Is a houseboat suitable to travel the ocean?

by Matt
(Alabama)

Is a houseboat good for ocean travel?

Is a houseboat good for ocean travel?

Is a houseboat good for ocean travel?
No ocean travel for full hull barge style houseboats
No ocean travel for pontoon house boats
Limited ocean travel for semi displacement planing style houseboats

I'm wondering if houseboats are designed, or if there are any designed, to travel the oceans and go from country to country? Also, are there any houseboats that have sails if you did not want to use gasoline often?


Any help would be appreciated, Thanks.



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Reply - Answer
Well Matt, unfortunately houseboats are not designed to travel the oceans. They were designed mostly for lakes, rivers, and intercoastal waters.

The construction and freeboard are not made to take on rough pounding seas, so if ocean travel is on your agenda, another vessel choice would be in order.

If you are looking for a boat with "sails" as to take advantage of the wind, possibly a motorsailer would be a better choice.


Lastly, hopefully some of our readers and visitors will share and post comments about their ICW or ocean travel experiences on houseboats.

Feel free to use the "Click here to post comments." link found near the bottom of this page.

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

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Comments for Is a houseboat suitable to travel the ocean?

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Are there ocean going houseboats?
by: Dick Austin

Not being trite: ocean going houseboats with sails are called catamaran sail boats. They are very roomy (last one I owned was 32 foot and I could seat 10 for lunch in the salon), safe, stable and fast.

I sailed my cat solo all over the Bahamas and NW Caribbean. I am currently building a "Red Neck" houseboat on a 24 foot 1988 Lowe pontoon boat with 22inch deep pontoons.

Hope to spend winters on Florida Bay at Sunset Cove in Key Largo

European houseboats
by: AKsailor

I've rented boats in Europe a couple of times and have read extensively about them. Although mainly used on rivers and canals, many of the European houseboat equivalents are capable of coastal water cruising, meaning they're designed to handle 5 foot seas.

A number of boats are taken across the English Channel and the Irish Sea to England or Ireland and back again successfully. Obviously one has to be weather-wise with good boating experience to attempt it but it can be done.

The point is, boats can be designed to handle coastal cruising but no matter what you're piloting there's no substitute for experience.

Houseboats in the Gulf.
by: Rob Van

The seas in the gulf of Mexico in the Texas area aren't really rough compared to the Atlantic or Pacific. One might venture out on a calm day without danger with a semi- displacement hull.

I used to take my "Seagoing" out in the Fort Lauderdale area as it had a great hull but by the tone of your letter, I would suggest taking some Power Squadron courses before attempting such forays.

Motorsailers don't motor well and don't sail well either. You can plod along by sail power but a regular sailboat is much more efficient (faster) and an auxiliary motor will work well when you need it.

If you want the trip of a lifetime, consider the "Great Loop circuit" up the east coast intracoastal waterway from Florida into the Hudson, then the Erie canal, the Great lakes and down the mighty Mississippi.

A houseboat would be ideal for this mostly inland waters voyage. Be safe !-Rob

Ocean Travel Houseboat - another question...?
by: Anonymous

Not for "ocean" going but what if I wanted to travel along the east coast to TX? Could I, would I, should I, consider a houseboat?

I'm looking for the most user friendly comfy (if not luxurious) and relaxed trip of a lifetime. So for a person with no ocean ( except inland waterways) experience, what would you suggest?

Sea worthy houseboats are easy.
by: Anonymous

Conventional houseboats are indeed not seaworthy as is, but, as a mechanical engineer and a master of manufacturing processes I rarely find difficulty in designing and building something NEW (NEW) to solve anything a human is faced with.

I don't expect everyone to be able to have the same level of manufacturing ability, but for the sake of rendering something impossible? Simply looking around at what everyone else is doing and saying it doesn't exist is not a good way to engineer, and it should not be a deciding factor.

I can honestly say that without spending a ridiculous amount of money I could design and build several types of sea (storm) worthy houseboats.

Displacement hulls on boats
by: mark

What is displacement, it is referred to a lot but i've no idea what it means??

Reply - Answer
Displacement is a type of hull style. Here is a link to better explain displacement hulls.

IAN from www.all-about-houseboats.com

NO !
by: Beached

It would take a very serious displacement type motor vessel to attempt any offshore travel. I have done most of the outer part of the Intracoastal and some of the lakes and bays can get rough in a hurry.

Going against the current with a crosswind or headwind will give you a new perspective on recreational boating. Running before a strong wind and even moderate waves can turn into a white knuckle situation.

I would recommend something with a solid hull that is designed to plane and have the powerplant(s) to do so. Exception being the catamaran style cruiser, they would be suitable as well for those conditions.

BTW, I haven't seen any post on this subject, so depending on your area, I would suggest putting a Radar unit on your houseboat as well. I recall Mobile Bay as a particular "outta sight" place when fog forms there.

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