Building a Trailerable Pontoon Houseboat
(Somerville, AL USA)
Do you build a trailerable pontoon houseboat, or should you buy a trailerable pontoon houseboat?
1. Why.....My wife and I have been wanting to do a little traveling on the water. We have an rv and really like the water. We started off with a plan of building a trailerable pontoon houseboat and if we liked river life, we would try that for a year or so and then consider selling our house and buying a large houseboat to live on. We can put it in on the Tennessee river and go for extended trips.
My wife was ready to get going and did not want to wait for me to build one, so we started looking at used trailerable houseboats. Wanted to stay in the $20,000 to $30,000 range so as to get on the downward depreciation curve and be able to use it for a year or two and get most of our money back so we could buy a larger one or not. We looked at several smaller used houseboats (30 to 42 feet), but they all required so much work that after a while (wasted building time), I have gotten back to the houseboat building plan.
2. Houseboat will be 12' wide by 30' or so feet long and I have started the pontoons. Will have 3 aluminum pontoons about 32" wide. I say about because they are not a rectangle nor round, but have some bends for strength. Will be partitioned at 48" and pressure check each compartment. I can get a permit for 12' wide for $100 a year and I have a trailer already that I can transport it on. Weight capacity at 8" is about 7500 pounds. Pontoons will be sealed at 18" and have about 14" about that open on the top for water, gas and sewer tanks that will be accessible from the sides.
Am interested in solar power, and will use a lot of rv stuff (propane/elec refrig, 12 volt furnace, etc) as I am familiar with that.
Power will be outboard in the 100 horsepower range. Would like enough power to stay out of trouble and small enough to get some fuel mileage.
Will consider all suggestions. Will use suggestions that I think will work for me. Any help appreciated. Will start taking pictures soon.
LarryReply - Answer
Excellent post Larry, since many of our readers are also considering building trailerable houseboats. Like you mention, sometimes it's worth just building a houseboat if you have the necessary tools and experience.
Hopefully some of our readers will post comments and pictures to help your project along, and we are all hoping that you will upload some of your own pictures, since a pictures is worth a thousand words.
Thanks again for taking the time to share your project with us...
IAN - from www.all-about-houseboats.com