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Rules and Regulations for pontoon houseboats.

by Mark
(SW Florida)

The US Coast Guard is a good start for houseboats.

The US Coast Guard is a good start for houseboats.

What are the rules and regulations for building a pontoon houseboat? What is a good web address that identifies the rules and regulations that legitimizes a do-it-yourself pontoon houseboat, that considers all Coast Guard Standards.

American Pontoon sells kits that include the pontoons, frame and motor mounts for a 12' beam, 30' long and various diameters for roughly $10,000.

I am thinking insulated composite panels for exterior walls, and would like to mount a steering console on a flat roof, but haven't researched the load composite panels can handle, or if a fiberglass surface could and should be applied.

I've laid out a nice floor plan, and been an RV'er long enough to know weight distribution is vital. I'm not sure about the motor size, but considering the size of my floating box, would a 60 H.P. move it modestly?

With a small kitchen, shower bath, divider curtains for interior walls, a/c roof mounted unit, LP gas for stove and hot water tank (and all the basics, including motor and console), what price am I looking at? I'm thinking roughly 20-25k. Wake me up, I'm dreaming.

BTW, my name is Mark and I live in SW Florida. Thanks!

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Reply - Answer
Well Mark, congratulations on your decision to build a pontoon houseboat. A good place to start for rules, regulations and any information regarding boats, would be the US Coast Guard website. From there you may end up at the websites of your local authorities.

As to your plans, it sounds like you have thought it all out, and from my experience the "final price" of building a houseboat always seems to be higher than we had planned.

I do think that you're in the ballpark price wise, yet to reduce some of the costs, you can always keep your eyes open for good used marine parts at flea markets or local boater gatherings.

When you get started building, do take some pictures of your project and share them with us, as many of our readers are interested in seeing pictures of actual "building your pontoon houseboat projects"

Lastly, hopefully some of our readers will share and post comments about their Houseboat Building projects & experiences. Feel free to use the "Click here to post comments." link found at the bottom of this page.

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

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