Are Carri-Craft houseboats good for coastal navigation, island hopping?

by Marc Rhodes

A catamaran Carri-Craft houseboat is a unique design.

A catamaran Carri-Craft houseboat is a unique design.

Wondering if Carri-Craft houseboats are good for coastal navigation and short island hopping?

I am interested in buying a used Carri-Craft houseboat of approx 60 ft. My use is on the Mississippi River, coastal navigation and some travel in the Carribbean.

Is this houseboat suitable for inshore boating and limited island hopping?

Thanks, Marc Rhodes

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Reply - Answer
Well Marc, congratulations on your decision to buy a 60 ft catamaran Cari-Craft houseboat. I myself find these to be beautifully designed houseboats for cruising and traveling.

In reponse to your question, my short answer is yes, yet don't underestimate the dangers and responsibilities of coastal navigation or island hopping.

If you use our search function, you will find my articles on ICW, Great Loop, or coastal travel. There's a lot of great articles of interest for you.

Lastly, hopefully some of our readers will share and post comments about their Coastal, ICW, or Great Loop houseboat experiences. Feel free to use the "Click here to post comments." link found near the bottom of this page.

Thanks again for sharing, IAN from all-about-houseboats

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Comments for Are Carri-Craft houseboats good for coastal navigation, island hopping?

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Where were Carri-Craft built?
by: Paul

My father in law owned a 57 footer built in '75. My wife thinks they were built in the Seattle area while I contend that they were built in Berlin, Wisconsin. Please help. Thanks for informed answers.

Trip to the Bahammas
by: Anonymous

I am buying a 57' that was a DEA seizure and it had gone to Columbia and back. WOW!

Give me a place to stand...
by: Archimedes

Contrary to the above statement, Carri Craft are indeed insurable for coastal navigation, even Lloyds of London will take a policy on a Carri Craft. The State of California, perhaps the most litigation wary entity on earth, uses a pair of CC's as their official shuttle crafts to Catalina Island 22 miles off-shore in the Pacific.

Having surfed 28ft faces a 100ft from the beach in Laguna, trust me, barring a hurricane if a CC can handle 22 miles out into the Pacific it can handle the Carribean.

I'm currently living on my completely redisigned and rebuilt CC (hull unmodded) in Costa Rica riding the world's longest left-handed break. I rode my CC from Noyo Harbor CA to Malpias Costa Rica without a hitch or breaking a sweat despite hitting some hairy swells en route.

Buy the CC, you won't regret it!

Coastal Houseboats - Bahamas
by: Anonymous

Carri-craft lovers, cruised a 57' all the way to George Town Great Azuma. Great trip, even back.

Carrie Craft out of the ashes.....
by: Ti Amo

Hi Carrie Craft groupies!!!! I would like to reach the nice folks aboard the CC "White Feather". We met these guys in Key Largo and have since seen a couple of Carrie Crafts in one incarnation or another but don't think their boat came through.

Our "Ti Amo" has finally made it to Key Largo and we continue to refit/rebuild the interior. Look at our pix and laugh, laugh, laugh!

Lysa & Reuven

Carri-craft houseboats in rough water
by: BRAD

Are Carri-craft houseboats good for coastal navigation, definitely, as I can tell you from personal experience. I am a Carri-Craft owner. Year 1970, 45´with perkins diesels.

I weathered a storm off Baja in November of 2003. I was riding 25 foot waves with an unknown wind velocity. This fine craft brought me to safety at Cedros Island with one engine out due to prop fowling after a harrowing 12 hour experience I would not care to repeat.

So... Are they safe for Coastal Cruising? Of coure they are but.. it all depends on your navigational skill level. Six foot waves are Nothing for this Yacht.

Reply - Answer
Well Brad, thanks for sharing your excellent experience about the CarriCrafts.

IAN from

by: Rod

Ian, I'd be happy to do a bit of a write-up and I have a plenty of pictures. How do I upload a picture?

Reply - Answer
Well Rod, I would be very happy if you were to do a write up on the Carri Crafts, and I am sure our readers would love to read it also. The best place to post it would be on the forums, and you can post a picture there also. Click here to Post in the Houseboat Forums.

IAN from

Stable Houseboat Coastal Cruiser
by: Rod

We are located in the Pacific Northwest and have a 57' Carri-Craft Casa Grande, which we are currently living most comfortably aboard on the Fraser River.

We were once caught in a 6' chop and she handled fine. (my wife was uncomfortable to the point of telephoning our son to inform him of our certain demise. She prefers her water quite flat, but she later agreed that we were just fine)

We island hop up here without hesitation. Our Fraser River with her numerous bridges, tide changes, currents and heavy vessel traffic poses no effort to navigate. (We do have twin perkins and 13-14 mph, and fuel consumption of 5-7 gal. per hr)

We originally purchased her to convert to a dinner cruiser. During the refurbish, she, along with two other businesses were set ablaze by a 15 yr. old kid for Lord knows what reason. She burned to the floor boards.

To make a long story short, we had to give up the dinner cruise plans, but after 10 years of rebuilding and ridicule by neighbours who repeatedly jostled me about the "ark" in my yard, we are most proud of the 'Rainbow Dancer'...our Carri-Craft.

Although her design is altered substantially from the original, her hull remains Carri-Craft. Thanks Rod.

Reply - Answer
Well Rod, thanks for sharing your post with us, since nothing beats a houseboat owners experience to paint a real picture. If you were to get a chance, you could post a short story and picture of your disaster - rebuild experience.

IAN from

Carrie Craft houseboats
by: Old Houseboaters

We have owned a Carri-Craft, 3 x RiverQueens, 2 x KingsCrafts and a Pluckebaum. IMHO houseboats are not designed for open water and most are not insurable for such use.

All that being said, I consider the Carri the most capable rough water boat. They have a high freeboard hull and the windows aren't too big. I would consider it capable of coastal cruising but would not chance a crossing to the Bahamas.

These boats are not fast, if you are lucky to be equipped with a pair of Perkins diesels, that might get you a 13 MPH cruise. This is not fast enough to run away from weather so you have to be capable of taking whatever you get into.

Keep us informed. Good Luck

Reply - Answer
Old Houseboater, very well said, as I also think that the Carri-Craft is the most suitable for rough water. And all the ones listed above are fine boats in my mind, just for different uses.

IAN from

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