Gabe Robinson's Sailabration Houseboat

Published in the January 2019 Issue February 2019 Multimedia By Heather Magda Serrano

Gabe Robinson has owned his 16- by 80-foot Sailabration houseboat for just over a year now and he’s been having the time of his life as a full-time liveaboard. He keeps his boat docked on the Tennessee River right next to the University of Tennessee’s football stadium, so he’s right downtown in Knoxville, a prime location.

The reason he went with a Sailabration was because they are built on pontoons instead of mono-hulls, which provides better fuel efficiency. He also enjoys how his boat is built with two outboard motors, which helps with winterizing in the cooler climates.

After living on the boat for a year now, Gabe is still incredibly impressed by how well his boat was designed. He also enjoyed working with the Sailabration team and seeing how they crafted the houseboats.

“They do everything by hand for the most part,” explained Gabe. “They’re all custom-made, so they can do anything you want. And they use a lot of high-end, high-quality materials.”

A couple of other features he loves about his Sailabration are the generator and water purification system he’s got installed. This gives him power and makes it so he doesn’t need to have a tank for fresh water. He just uses the lake water through his filtration system so he never has to worry about running out.

“If I ever sold it and bought something else—bigger, smaller, what have you—I would definitely, hands down have Sailabration build me another one,” shared Gabe.

Sailabration Houseboats

Sailabrate good times; come on! Sailabration has been specializing in custom designed houseboats for nearly 20 years, and houseboaters with preferred styles, restricted budgets, or interest in additional features will find themselves in good hands. From the practical to the luxurious, to the funky and creative, Sailabration takes pride in its unique ability to accommodate every customer’s preferences. This level of customization gives customers the advantage of being involved in every step of the process and truly building not just a boat, but a bond between owner and boat. This way you’re not just getting a houseboat, but a “homeboat.” Sailabration remains consistently low-maintenance and easily handled on the water. The simple yet beautiful furnishings speak volumes—this is a company with a trademark in quality craftsmanship.

Not only does this manufacturer build and sell customized houseboats, but it also offers remodeling and refurbishing services. So no matter where you’re at with your houseboat, Sailabration can assist you in every phase. Now that’s something to sailabrate.


Date Founded: 1999

Location: Powell, Tenn.

Best-selling Model or Floor Plan: 16' X 77' Single Cuddy

Smallest Houseboat to Date: 14' X 42'

Largest Houseboat to Date: 18' X 86', 19’ X 80’

Hull Design: Aluminum Cylindrical 44” to 50” Pontoons w/ Air Tight Partitions

Water Applications: Lakes, Rivers and Intracoastal

In-house Transportation: Yes

In house Interior Decorating: Yes 


Looking to 2019

Sailabration Houseboats has noticed that the market continues to improve and they are expecting a very good year. They’ve also found electronics are becoming more sophisticated and they are now offering SeaStar solutions Optimus Steering on their boats. For years Sailabration and other manufacturers have offered electronic engine controls, shift and throttle, but steering has traditionally been cable, or more commonly hydraulic steering.

The Optimus steering is similar to electronic shifting in that a turn of the wheel electronically sends instructions to the stern of the boat to turn the engines. This offers many benefits including proportional steering and engines that can turn independently in a way that mimics what thrusters do. Sailabration has also begun making their pontoons 50 inches in diameter.

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