River Queen Houseboat - tips on restoration and rebuilding of boats

by Jon
(Saint Louis, Mo. US)

River Queen Houseboats - rebuilding and restoring older boats

River Queen Houseboats - rebuilding and restoring older boats

I have recently acquired a 1967 38' River Queen and the boat is actually in very good shape other than the roof over the front half of the boat.

Can someone tell me how the roof is constructed? I would like to know what I'm getting into before I start ripping things apart.

I was also wondering if I could strip the vinyl coating off of the cabin so it could be repainted.

All or any restoration/construction tips would be greatly appreciated. I want to thank everyone for posting some great information.

Thanks, Jon, Saint Louis, MO

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Reply - Answer
Well Jon, congratulations on acquiring your River Queen, they are some of the finest steel houseboats still around.

As to the construction materials used in the front overhang, I am not really sure, so I will leave this to folks that have actually taken it apart.

Lastly, hopefully some of our readers and visitors will share and post comments about their River Queen houseboat restoration and rebuilding experiences.

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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Comments for River Queen Houseboat - tips on restoration and rebuilding of boats

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Need Help 1966 River Queen
by: Anonymous

Have recently restored a 1966 River Queen, identical to the one in the picture. Only need one final part: a front starboard window. Can anyone help?

Weight of a steel 40 ft River Queen houseboat?
by: ken

Can anyone tell me the approximate weight of a steel hull 40 ft RQ.

Thanks, Ken

Restoration of a 1964 River Queen houseboat
by: Anonymous

We just bought a 38' 1964 River Queen houseboat and have started the restoration. Am looking for someone with info about the 318 Chrysler engines and Dana outdrives.

Steel Houseboat Roofs - fiberglass, wood, and steel
by: Sweet Pea

The roof on my 1972 40ft RQ houseboat is steel on the back half and fiberglass on the front half. The fiberglass has wood rafters going across the cabin with a steel frame around it inside the fiber glass. And 4ft x 12ft ceiling tiles on the inside.

Older Steel Houseboats - the reality of it all
by: Old Houseboater

Cost is not the only factor. Reality is that if you do it, you will be doing it for yourself alone. Wood cabin steel houseboats are basically valueless. The reason yours still exists is probably because it has been kept under cover. (boats kept in the open age about 5 times faster than boats kept under cover.)

Helpful Houseboat Tips - Thank You
by: Anonymous

Your help is much appreciated! That gives me some insight on what I'm dealing with. The vinyl covering is in pretty poor shape and looks as if it has had it's share of painting done to it. She's a good ole' queen and I would like to fix her right, but as always, cost is a concern. Thanks For The Reply!

Houseboat Materials - the River Queen Canopy
by: Old Houseboater

The canopy is framed with stringers and battons and is plywood covered. This is then covered with what used to be called Nautalux (vinyl coated canvas).

Build some temporary supports down to the deck. Remove a section of the cover ply wood and replace/repair framing in that area, then replace the plywood, then repeat in another area. If you try to remove the entire covering at once you will lose the form and have all kinds of problems.

I redid a 1966 38 footer more years ago than I would like to admit. After I was done I added a vinyl covered 2x4 support under the canopy, about halfway forward, and ran pipe supports down to the hand rails. This stiffened up the top and looked like factory when completed.

If the vinyl on the cabin is not cracked up, paint the vinyl. If not recovering is really the only viable repair.

You have a very rare bear. Most of the Vinyl covered wood cabin River Queens have rotted away years ago. From 1969 on they were all metal construction.

Reply - Answer
Well Old Houseboater, you definitely win the "Post of the Day" for this excellent reply to Jon's original question.

IAN from www.all-about-houseboats.com

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