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Houseboat Rebuild - what about height, weight, and bouyancy?

by Diane
(Trail, Oregon)

Rebuilding a vintage houseboat

Rebuilding a vintage houseboat

I am rebuilding and redesigning a 1971, 25 foot Yukon Delta houseboat. I will be tearing it down to the fiberglass transom shell, rebuilding the stern, inspecting and supporting the rest of the shell and then re building on that trailerable foundation.

Although for many years I’ve been what I call a “half assed carpenter”, slowly morphing myself into a woodworker and have done a number of remodeling/construction projects I need a lot of guidance. I understand, including the trailer this can be no more than 13.5 feet tall. I have recently been studying tiny houses and all the ways to make tiny living spaces work.

I recently finished the book “ Tiny House, Design and Construction guide” by Dan Louche. In order to establish my design I need to understand the relationship between buoyancy, height and weight distribution.

I certainly don’t want to spend the time and money creating something that will be unsafe with the possibility of rolling over in the water due to my ignorance.

I would appreciate if someone could at least point me in the right direction for studying and understanding these concepts.

What might be the best technique for fastening the framework to the fiberglass tri-hull transom?

Thanks, Diane.
The future queen of Lost Creek Lake.

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Reply - Answer

Hi Diane, thanks for posting in the houseboat forums.

I always admire folks who decide to rebuild older houseboats. It requires a high level of dedication, time, and space. Try and take photos to document your journey.

Now in regard to calculating the height, weight, and buoyancy of the Yukon Delta hull, I would try and stay very close to the original specs. Why "reinvent the wheel" and potentially create an unsafe situation.

You will want to keep a low center of gravity, and try to use low (light) weight materials to not create yourself a heavy unstable vessel.

Lastly, hopefully some of our readers and visitors will share and post comments about their related houseboat rebuilding 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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Comments for Houseboat Rebuild - what about height, weight, and bouyancy?

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Building a trailerable houseboat.
by: Michael 07

Houseboat size. Remember the standard trailered sizes by state motor vehicle if to be trailered. Height 13’6 x beam 8’3. Length not yet a concern. Other than that, plenty of photos, videos on trailerable houseboats. I myself went from tri-toon to a hull type and or A trimaran type of hull. Building the upper from the top of the hull rather than a step- down interior allows much needed storage in the hull if framed and supported correctly.

Weight and Displacement of H20
by: Anonymous

Hi.n my experience in houseboat building was many years ago. We built 18X50' HB with Stainless steel pontoons. As far as weight You have to break out the math. Its the Water Displacement Ratio to weight. Many calculators out there that can do this for you. As for what one guys said for safety reasons. Dont try to reinvent the wheel. Here is one place.

My 25ft Yukon Delta
by: CaptainJosey

I am remodeling the inside and wiring. All new switches inside walls and update to sun power as for elec. updated to a 90hp mercury
I have $2500.00 in it now.

Weight & width ratio on houseboats
by: Anonymous

Does anybody know how to calculate the best ratio for length by width for a house boat, pontoon style and trailerable calculations wanted?

New Construction
by: Brianna

When I rebuilt a vintage camper, the same considerations applied.
Minimal weight, lowest center of gravity, balanced weight left-to-right.

I made a frame of 1 x lumber, lined the inside with 1/4" plywood, filled the spaces with 3/4 inch foam insulation, wrapped it in polythene and skinned the outside with aluminum.

There is a company called Hemet Valley RV in California that will fabricate and ship new aluminum with your choice of grooves, that will make your project look factory new.

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