Pat Pendleton’s Houseboat Cottage

December 2017 Feature Heather Magda Serrano Web Exclusive

Pat Pendleton had never been a boater or owned a houseboat, but she knew she wanted to make an investment that could double as a weekend getaway spot.

She found exactly what she was looking for in houseboats. Pendleton designed her perfect houseboat getaway and launched her new boat at Lake Cumberland on 16 May 2017.


As the owner of her own business, Unker’s Multi-Purpose Therapeutic Products, Pendleton isn’t afraid of trying new things and she has the flexibility to work remotely so long as she has an internet connection. Recently, her company celebrated 35 years of successful business.

It came as a surprise to everyone, including herself, when she decided to buy a houseboat since she wasn’t a boater and had never even been to Lake Cumberland. However, it’s a choice that she couldn’t be happier about.

“For me it was a great decision,” shared Pendleton. “I see it as something that will bring people together.”

Pendleton plans on spending lots of time in her new houseboat cottage with friends and family. She has grandkids in their twenties and she knows this will be a fun place to spend the weekend together with them.

She doesn’t plan to drive her boat around, so it is permanently docked at a slip in Lee’s Ford Marina. Her houseboat cottage is 16-feet wide and 84-feet long with five bedrooms and two full baths. There’s a washer and dryer in the bathroom closet and it’s hooked up to city water and sewage, making living there year-round a piece of cake. 

Pendleton greatly enjoyed the design collaboration with the builders of her houseboat. Contractor Bubba Jones and his team were phenomenal to work with and did everything they could to create the houseboat she imagined.


Building these kinds of harbor cottage houseboats was a new venture for Lee’s Ford Marina at the time and Pendleton was actually the first customer to purchase one.

“I went down several times during the building process and I got to know everybody and they were wonderful,” added Pendleton. She still goes and sees the workers every time she’s at the marina because they are always around building more boats.

From top to bottom, Pendleton has handpicked everything in her houseboat from lighting, countertops, flooring and windows. Everything is brand new and exactly what she wants. She was also the first person to modify one of their designs. Some examples are how she chose to vault the ceilings and change the front porch so the roof extends over the entirety of the porch. It’s completely custom-made and she loves it.

Something else that has impressed Pendleton has been the houseboat community at Lee’s Ford Marina. They're a friendly and relaxed group of people.

“It’s a neighborhood community without having to mow grass,” laughed Pendleton.

The warmth with which the houseboaters greet her has been one of her favorite parts in her decision to build a houseboat. She mentioned that it helps reaffirm that there are good people in the world.

“I am not at all sorry that I did this,” said Pendleton. “I’m excited about it and I love how it turned out.”

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