I am presently building a Houseboat that will be my year round home.
I like living close to water and for the past 18 years have owned and lived on my sailboat part of the season. I say part of the season because I live in Canada, so living on a sailboat in the winter is not an easy thing to do.
For many years I’ve been thinking of a boat design that could be my home in the winter as well as my boat and home in the summer.
I want it to be towable by a minivan, suv or pickup if I need to move it. So it would need to be a maximum of 8 and 1/2 feet wide and would like to keep the weight below 3,500 pounds if possible.
I have a design that has evolve in my mind over the years from my self-taught building, design and fiberglass experience.
I am presently building it but I’m not following any plans or have taken the information from somewhere. So don’t ask me where you can get plans for it. It’s all coming from my mind as I go.
The houseboats main construction material is rigid urethane foam, which is a lightweight material that can become structural when sandwiched between layers of fiberglass or thin plywood. The other main characteristics of urethane foam is it has one of the highest Insulation value for the thickness. The foam boards I’m using are 3 inches thick which represents R19 in Insulation value. The sheets are 4 feet wide by 8 feet long. The floor and ceiling of the living space will be 6 inches thick and the walls will be 3 inches thick.
If you know about insulation value and construction, you will know how efficient this home will be to heat or cool
The houseboat will be a multihull, catamaran or pontoon style if you wish. Each pontoons will be about 28 feet long by 2 feet wide. The outside width (beam) will be 8 and 1/2 feet wide. The main cabin will have an internal size of 18 feet long by 8 feet wide. It will contain one enclose bedroom and one enclosed bathroom. The rest of the open space will be 10 feet long by 8 feet wide and will be the kitchen, dinning and living room space.
The outside upper roof will be used as an open deck but will have an above cover (for shade) which will be Solar electric panels used to propel the electric motor to navigate the rivers and waterways at no cost of you know what.
I will have an array of 48 volts 100 amp/hours lithium ion battery bank as reserve for high current maneuvering in and out of port and reserve house power. However, the idea is once under way to adjust the speed so the reserve batteries are not depleted. I should be able to fit about 2 KW of solar panels above the deck. Obviously I’ll be navigating during daylight only.
Please note, in the winter the houseboat will be used on its trailer.
I’m making video’s of each steps of the building process and will be releasing them as I build over the summer of 2013.
Hope you enjoy my build
And the rest of the series in a playlist:
Thanks to ShantyboatLiving.com Reporter Dan Hohman