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DIY Houseboat

February 2019 Multimedia Kennedy Ray Web Exclusive

You’ve heard the saying, “She turned her can’ts into cans. And her dreams into plans.” While inspirational for all, this saying became true for Bonnie who had the dream to live on the river. She started out looking at tiny homes she could buy and live in near the river, but when she got talking to a boat building friend, the conversation led to the decision of Bonnie (with the help of her friend) building a houseboat. On top of 5 30footer ABS plastic pontoon floats she started building her home. The pontoons allow water to enter into them so they are weighed down into the water for steadiness. The houseboat also has 20,000 pounds of flotation on it.

 Bonnie’s home is lit through a deep-cycle powering 12 volts to the lights, a pump draws water into the tap for washing dishes and such, the windows are custom built with double pane and argon, she has a small stove for cooking, a bathroom with a shower and a waterless composting toilet (also with a 12-volt pump), and a place to rest her head at night. She unfortunately does not have a fridge yet but is considering getting solar power to fix this problem. The boat also has a 60 horsepower motor on it to move it wherever Bonnie needs it to go.

The boat also has storage areas on the deck, a grate floor to eliminate the need for sleeping and to also keep the room cool, and a rooftop patio where solar panels may be added in. The roof is unique because it not only lifts up but folds down, meaning it can be lowered to 13 feet.

It took Denis Tremblay about 3 or 4 months to build the unit. Bonnie also sometimes rents out her home out on AirBNB.


For more information on Bonnie’s houseboat click here

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