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Houseboat & Pontoon Boats - plans for building a combination together design

by Aaron Costic
(Cleveland, OH)

Houseboat / Pontoon Boat building plans

Houseboat / Pontoon Boat building plans

My wife & I are thinking of building a houseboat / pontoon boat combo, together design. The basic idea is that there is a main houseboat that is 16' x 40 & a second boat pinned to the back of the houseboat.

The second boat is a pontoon boat 16' x 20'. The basic idea is that you can drive the rig as 1 large boat, or unpin the pontoon portion & drive it separately. Are their any obvious flaws that I am overlooking with a design like this?

Also we are very interested in having the boats systems powered by batteries that are charged by windmills & solar. We are willing to have more (or larger) batteries than average, multiple windmills (or larger ones), & many solar panels.

My main concern is the HVAC. Is anyone currently using a green system that has the power to heat & cool their boat? Is having a separate thermostat for each room a common practice?

Lastly, we are interested in using a flooring like "Nature Stone" does anyone have any experience with this, or something like it?

Thank you in advance for any help, Aaron.

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Reply - Answer
Well Aaron, welcome to the houseboat forums, and congratulations on an interesting combination pontoon houseboat design concept.

You will find plenty of information on the site about green wind or solar powered pontoon houseboats, yet you may find that powering high consumption items like heating and air conditioning units do require very large power generating systems.

As to building plans for pontoon houseboats, there are many articles of different designs in either wood, steel, fiberglass, or aluminum on the site. I haven't seen any that discuss building a combo unit, so you could be very well the first to have such a concept.

Lastly, hopefully some of our readers will share and post comments about their pontoon houseboat, or wind solar power 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 Houseboat & Pontoon Boats - plans for building a combination together design

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Different Pontoon Houseboat Designs
by: Canadian Guy

I came up with the same idea on my own, good to see someone else thought of the same idea. The problem is going to be pinning the two together in some manner, whether it be length wise or side by side. In general side by side makes it more of an awkward layout for the floorplan.

The front to back idea makes the flow better, from what I have tried to come up with. I think the way I am going to do it, because I want it as one peice, is have a couple long peices on the pontoons themselves and perhaps under the floor to make it solid and rigid as one peice. The solar power is a great add-on however it is going to be expensive if you buy off the shelf components.

I think the way I am going to go is make my own. Coming up with some sort of homemade windmill that is hooked up to an alternator or something. I havent completely thought it all the way through or studied much online or read many books yet. I am still trying to come up with a good layout.

The primary reason I am going this way is so that I am within the DOT regulations when trailering the pontoon boat. I will live on the boat itself, so the only hicup is going to be gettig off and on the boat for going to work. I have a few crazy ideas in mind, I shall share them with you now. I live alone right now, mabe in the future I will be with someone.

1 - remote control with an automatic shutoff. so I can just have like a button that will raise the anchor, and I can remote control the boat to the boatlaunch.

2 - have another pontoon as my "garage" and teh ramp slides out. make the bottom of the pontoon steel or something for when I land it on the ramp itself to drive my truck off and on. I think I came up with this idea because I like to wrench on vehciles and I am done paying rent. NO MORE!!!! Crazy idea I know, but it deserves a good think through for sure.

3 - the height restriction on the road is like 13.6' I figure the height from the road to the bottom of the pontoon can be 0 to 1.5', then the pontoon themselves I think are 24" depending so 2' in diameter, plus teh height of the house on the pontoon itself. I think my ceiling height will be 10' which is cutting it close.

The idea here is to have portable walls on the roof so I can make the roof enclosed. I can do it up, making it airtight and sealed, then when its ready to move I just tear it down. I will probably move every 5 years or so onto a different lake.

Houseboat Efficiency - innovative thinking
by: chris

I like the basic idea of the smaller boat coming away and have been thinking of something similar. My whole thinking was to have everything solar powered and to therefore save power by taking the smaller boat to the pub and not the entire vessel. My thinking is directed to self suffiency which is the "WHY" in my case.

Thought of this, and said no myself.
by: Richard

Hey Aaron, I too thought of having a similar set up, but abandoned the thought after asking myself a simple question - why?

This is similar to a boat/tender set up if I get your plans correctly. There is no real need to split your boat should you want a smaller craft to go ashore for supplies and the like.

I agree with Bill about mixing hull types. The stern turbulence created by a monohull will put undue stresses on a towed pontoon as the wake pushes on either hull unevenly. If you tow a monohull behind a pontoon, you could get away with it.

I did such a set up when renting a pontoon 65' houseboat and I towed a 16' jet boat. However, it was jostled around a bit by the converging wakes.

Your best bet is to build the houseboat you want, and keep a small tender for the shore trips.

HVAC on houseboats
by: Old Houseboater

Current solar technology doesn't produce enough energy to support air conditioning with a feasable, boat sized, solar panel array.

Combo houseboat
by: Bill Florida

First thing that I comes to mind? Is the first section a mono hull?? If it is, you should also have the second half a mono hull, v'd to the first.. Or use two pontoon styles together.

For obvious reasons, dont mix the two hull styles, as one will work against the other.. Planeing, turning, and wake, will use one style hull against the other, and will tear them apart. Bill

Natural resources for HVAC
by: Brian

Use your natural resources as the lake water provides a continuous cooler temperature. I used to have a swamp cooler that I used occasionally. The bad part is that you need a continuous supply of cool water.

In a lake you have just that. Utilize a heat pump for the winter and you can have the best of both worlds. Now all you are powering is a pump & a fan.

Cheers, Brian.

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