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How are Gibson houseboats in rough water, or saltwater?

by Anthony

How do Gibson houseboats handle saltwater and rough water?

How do Gibson houseboats handle saltwater and rough water?

How do Gibson houseboats fair in saltwater, and rough waters?

Does anybody know how the Gibson handles rough water use, and what kind of service life is expected in saltwater?

Thanks, Anthony.

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Reply - Answer
Well Anthony, thanks for posting in the forums, and a good choice of questions since the topic of "houseboat use" in saltwater and rough water is a popular one.

As you may already know, houseboats are built for lake, river and inland waterways, yet you will find certain models of houseboats along the coast, and the Gibson's are one of those models.

Since they are not designed for off-shore use, you may have to speak to your insurance company regarding your insurance policy conditions.

As to maintenance and service life in saltwater use, you will have to adhere to a regular flushing of raw water cooling system (unless a closed system), and a good anti-fouling paint is recommended.

I'm sure other saltwater houseboaters will also have their own maintenance and service schedules that they can share.

Lastly, hopefully some of our readers will share and post comments about their saltwater and rough water houseboat experiences. Feel free to use the "Click here to post comments." link found near the bottom of this page.

Update: If you're looking to buy a new Gibson houseboat? We have factory direct pricing.

Thanks again for sharing, IAN from all-about-houseboats

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Comments for How are Gibson houseboats in rough water, or saltwater?

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Houseboat uses
by: Anonymous

Good luck with your Gibson. I'm kinda in the same situation. I just purchased a 43' Nautaline and currently it's in freshwater, but I want to take it to Annapolis or Kent Island area on the Chesapeake Bay.

Never owned a boat this large but have seen them on the bay. Could anybody suggest a good hauling company AND a good (but reasonably priced) marina to get the bottom painted and check the engines, etc... to make sure their prepared for saltwater use?

ALL help is much appreciated. FYI - this article has been VERY helpful building my confidence for what I'm planning.

Gibson seaworthiness
by: Anonymous

Gibson houseboats are docked in bays and harbors all over Florida, seas kick up to 6 ft often during storms, and these boats fair fine.

Knowing how to drive a boat during an incidental storm is the most important issue, the hull will handle 8 ft seas if driven correctly.

Anyone who thinks a bay or sheltered waterway will not go absolutely nuts during a thunderstorm squall is mistaken.

Make sure your bilge pumps are working, the hull itself is designed to shed water. Stay out of the shallows and away from breakers during storms, sometimes a run to deeper water is much safer than seeking shelter in the shallows.

Being at sea in deeper water during a storm is much safer than the shallows during a storm, and any mariner with experience will know that.

Gibson in rough water
by: Anonymous

I owned a 42' Gibson for 14 seasons from 1972-1986. Took her out in all kinds of weather. When water is rough, pretend you are a sailboat and TACK!

Since then I have owned 6 boats, all in 35'-42' range, including several trawlers and an off-shore 36' fishing boat. It's for sale and my next boat will be a Gibson😃!

My only suggestion is, have condition of ALL wiring checked!!!

Houseboat life on Gibson
by: bruce taylor

i live and travel on a 37ft Gibson houseboat and I'm planning a trip from Ingleside TX up to Tom Big this year. Would love to hear from others about a trip up the Tom Big or any information on others that live and boat on a Gibson.

Holiday mansion or happy days--rough water
by: Anonymous

Which boat would be better In the north channel and manitoulin to Georgian bay waterways

Fuel burn
by: David

What kind of gph should I expect with the Gibson.

Gibsons in rough water
by: brad

I just like hearing that the Gibson houseboat will handle 4 foot sea's. I'm looking forward to doing the great loop someday.

Houseboat Living - a Gibson 37 ft. sport 1999
by: bruce

I live on my Gibson houseboat in Inglside, TX and I use my Gibson in ICW from Brownsville TX to Key West, and the bays and rivers.

They are great boats but they are not very good in rough seas over 4 ft so don't try it. They are very good at getting out of the way of bad weather at 18 its and they don't draw but 2ft 4 inches so they do very well in bays and rivers.

Maintenance is the same as any boat in salt water, every 2 years bottom paint, every 6 months clean bottom and props.

Do wash out engines with fresh water after you use them. Did the great loop with no problems and it's really fun when you have the right boat like a Gibson.

Doing the Loop with a Houseboat
by: nan and jack

We are doing the Great Loop in our '95 37' Gibson Sport Series, and are currently in Ft Myers, FL. Our home port is Nashville TN and so far we have traveled over 1200 miles, including the TN-TOM, Mobile Bay, and the GIWW.

The most challenging was crossing the Big Bend from Carrabelle to Steinhatchee, where we had at least 4' seas... The boat handled well, but it was too much for our nerves, and we'll pick our days better in the future.

Despite those folks who make disparaging remarks about doing the Loop in a houseboat, we continue to be pleased with our Gibson. We've had no mechanical problems or any related to salt water.

Reply - Answer
Well Nan and Jack, I wanted to thank you for the post, and also wish you a great trip.

IAN from

Misc. houseboat usage
by: John M. Osborne

I am a Gibson houseboat dealer on the Chesapeake Bay near Annapolis MD. We have sold the Gibson line at this location since 1986. Gibsons are an excellent boat for what most people do here on the bay.

They will handle pretty rough seas but are best suited for seas 4 ft or less. The biggest issue with all boats but especially with houseboats is common sense.

John M. Osborne.

Gibson houseboats in rough waters
by: Sal Trapani

I currently own a 2006 Gibson 47 Classic, it is a closed cooling system. Last year I took a trip from the Delta west coast to San Francisco Bay.

I checked the weather a couple days a head and the morning before we departed the Marina. The weather was calm with winds in the bay at about 10-15 mph and 2-3 feet sea's.

The boat handled the Bay with no problem but I think the key is
to check the weather conditions and plan your trip ahead. I also took my boat under the Golden Gate and back just to say I did it!!!!

I felt very safe in my Gibson even when it was a little rough, however I don't recommend taking it out in open waters.

houseboat use in rough open waters

I was a merchant marine for 15 years, and I owned a houseboat a few years ago, and I would not recommend taking a houseboat out in rough open waters.

I don't think you can even insure a houseboat for open water, ocean use. We sold our houseboat and got a 42 foot Chris-Craft for very much the same money.

Just be sincere with yourself and don't think the ocean will be nice to you all the time.

Just my 0.02 worth, right now docked in Galveston Texas, on our way to Cozumel, Mexico.

Gibson houseboats and saltwater
by: Noel

I own a 1999 Gibson 47 cabin Yacht for one year, and the yacht is located here in Bermuda, and has been moored in salt water.

Bermuda is located in the Atlantic Ocean, so there are times when the sea is very rough here, however the Gibson 47 cabin yacht handles very well in two to four foot seas.

The maintenance on my Gibson is just the basic and normal stuff, the same as all other saltwater boats.

I hope this helps, Noel.

Reply - Answer
Well Noel, I wanted to thank you for sharing your Gibson saltwater experience with the group.

IAN from

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