Leaning or Listing Houseboat

by Tom
(Hesperia, CA)

A typical Three Buoys Houseboat

A typical Three Buoys Houseboat

We recently purchased a 40 foot Three Buoys Houseboat and are trying to find out why it leans or lists to the driver side.


When we place enough people on the the other side of the houseboat, it takes approximately 1000 lbs to level it out.

Any ideas why it does this? Thanks, Tom.




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Reply - Answer
Well Tom, I can understand how you feel, nothing worse than a boat that leans or lists to one side.

If I remember correctly, the Three Buoys Houseboats have three aluminum pontoons underneath. So I would have to think that the driver side or starboard pontoon has filled with water.

If this isn't the case, than are there any tanks, ex: water or septic/holding tanks in those pontoons, than I would suggest emptying them to see if this corrects the listing problem.

Other than those two ideas, hopefully some of our readers will share and post comments about their houseboat leaning or listing experiences.


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Comments for Leaning or Listing Houseboat

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Listing to starboard
by: Bob

I have a 88 Three Bouys houseboat that I just bought. It is listing to the starboard side as well. I believe there is water in the outside compartment like you indicated, and have covered the hole where it drains off the roof.

However, I have no idea how to pump the water out of the outer compartment. I see no access to that compartment. Any help as to how to get a bilge in that compartment would be greatly appreciated!!

New at this, Bob

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We found a solution
by: Suzanne

We had the same problem....the fuel and septic are the middle pontoon so that should not make you list to one side........

Check for water in the pontoon on the drivers side.....if there is no water..........

We found the problem to be a reconfiguration of furniture inside the boat.......

We remodeled the inside........ causing a weight distribution problem...........

Solution........ when you launch put water in the port side pontoon until you are level.......don't forget to remove it in the fall when you winter store the boat.

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Leaning houseboat
by: Rudy

I have the same problem except my houseboat is a 70 Nauta-line and it's driving me crazy! I didn't see any lean when I bought her. It's not much, but I haven't used the septic, put gas or water into any tanks yet.

There's no water in the engine compartment. I did find a access port in the floor of the closet on the lean side and see no water in the small area I can see. Can anyone help with a answer?
Thanks, Rudy

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Leaning or listing houseboat
by: Anonymous

Sounds like a lot weight, but a 1000 lbs is only about 125 gallons of water or 140 gallons of fuel.

My bet is it's a combination of fuel, water, or sewage tanks on, or close to the same side of the houseboat.

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Tips for a leaning or listing houseboat.
by: balloongurl@msn.com

Shortly after we moved aboard our 53 ft Three Buoys houseboat, we noticed a significant list or lean. Upon closer inspection we found a very large amount of water in the compartments in the basement area.

We used a bilge pump to remove the water. We have since that time done a few things to keep the water from coming in. Like covering some vents on the outside where the water was running off the roof and going directly into the aluminun hull. We covered the roof with shrinkwrap for the winter until we can have a good look at it in the spring.

This should avoid water leaking down the sides of the boat inside the walls. We inspect the compartments on a regular basis and pumpout when it is necessary. Hope this is helpful.

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