coastal dwelling will remain as sophisticated and stylish as ever.

About The Author

Nicole LoCicero is a decorator, homemaker and mother living in Raleigh, NC. Her love of the ocean drove her to open Interior By Design is a recurring column in Houseboat magazine.

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