Luxury 88' x 38' Houseboat on HDPE pontoons
by Colin Crowl
(Tanjung Bungah, Penang, Malaysia)
I am an expatriate Australian semi retired in Malaysia with very little boating experience. The cost of living in Malaysia is low, the weather is always warm and the people are friendly. Malaysia is generally free of volcanoes, earthquakes and typhoons, but certainly has many short sharp tropical storms.
I am soon to select a boatyard to build a luxury aluminium and glass houseboat which will be our liveaboard and have two suites to rent out on Airbnb or similar websites. The houseboat will be towed from beach to beach and should always be anchored in sheltered locations in the lee of islands.
The houseboat will be approx 45,000kg (dry weight) and the floatation from the two pontoons are 75,800kgs @50% submerged. Freeboard is 2m and draft approx. 750mm. In addition we have storage between the pontoons which rides above the waterline, but would add additional floatation in emergency, in particular it ensures we cannot tip to one side.
Each pontoon is divided into six waterproof compartments and and air tank. With any water ingress we are able to blow out the compartment with air (like a submarine).
I would appreciate any experience that the readers might have on large HDPE pontoons.
Especially, the method of joining the pontoon to the aluminium frame.
Thanks in Advance