Building an Aluminum Houseboat - Plans - Flat Bottom

by James
(Mississippi)

Any aluminum houseboat building plans available?

Any aluminum houseboat building plans available?

I want to build an aluminum houseboat, plans are available for a flat bottom houseboat?

Once the aluminum hull is built, I can lay out the house structure myself. I just need to know about the framing and specs for the flat bottom aluminum hull houseboat, I can do the rest.

Thanks, James.


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Reply - Answer
Well James, congratulations on your decision to build an aluminum houseboat. You don't mention what size houseboat that you would like to build? I will presume a 25 to 40 foot model.

From what I know, there's a lot of houseboat plans available, and if I remember reading correctly, you can substitute wood, steel, fiberglass, or aluminum in the blueprints.

If I look at many of the aluminum house boats around, many are made with 5083 grade marine aluminum, in thicknesses of either 1/8, 3/16, or 1/4 inch. I would presume that the welding is done with MIG or TIG welding equipment.

The vertical and horizontal bracing or framing, appears to be 3/16" aluminum angle ( "L" beam ) and they are spaced every 24". They usually lay 3/4" marine grade plywood for the floor area inside the cabin portion.

The rest of the deck portions are usually 1/8" aluminum plate, however many I have seen are aluminum diamond checker plate texture, presumably for non-skid, non-slip reasons.

On one of our relatively flat bottomed aluminum houseboats, the transom was built using 1/4", and the hull portion was built using 3/16", and the deck portions were built using 1/8" thick aluminum plates.

Now to see what houseboat plans that are available, have a look at these following links, Houseboat Plans, and also free Houseboat Plans.


Lastly, hopefully some of our readers will share and post comments about their houseboat building plans and experiences.

PS: When you start to build your own houseboat, do take some pictures and keep us posted. We all love to see houseboat building projects come to life.


Thanks again for sharing, IAN - from www.all-about-houseboats.com

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Aluminium construction
by: Shipwright Sid

After 50 years in this industry, the last 25 years using aluminium, I have learn a lot about building in aluminium. It is important that the very first step is to build a jig that will make your construction so much easier.

Lay your deck first, bearing in mind that aluminium must be oil free and all welded edges sanded to remove the ever forming protective layer. You now have a base to work on, while I agree that 5083 in varying thickness is used in hull, deck and superstructure,6061 is used for your extrusions due to greater tensile strength.

Whilst turning the hull structure over using cranes, is often used, you need to hire a crane and have the room, head height etc, to do it, I designed a simple horizontal turn table unit to spin it in it's own beam. I have used this method on 12 and 15m catamarans.

Never forget to sequent weld, as distortion is a major factor with aluminium welding, the fairer the hull, the less bog you will need to give it a fibreglass look.

Whilst aluminium is my favorite, you must know what you are doing as it is not cheap nor forgiving.

Remember, you can not buy experience, but you can seek knowledge, which in turn will gain you experience.

Sid

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