Billy Chapman's Gibson Houseboats

Published in the January 2019 Issue January 2019 Feature By Heather Magda Serrano

Billy Chapman Jr. is a recent buyer of two used Wide Body 59-foot Gibson houseboats. He plans on reconditioning them and doing some remodeling and upgrades so he can use them for his business Anglers Inn International, an outfitting company. He’s going to turn them into floating hotels and take people on excursions!

Billy decided to go with a couple of Gibson boats because he loves the fiberglass, speed and performance of the boats, which fit in perfectly for his business. After going through all the houseboat brands, he knew Gibson was the one for him because it met all his company’s needs.

His two new Gibsons are headed for the beautiful Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, where he’ll get them ready as motherships for Anglers Inn International. Billy has been in the outfitting business for about 40 years now and they have a mothership in Brazil and six lodges in Mexico.

Billy had a wonderful experience when working with Gibson. He could tell that the owner Kelly and his son were hard-working people and he feels they’re going to do really well in the houseboating industry.

“I’m a happy camper, especially with the new owners of Gibson,” shared Billy. “I’ve been to the factory and they’re really excited about bringing Gibson to the next level for performance houseboats.”

Gibson Houseboats of South Dakota

Owners Kelly and Pam Cawthorne along with their son Shane and his wife Danielle Cawthorne bought the rights to Gibson Boats back in 2017 and they’ve taken this classic, age-old brand and breathed new life into it. Gibson Houseboats of South Dakota successfully relocated to Tea, S.D, and they are excited to be offering a full production line as well as focusing on service, fiberglass repair, and refurbishing. Already loyal Gibson houseboaters have shown tremendous support for this hybrid crossover between a houseboat and a cabin cruiser.

The favorite 14- by 47-foot houseboat has stood out as the perfect size for families with enough room to play hard without tipping the price too heavily. Their smallest build is the 36-foot Play and Sport, which includes a mid deck for attaching a smaller swim slide or jump platform and an upper fly bridge that features a large slide, rock wall and even a diving platform. Sizes stretch clear to the 59-footer with three staterooms, two large heads, and a generous galley and salon combo with plenty of room for just two or as many as ten for an extended water outing.


Date Founded: 1968

Location: Tea, S.D.

Best-selling Model or Floor Plan: 14’ X 47’

Smallest Houseboat Built to Date:  12’ X 36’

Largest Houseboat Built to Date: 16’ X 59’

Hull Design: Fiberglass Modified V-hull

Water Application: Lakes, Rivers and Intracoastal

In-house Transportation: Yes

In-house Interior Designer:  Yes


Looking to 2019

Gibson Houseboats has settled nicely into its new home in South Dakota and they’re looking forward to having a good year in 2019. Something they’ve noticed is there seems to be a trend in refurbishing instead of buying new houseboats. They’ve been going out to locations to pick up boats and bring them back to their plant so they can perform remodels and engine refits. They’ve also noticed a change from inboard motors to outboard installs, which they’ve done quite a few of, and Gibson expects these trends to carry over into 2019.

  • Like what you read?

    Want to know when we have important news, updates or interviews?

  • Join our newsletter today!

    Sign Up
You Might Also Be Interested In...

Send to your friends!