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Roof upper deck strength on Sumerset Houseboats

by Spike
(Maryville, TN)

The roof and upper deck on our 1975 Sumerset Houseboat

The roof and upper deck on our 1975 Sumerset Houseboat

Is the roof and upper decks on older steel Sumerset houseboats strong enough to have people on it?

I had written earlier, about my husband and I buying a 1975 Sumerset Houseboat with a steel hull. My question now is regarding the stability or strength of the roof/upper levels on these houseboats.

Can you walk, or hang out on the top of these house boats? My husband wants to clean the roof, and put some coating on it to protect the top, but is it okay to be on the roof.

It's not laid out like some of the newer houseboat models where you can party and sunbath, if you know what I mean.

Thanks, Spike.

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Reply - Answer
Well Spike, congratulations is in order on your purchase of a clean, good looking, Sumerset houseboat. I'm sure you will really enjoy it. :)

As to being concerned about being up on the roof, don't worry about it, since the roof structure is designed to handle some weight. All of this considering, that the roof isn't damaged, and is structurally sound.

Use your better judgment, and don't put 50 people up there dancing, but you should be fine with half a dozen or so. Most houseboat roofs that I have been on have always been a little springy, which gives a feeling that it can't support the weight.

The idea of cleaning and preparing the surface of the roof deck, and applying an appropriate roof coating, is a smart preventative measure. As with all boats, the roofs can take a beating from the sun and all the elements, and leaks can occur with time.

Lastly, hopefully some of our readers will share and post comments about their houseboat roof & upper deck experiences.

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

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Comments for Roof upper deck strength on Sumerset Houseboats

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Roof coatings
by: Anonymous

Great post Marty! Always great to see the roof project from all angles, including the property owners.

Though we're not huge fans of roof coatings for most applications, it is a great solution for a roof, which has a verifiable, solid structure/deck below.

Angela Jones

Houseboat Roofs - toy tank on roof?
by: Mike

I just bought a 1989 65' houseboat and this year's project is to repair the roof again. There is a 300 gallon toy tank full of fuel on the rear 6' of the boat roof. Is this causing the roof failure?

If we supported it with I-beams instead of placing the 6' wide box in the moddle of the 14' roof, would it solve the problem? New to this forum, but not to boats.
Thanks, Mike.

More on houseboat roof coatings
by: Anonymous

Please help - I am getting mixed messages about wise roof coating maintenance. Is it time to use a roof coating - what roof coating do you recommend?

The roofing material seems to be a rolled material because the corners are folded like a package? Is it necessary to know the exact roofing material before I purchase and roll on a coating? Thanks for your help!

Reply - Answer
Well, I can understand your confusion. One of the products that I have had great success with is called Safe-T-Plex (RV style, elastomeric roof coating), which is a high solids acrylic elastomer coating that you can roll on, and is available in White or Grey.

IAN from all-about-houseboats

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