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Thread: New Houseboat being home built

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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012

    New Houseboat being home built

    I will state up front, no pictures, but I will get some! Across the bay from me on the shore a gentleman is building a new 2 story houseboat. I was amazed at the spunk of this man to take this on.
    He had pontoons and the deck built in Florida from his design. Each huge pontoon is divided into sections and has some kinda of valving. The boat is 20' x 70' and said to have a capacity of 88,000# of which he plans to use half or 44,000# cap.. It has a large front deck equipped with hydraulic ramps to load/unload a small car. For the cabin he used treated wood for the sole plate and regular studs and 2x6''s thereafter, I didn't see a water barrier but did not get close from the water. Power is provided with a single 115 outboard.
    He plans on cruising with this. Trying for a high mpg. Stated that the pontoons would allow for higher mpg and better handling. He wanted a car so where ever he went he could pull up to the bank or a ramp and unload it so he could explore.
    Next time I go to the lake I will drive around and take pictures.

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    I don't think he will be happy

  3. #3
    Senior Member easttnboater's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    More power to him, but it is going to be a beast to control with a single outboard. It will basically be unmanageable in any type of wind.

  4. #4
    Senior Member GoVols's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Nashville, TN
    I agree with eastTN. I hope to God he plans on thrusters b/c those 2 story sides will surely grab some wind and he'll be gone with it. My pontoon is 16X66 and even I have twin 90s, but no thrusters. Wind is still a factor for me.
    Formerly owned a 16X69' Sailabration

    Bet On Another Thousand

  5. #5
    Senior Member 42gibson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    we've had 3 pontoon houseboats,the last and biggest was a 15x52 playcraft with a 110c evenrude which was more than enough to power it. the problem was as govols stated,the wind and it was a bear in tight places to maneuver. I can only imagine the horrors of one that big in the wind with one outboard and no thrusters. I do applaud him though on taking on a project that huge.
    44 gibson executive
    on the muskingum river & ohio river

  6. #6
    Senior Member Stmbtwle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Ruskin, Florida
    Practice, practice, practice. It took me years to learn what my old single inboard liked. After one particularly harrowing docking I installed a remote controlled windlass... it makes all the difference in the world.

    Another alternative might be to install a second, smaller outboard between the hulls in the bow, and work the engines against each other. It would be easy enough with a pontoon.
    Last edited by Stmbtwle; 05-02-2014 at 05:37 AM.
    She's a tired old barge but she's paid for!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Edenton, NC
    I always thought a little swiveling outboard or trolling motor would be great between our forward hulls. We're gradually learning how to back into our slip. Having two outboards is very helpful, but if there's much more than 10 kts crosswind component, sometimes the best we can do is loop a spring line over a piling and pull.
    The 'marriage-saver' headset/mic walkie-talkie is also a nice help. "NO, dang it, the OTHER starboard!!!" doesn't sound so obnoxious when said in a normal tone of voice.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Miller Tyme's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by Amelia View Post
    I always thought a little swiveling outboard or trolling motor would be great between our forward hulls..
    Someone use to sell a "poor mans" thruster kit about 10 years ago that was basicly a trolling motor that mounted to the front of the hull and could be lowered when docking to be used as a thruster. A novel concept but I am sure it was only margially successful in it's design.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    I power our 14 X 42 pontoon style with a 50 HP outboard. You have to learn how to handle it in the wind -- it's not fun.
    Like I tell everyone, "I can go anywhere I want on the lake; just not very fast".
    The big plus --- great fuel economy

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Did not have time to run around the bay but here is a bad cell phone pic. Everyone at the dock thinks he will be short on maneuvering power.
    He is sure busy and making fast progress.
    Attached Images

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