Identification help for vintage trailerable houseboat.

by Tom Stafford
(Crescent, Oklahoma )

Any ideas to identify to this vintage trailerable houseboat.

Any ideas to identify to this vintage trailerable houseboat.

I would need some help to identify this vintage trailerable houseboat. I'm strongly considering buying a steel hull, 21' trailerable houseboat, and I'm trying to find out who the manufacturer was.


I only have one picture at this time, but will be able to get more soon. This particular model has its own trailer, meaning the axle and wheels are attached to the boat, and stay attached to the boat for launching.

As I understand it, you back it in the water, unhook it from your vehicle, then un-pin the hitch, and it tilts backwards and rests on the bow while in use. Then, when you get ready to take it out of the water, you back in, hook the hitch to your truck, lower and re-pin the hitch, then pull it out of the water.

A friend told me he thought it might be a Parti-Maid, or Party Maid model, but wasn't certain. Any help in it's identification would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Tom Stafford, Cheap Old Boats




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Reply - Answer
Well Tom, thanks for submitting a picture of this "unknown" trailerable houseboat. It sounds like an interesting concept, that apparently didn't make it into today's designs.

I agree with your friend, that it maybe a "Party Maid" model, but I can't say for sure. I'm sure that amongst our thousand of readers and visitors, that someone out there will be able to identify it.

Hopefully some of our readers will share and post comments on identifying this unique vintage trailerable houseboat. Feel free to use the "Click here to post comments." link found at the bottom of this page.


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


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Comments for Identification help for vintage trailerable houseboat.

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Terra Marina
by: J Buckner

I have one that an old man gave me around 15 years ago. It is in poor condition but it is complete and well worth restoring.

The old man lived near Lake Lure NC and I would think that is where he kept the boat on the water.

I have it now in Weaverville NC kept inside out of the weather until I finish the restoration.

J Buckner.

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Had one in the 60s in Texas
by: Stuart Herbst

Family got one for Christmas 1963, kept on what is now Lake Rayburn in East Texas. Was taken to lakes in Arkansas multiple summers, but the real hoot was when we towed it with our 57 Buick to The Suwannee River in Florida one summer and stayed for a month. There is a story about girl scouts in canoes that needed a lift.....

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Terra Marina
by: Anonymous

Many years ago, my Dad would borrow a friend's Terra Marina houseboat, and we'd take it to Lake Corpus Christi in South Texas. Sure have a lot of good memories about those days in the summer.

Only thing was that steel hull; Dad was always having to fix a leak here and there. Guess it was a combination of South Texas heat and humidity, and being close to salt water.

But when the leaks were fixed, you couldn't beat it for a fun summer for a couple of kids.


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Houseboat with Retractable Wheels
by: Anonymous

My Dad bought one of these houseboats with wheels in the early '60's New at an RV show in Philadelphia. We had it on the Delaware River for one season.

It was 30' and very fun and roomy, but very very slow. We had a Homelite outboard on it. It was very unusual back then. In the day, but a little too slow for my parents who were in their 30's at the time! My brother and I loved it.

We inherited the love of boating and are still a boating family even with our son. I can't think of the exact name, but from the photo it looks much the same- jalousie windows and all.

Bev

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Vintage Houseboats - grew up with one
by: Linda

My Dad bought and restored one around 1969. I believe it was bought as a left over from a dealer in Tarrytown, NY.

We enjoyed it for many years, mostly on the Hudson River which wasn't kind to a flat bottom because of tidal currents.

I remember, though that my Dad used to remove the axle and wheels when we launched it, usually to moor it for the season. He tied a rope around the center of the axle, back it in and pull the rope out from under it.

We used one of those crane things to get it out for the winter and put the axle back on. If going up to Lake George for a trip we'd leave the wheels and axle in place to make it easier to get in and out.

And yes you could feel the wheels under you. But I guess the lake was still easier to navigate than the Hudson with its waves and under current. Thanks for the memories!

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Vintage Houseboats - a Terra Marina
by: David Berry

I have a Terra Marina amphibious cruiser. The house needs to be rebuilt. I am considering refurbishing to WW11 military model instead. Does anybody know the model, year, or branch of service?

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Houseboat identification - military amphibious trailers
by: Anonymous

This is a Terra Marina houseboat. The hull is WWII surplus. The military used them as amphibious trailers. Someone bought a number of them after the war and started a company in the Houston area, building house boats in the trailer hull.

I have always wanted one just for the novelty, but never had time to deal with another fixer-upper. Maybe someday before the last on goes to scrap.

I have always suspected that they handle like a dog with fleas. But again, I have only wanted it for the novelty of pulling it to the boat ramp and rolling it in, wheels and all.

George
8/5/2010

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Identifying Houseboats - it's a Terra Marina Amphibious
by: Anonymous

When it comes to identifying houseboats, its a Terra Marina Amphibious Cruiser that was built by the Terra Marina from 1959-69.

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Another one in Washington state
by: Jeff hammers

I looked at one of these trailers today on western Washington. Pretty cool.....the hull appears to be mild steel and one should be concerned with rust.

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ID for vintage houseboat
by: Fincrazy

That looks like a Terra-Marina to me. I have a brochure for the 21' Model D, I believe a 1959 and it looks dead on.

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Terra Marina Houseboat
by: L . Walen

That is a Terra Marina houseboat. We have one and so does our close friend. We've had it for quite a few years and use it all summer. On the side at the back, ours has the Terra Marina symbol.

They were made with military amphibious trailers in Houston as the previous answer stated. The wheels and axles do stay on the boat. The year they were made is around 1960.

Our understanding is shortly after the company started and a few were made, the owner died and no more were manufactured.

We know of ours, our friends, one other that was found in Texas but in very poor condition and now this one.

Did Tom Stafford purchase it? I'd be interested to know where it was located and what info he found out from the previous owner.

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Trailerable Amphibious Houseboat
by: Anonymous

The photograph depicts a Terra Marina amphibious houseboat. Shortly after WWII, a Houston-area manufacturer bought a number of military surplus amphibious trailers and built houseboats on them. I can find no additional information on the company, and I do not know how many were built.

Over the years I have seen articles or blog postings about a few of them. I would probably buy one myself if it was reasonably-priced and within a reasonable distance.

They are designed to carry an outboard of moderate horsepower, and I have always been curious how they would handle with an axle and two wheels underneath.

If you buy it, I'd like to know how you fare. If you get tired of the project, I might even take it off your hands.

Reply - Answer
Thanks for sharing this information about a rare houseboat model.

IAN from www.all-about-houseboats.com

Rating
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Terra-Marina houseboat
by: Art

Bought one of these Terra-Marina houseboats in Port Orchard Washington around 1985, repainted the hull with battleship paint, started to rebuild it but my brother sold it. It was a steel hull, but the paint was bulletproof. Clever design.

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