River Queen Houseboats - identifying, painting, and rebuilding a house boat?

by Rodney Roy
(Windsor, Ontario, Canada)

Help to identify an older River Queen houseboat?

Help to identify an older River Queen houseboat?

Would like to identify a River Queen houseboat, and start a painting and rebuilding project this summer. I got an old River Queen, but I don't know what year it is?

After a good paint job, it will be nice when me and friends get done, but what I need to know is when I paint the cabin, do I need to caulk the seams on the walls ?

Thanks for any help, Rodney, Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

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Reply - Answer
Well Rodney, welcome to the houseboat forums, and glad to hear about your River Queen project. The River Queens are great boats, especially when someone takes the time to rebuild one.

Just before we get going, did you get a good marine survey done to verify the steel hull condition? Steel hulls have a life expectancy, and their conditions are of major importance to insurance companies.

As to the year, I would venture to guess a late 60's or a early 70's houseboat. If you have access to your registration, serial number, HIN or MIC numbers, there's an article about a website that can help identify and track a houseboats history.

As to caulking the seams, I am not sure what you mean, and I haven't heard of others doing any seam caulking before painting the exteriors.

Lastly, hopefully some of our readers will share and post comments about identifying and painting their River Queen 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 all-about-houseboats

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Comments for River Queen Houseboats - identifying, painting, and rebuilding a house boat?

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What caulk used?
by: Anonymous

So what caulk did you decide on? I am redoing a houseboat in a similar manner and am curious of your outcome.

Thanks, com

Source of information
by: Anonymous

Contact Tower Marine where River Queens were built. R.J. Peterson would be most likely to know.


Spare Houseboat Parts - replacement drive on RQ
by: Anonymous

We are thinking of buying a 1969 40' River Queen. Can someone give me information on spare replacement parts? Replacing or repairing drives on the RQ? (Nothing wrong with it at this time but if we need to replace or fix can we find parts).

1964 River Queen
by: Andbham

I have a 1964, Register No. 1315. It is 36 feet and has been modified to an unknown extent. Seems to have originally been an inboard, but now is powered by an 85 horse Yamaha.

I don't know much about it or its history. I suspect it has been heavily repaired. Right now it needs a new roof deck. That should keep me busy for a while.

Houseboat Repairs - caulking seams
by: Ray

Definitely caulk all outside seams. Make certain to clean out any old caulk and any rust before recaulking. This is also no place to economize. Use the best marine caulk available. It only cost a buck or two to go first class.

I had a '72 40'er with twin 318's and V-Drives. Awesome boat. The canopy was steel, as was the upper sun deck, and had no supports. Front windows were flat with small sliders at the bottom.

Hull # was welded on the engine room bulkhead.
If you have unanswered questions, you might contact R. J. Peterson. He built your boat. He is at Tower Marine, Saugatuk, Michigan. Great guy and easy to talk with. And a WWII combat vet. Good luck on your venture.

Identify a Houseboat - it looks like a 1973
by: Greg H.

It looks exactly like our previous 1973 twin 318 Chrysler, 40' model. Not sure if this one has a flybridge or not, but ours did. I haven't seen many with the bowed front windows along with the sliding glass and screens. My guess is a 1973.

River Queen history
by: captjohn

I worked for Rolly Peterson designing boats for him in the early 1980's. We were not building the houseboats any more while I was there.

Added many of the raised bows, and extended the lingth on many. The hull numbers were welded inside the engine room at the time. Not a plate, just used the welding rod to make the numbers.

The plant was in Saugatuck, MI. I hope this helped. In the 80's we went to much larger boats, 55' just to take people for rides.

River Queen information
by: Anonymous

Hello to the river queen owners. The owner of Tower Marina is Mr Peters. Mr Peters father owned a steel mill and as a side business made the River Queens. There are many River Queens still in the West Michigan areas.

I am not sure if Bill is still working there, but is does not hurt call. They can rebuild your houseboat completely to factory specs. They have a top notch repair and rebuilding department. I hope this is helpful.

Hull ID on a houseboat
by: Dave Montrois

The ID on my boat is arc welded on the bulkhead right in front of the gas tanks. 6937-78 that means it's the 78th 37 footer built in 1969. It is fully restored and won the People's Choice Award in my area's antique boat show against lots of vintage Chris Craft and Gar Wood runabouts. Always a crowd pleaser and we love it.

Caulk the houseboat seams
by: pat palmer

Heck yea u have to caulk the seams..There is alot of flex on the house & the caulk normally gets old cracks & lets water in..then rust..This is worse on lake Mich. as alot rougher & throwing the vessels cabin around..

Im guessing this is a 69-70...If u look up in bow compartment it will be welded in...I had a 71- 43' & it had a raised bow & splash rail..As well as non opening front windows...

I HAD IT OUT MANY TIMES IN 12 FOOTERS PLUS..but I just welded a new heavier keel in..Plus I gusseted it in..Making it stiffer & stronger..

Riverqueen Information
by: Twyla

This one looks just like mine. Thanks to all who posted information, it was helpful to me as well. I would like to see updated pictures of the inside.

HIN locations on houseboats
by: Anonymous

Check around the starboard stern area and see if there's an HIN (Hull Identification Number) plate on, or stamped into, the hull. If not, check the engine room and look on a bulkhead.

The hidden HIN used to be put there. The last two numbers of the HIN indicate the year. Hope this helps

Rubberized fabric on River Queens
by: Ron

I just picked up an old River Queen about a 1968 or 69. I'm going to paint it and noticed that the whole cabin area is wrapped in a rubberized fabric.

Is this how they came, it can't be painted, so is replacing it my only option. I don't know what's underneath it. New fan of the RQ's


1971 43ft model.
by: Dan

It is a River Queen houseboat, 1971, 43ft model.

Year of River Queens
by: Bob of Bethel Isl CA

Been years since I worked on one. 1969-1972 at
Richards Yacht Sales on dutch sough RD. Oakley CA.

I believe the last two digits of the year were arc welded inside of the hull on a bulkhead possibly under the cabins bulkhead entrance was my first guess, or maybe the engine compartment.

Richards Yacht Sales sold out about 1974 when he retired. Looking at the Bow, it has no splash guard. They had just came out when I left in June 1972.

Yours looks like a "71" model. The 69 Models and maybe some early 70 models I believe had only one support to the canopy and 68-69 the canopy were rounded in front. The paint looks about right.

by: Old Houseboater

Looks like early 70s 43 footer. Probably 318 Chryslers and Dana drives, Kohler 6.5 genny

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