Houseboats built to cruise and travel the Great Loop
Typical route for houseboats on the Great Loop.
We are looking to have a houseboat built to handle the Great Loop? We have sent out a bid to three houseboat manufacturers a list of our requirements for a future houseboat.
This vessel will be 95' x 22' in length, and needs to be capable of navigating around the Great Circle Route.
Can someone provide proper recommended design (structural) characteristics, that will be necessary to handle the great lakes, across the Gulf from Mobile to Florida and other potentially rough water areas?
I currently have the prospective manufacturers and their respective marine architects studying the issue.
Would also appreciate any experiential stories or recommendations relative to taking a houseboat on such a journey.
Robert W. Steen
Reply - Answer
Well Robert, congratulations on your decision to do the Great Loop, and also on your decision to have a new houseboat built to handle it all.
If I was to have a new houseboat built to do the Great Circle, I would definitely have Pluckebaum Houseboats on my list of potential manufacturers. Skipperliner Houseboats would also be on my potential builder list.
You would want a vessel that can handle some of the following conditions:
1) I'm not a Marine Engineer, however most manufacturers that build cruising houseboats are generally incorporating many of the stringent ABYC - American Boat & Yacht Council Standards.
2) A vessel with a fair amount of freeboard for wave handling capabilities. It makes cruising less stressful in difficult conditions.
3) Sufficient engine power to be able to get out harms way, and to handle the current and rough water conditions.
4) If you're building a large houseboat, than a good windlass and bow thruster would be on my list of necessary options, amongst many other options :)
5) The list could go on, and on, and on ....
I just wonder why you're having a 95' x 22' wide houseboat built to go long distance cruising. I don't know how many people you expect to have on board, it just seems like a large vessel to handle with two people, considering some of the marina sizes along the rivers.
Either way, we are all curious and eagerly looking forward to any updates that you have, since this article about a houseboat cruising the Great Loop is surely to be on many houseboaters minds.
Lastly, hopefully some of our readers will share and post comments about their houseboat cruising experiences. If anybody is knowledgeable in the structural and construction standards, please share any information for us all.
IAN - from www.all-about-houseboats.com