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Thread: Living in a houseboat

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2016

    Living in a houseboat


    I am a university student doing a project on small space living. I am looking specifically at furniture in small homes. It would be great if anyone who lives on a houseboat could let me know any issues with living in this environment.

    Thanks for your help!


  2. #2
    Senior Member easttnboater's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    It is like any other small space - storage can be an issue. From a houseboat specific perspective, you have to consider the fabrics on the furniture - they have to be able to withstand a moist/wet environment.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Edenton, NC
    Furniture can often be combined with other functions. Much of ours is home-made, with an eye to good storage, like the boat itself. For us, and our vacation cottage tied out back, comfortable lawn furniture, folding tables and deck chairs, serve quite handily, and can be folded up and moved when conditions require it. Our built-in settee serves as a nice sofa, its long, comfortable, foam cushions can be laid on the deck for visiting grandchildren's beds. Underneath the settee is where the easily accessible lifejackets live. We liked our inflatable bed(s), but got tired of looking for elusive leaks, and discovered that bedframe and mattress from Amazon are light, provide under-bed space for plastic bins, and the mattress that arrives in a box, wrapped in a plastic tube like a brocade jellyroll, unfurls itself into quite a comfortable bed. Furniture, then, is the easy part. More to the point, where are you going to dock the thing, and how much is that going to cost? Finding a marina that likes liveaboards can be a challenge, though I can't imagine who wouldn't want security guards that pay for the privilege. Worth the expense, coziness, and hassles? Then there's the noise factor. Will you mind that fish 'graze' noisily on the weeds growing on your hull? Will you mind having party-hearty neighbors 2 feet away? Will you mind how sound carries over water? And the weather. Way too cold or too hot and humid, or here comes a whopping big hurricane. Then you might wish for bricks and mortar. The housekeeping/boatkeeping offers all the advantages and disadvantages of both. How glorious to be rocked to sleep, to lounge in recliners on the top deck and watch the moon rise. What fun to have a few dozen best friends to bring beer and chips and celebrate the first pretty day of summer on the water. If you don't like the neighbors or want a different view, you can pay your dock bill, cast off the lines and move. But there's maintenance unique to the floating environment. You need to learn about plumbing, electrical things, and ways to tackle boat maintenance. Mildew preventative and cures for rot, and prepare to be amazed at how often wooden things need to be repainted, and decks need maintenance. Allow for replacement of dock lines every three years or so. Change the engine oil. It is ongoing, and can't be postponed without disaster. And the toilets. GAHHH! Just peruse this board for lots of whining about pump-out problems, valve problems, odor problems. Not problems we have, but there's lots of resistance to the simple solution. That said, my BIL lived on his tiny houseboat in a gorgeous tiny SC coastal marina for a number of years while he completed his radiology residency. Absolutely loved it, and we loved visiting him. Then he got married. Oh, well. It was awfully good while it lasted.

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