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Simple Houseboat Building Materials and Ideas

by Roger
(somewhere, fl)

Simple Houseboat Building Ideas and Materials

Simple Houseboat Building Ideas and Materials

Looking for simple houseboat building materials and ideas? There's a lot of interest in low cost houseboat building, and I have the experience with these.

Here are a few suggestions that might make your house boat building plans easier. In an earlier article I wrote that balance is the first thing to consider, whether it's pontoons or a displacement hull, it has to sit level in the water to work right. If you can find an old houseboat hull, this is a good place to start. If it's pontoons you might want to think of tritoons (3) pontoons, as they are less tipsy and can better handle the loaded weight.

What my friends and myself have found that aluminum composite panels make the best wall and roof materials. They take most of the work and weight out of the houseboat project. What these consist of is an Styrofoam sheet 2 to 3 inches thick, sandwiched between aluminum skins.

The skin is usually white embossed and needs nothing else for the finish. These are structural and they don't require much framing. There is 2 companies here in the southeast that market these, metals usa, structural comp. I've dealt with both and they can advise you as to what you need.

I've cut the old fiberglass roof off a houseboat and installed an aluminum composite roof in it's place and it was great, since it insulated the roof and gave us a place to sit as we put rails up added seating and we had another deck to use.

Hope this gives you some ideas because nowadays we now have alternatives to the old 2x4 or plywood homemade homebuilt houseboat.


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Reply - Answer
Roger, you have again taken the time to share your low cost houseboat building ideas, and I want to say thanks on behalf of all our readers since this is priceless information.

If some of the readers are curious about what houseboat designs to start with, this will give you a good idea.

A big thanks to Roger for the time to share and post this.

IAN - from

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Homemade composite for houseboats.
by: Anonymous

I took the idea of of the aluminum composite and adapted it to what I had to work with in the shop. I used 1/4 luan marine grade plywood and laminated one sheet to either side of a 1 1/2 inch foam insulation board.

I used fiberglass resin to laminate them and it has really suprised me as to how strong and light it is. The only thing I can see I dont like about it yet is I have to finish the exterior wall, the inside is now stained which looks really good.

Hope this helps someone out there. And as always, keep the powder dry!

Reply - Answer
Thanks for the explanation and tip.

IAN from

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