Glen-L: Classic Barge-style Houseboat

From Glen-l comes this vintage styled houseboat plan.  Comes in two sizes.  One was being built in Washington state, but when it was almost completed the builder had to sell it.  He ended up giving it away as there were no takers willing to pay.


Is real estate getting too pricey for that waterfront cabin you’ve always dreamed about? Then consider one of these houseboats as an alternative. While not meant for anything fast, foul, or furious, they make a perfect retreat for anchoring a spell in your favorite backwater cove, or for moseying along protected waters in search of game, fish, sights, or solitude.

No special skills are required to build. Anyone who can drill a hole, drive a screw, and saw a board can do the job. In fact, if you can’t build this boat, you probably can’t build any boat. There’s not a curved line anywhere other than the cabin top crown. Hence no lofting is required, and even full size patterns are unnecessary as a result. But plans do include instructions, material lists, plywood utilization layouts, and all the details to carry through at a minimum of effort and expense.

All plywood is standard 4′ x 8′ exterior grade (marine optional), while hull lumber is mostly 2″ nominal stock found in just about any lumberyard. Equipment such as appliances and windows can be like those used on recreational vehicles, or typical residential items rather than costlier marine-types. We do suggest you have access to a table or radial arm saw to ease making long cuts on the 2″ stock.

Both models sleep 4 with full headroom, and have similar amenities but with more room on WATER LODGE TOO. These include a settee with seat back that raises to form upper and lower berths, a dinette that converts to a double berth, fully-equipped galley, and enclosed head with shower. There’s plenty of tank capacity for fuel, water, or waste. Other features include inside control station, front and back “porches” (decks), and sundeck on the house top. You can tow them on an ordinary flatbed trailer; while a special boat trailer can be adapted, one is not mandatory.

Characteristics Waterlodge Waterlodge Too
Length overall (hull) 20’2″ 24’0″
Beam 8’2″ 8’2″
Draft (w/skegs) 11″ 11″
Boat height 7’3″ 7’3″
Displacement 4000 lbs. 5000 lbs.
Boat weight approx. 2000 lbs. 2400 lbs.
Tankage 110 gals. 110 gals.
Horsepower 25-50 30-70
Headroom 6′ to 6’2″ 6′ to 6’2″
  • Incredibly simple curve-free construction
  • Easy, quick project for anyone who can handle basic woodworking tools
  • Uses ordinary materials available anywhere at bargain prices
  • Super LOW PRICE for plans

Originally posted 2012-06-12 09:43:02.

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  1. I am surprised by the weight estimate. I built a boat of similar size and just the hull alone weighs 2500 lbs.

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