Houseboat Rebuild - what about height, weight, and bouyancy?

by Diane
(Trail, Oregon)

Rebuilding a vintage houseboat

Rebuilding a vintage houseboat

I am rebuilding and redesigning a 1971, 25 foot Yukon Delta houseboat. I will be tearing it down to the fiberglass transom shell, rebuilding the stern, inspecting and supporting the rest of the shell and then re building on that trailerable foundation.


Although for many years I’ve been what I call a “half assed carpenter”, slowly morphing myself into a woodworker and have done a number of remodeling/construction projects I need a lot of guidance. I understand, including the trailer this can be no more than 13.5 feet tall. I have recently been studying tiny houses and all the ways to make tiny living spaces work.

I recently finished the book “ Tiny House, Design and Construction guide” by Dan Louche. In order to establish my design I need to understand the relationship between buoyancy, height and weight distribution.

I certainly don’t want to spend the time and money creating something that will be unsafe with the possibility of rolling over in the water due to my ignorance.

I would appreciate if someone could at least point me in the right direction for studying and understanding these concepts.

What might be the best technique for fastening the framework to the fiberglass tri-hull transom?

Thanks, Diane.
The future queen of Lost Creek Lake.


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Reply - Answer


Hi Diane, thanks for posting in the houseboat forums.

I always admire folks who decide to rebuild older houseboats. It requires a high level of dedication, time, and space. Try and take photos to document your journey.

Now in regard to calculating the height, weight, and buoyancy of the Yukon Delta hull, I would try and stay very close to the original specs. Why "reinvent the wheel" and potentially create an unsafe situation.

You will want to keep a low center of gravity, and try to use low (light) weight materials to not create yourself a heavy unstable vessel.

Lastly, hopefully some of our readers and visitors will share and post comments about their related houseboat rebuilding experiences and tips.

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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