Water infiltration, and rear deck extension on a houseboat

by Tyler Heimermann
(Austin, Minnesota USA)

Typical rear deck of a Gibson houseboat

Typical rear deck of a Gibson houseboat

I have a water infiltration problem, and I am considering building a rear deck extension for our houseboat. I have a 1976 Gibson 36 standard, and I have fought with my rear hatches leaking since I have bought it. I also fight with a leaking rear patio door that I can never seem to fix.


I was thinking of adding on to the cabin and enclosing the rear deck over the engine hatches to stop the hatch issue. First off has anybody done this with their Gibson?

Second will the little bit of weight from this affect the boat? If I do this I plan to match the distance of the walk ways on the side to be the same in the rear and if I need more space I can always add a swim platform off the back.

My plan for this "addition" is to make a sort of loft bedroom with large windows and keep the rear door as well. The door itself doesn't leak just around the door in its existing place.

I think this will give me more of an eating area in the boat, and a separate bedroom back there as well. With big windows and the rear door, it should allow plenty of natural light and keep the same light feeling in the boat.

I hope I can get some input on what the houseboat community thinks of this idea to freshen up an old boat that my family really enjoys.

Thanks, Tyler from Minnesota


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Reply - Answer


Hello Tyler, thanks for posting in our houseboat forums.

Now concerning your issue, I do sympathize with your problem, and I am not sure you are alone with water leaks around windows, doors, or hatches.

I guess you have 2 possible solutions...

1) You could build a rear deck extension to help with your issue, yet I don't recall anyone having done it with a Gibson. It might be a lot of work to try and solve a water infiltration problem.

2) I have seen a few Gibson houseboats with canvas bimini's extending over the top & rear decks. I am sure that it provides some shading & protection from rainfall, but I'm not sure it would solve the water run-off that would still occur.

You might be better off and taking another look at the water leaking problem and REALLY think outside the box. It is amazing how water can enter one area, yet appear at another location. I am sure others here may have some ideas that may help.


Lastly, hopefully some of our readers and visitors will share and post comments about their related houseboat "water infiltration" experiences and tips.

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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