Boat Search Advice

Published in the March 2019 Issue March 2019 Multimedia

Excerpts from recent Houseboat forum exchanges about searching for a houseboat.


Sailormom: Hello, I’m new to the forum here. Anyway, we are planning on getting back into houseboating after a 13-year absence and I just wanted to ask for some advice. Our previous boats were a 1980 Carlcraft and a 1997 Gibson, and both of these had twins with V-drives. This time around we are looking for a lake style houseboat. We’re finding that a lot of the aluminum style houseboats we’ve looked at have never been pulled since being put in the water. Is this normal? We boated on a river where pulling your boat every five to seven years was normal. We would appreciate any and all advice on what to look for and what questions to ask when it comes to finding our next houseboat. So far we are looking for something around 16 by 69 to 76 feet. Thanks.

easttnboater: Welcome to the forum.
Is it “normal” for many lake style houseboats to not be pulled or have their outdrives serviced? Yes—I’d say that’s “normal.” It’s not necessarily the right thing, but it is normal. Depending on the lake they are on, the exposure of the outdrives to the sun, etc., the service interval can be up to 10-plus years. Where are you looking? Are you planning on buying it and then moving the boat?

Zilpo55: Ours is a lake style. We plan to pull it this spring for service on the outdrives. It will have been nine years. Every dock neighbor we talk to has a different philosophy on when to do it, mostly in the 5- to 10-year range. It's pretty common around here to insist on serviced outdrives as part of the “deal” on a used boat. I strongly suggest you use a good marine surveyor and try to negotiate the service into the price.

Sailormom: We really don’t want to move whatever we buy, but we do plan on a full survey with a pull out. Several we have looked at have never been serviced, which concerns us.

easttnboater: A full survey with pull out is going to be pricey.

Sailormom: Yes, it will be pricey but at least we will know up front of anything major.



Have you got any questions or advice about searching for a houseboat? Hop on the forum and join the conversation.

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