The Weekes Erie Canal GeoHouseboat. Update

Mike Weekes is an engineer, boat designer, museum founder and business performance consultant from Buffalo, NY who has been developing a concept for a sustainable, low-cost, capable, innovative living space for on the water and on the land for the last three years.  His original idea was for a replica of an Erie canal packet boat, but the project failed due to poor execution, insufficient planning.
Since his exploration of tiny homes and tiny living led him to a geodesic greenhouse design, he can’t stop thinking about a geodesic recreational vehicle and a geodesic houseboat.
Here, on Shanty Boat Living, Mike shares his dream.  if you would like plans to build your own Geo Houseboat, or a kit or have one built on your site in 48 hours contact Mike at  He encourages you to discover your dreams, design around them and execute!
The GeoHouseboat came about as a result of hundreds of hours of research into what the optimal living space would be:  requirements included: enough space to provide extended (beyond one week living resources) a location that was serene, reflective and perhaps could change (mobility), a cheap construction technique, a safe, capable, efficient design, that lvereages some of the 20th Century’s best innovations (in this case R. Buckminster Fuller’s Geodesic design) and be fun and fulfilling to construct, quick build capability, low skill level, with a small team or on your own.
The Resulting Design
With approximately 156 sq. ft. of adaptable living space, the Weekes GeoHouseboat has room for 4 to 6 people, including bunks for sleeping, dining capability, storage (approx, 14 cu. ft.) water, coolers, sink, toilet, shower and cook surface for either microwave, stove, overn or pot belly stove.
Length: 14′ (up to 24′) , W: 8′ / 10′ / 12′ , Height: 7’6″ (up to 12′)
The vessel has an infinite number of ventilation, screen windows, canvas, wood or poly sheet skin options as well as the opportunity for as many as four or as few as one door.
Contact the author for plans, kits, delivery
Construction / Assembly:
This vessel could be built by one or several teenagers or rocket scientists or anyone in between.  It could even be a project, with supervision, to enable the developmentally disabled a new opportunity to live life fully!
Step 1:
Build either three of four deck subassemblies, each consisting of:
1) a 4′ x 10′, 2 x 4 PT frame. with 1/4″ luan skin, both sides.
Step 2:
Build one set (6 qty in a 2 x 3 matrix) of boyancy subassemblies from 18 gal. storage tubs.
(the boyancy of water is equivalent to 8.35 lbs. per gal. so do the math) mounted to 2 x 4 PT
Step 3:
Assemble the boyancy subassemblies to the deck subassemblies and fasten the deck subassemblies at the edge with 2 x 3 PT x 14′ or 18′ long.
Step 4:
Build the geodesic framw from 2 x 2 PT wood.  I used a 3V 5/9 Geodesic dome formula with a 5′ redius with a flat bottom and a 2′ wall to provide the interface between deck and dome.
Step 5:
Fasten the dome frame to the deck.
Step 6:
Finish exterior as required (cancas, wood, poly, screen, vents, etc.)
This vessel will be built in Buffalo, NY between June 14th and June 30th, 2013 and we are always looking for volunteers as well as a video / photo grapher.
There is not other GeoHouseboat to my knowledge in the US or Europe.
Celebrate sustainability, R Buckminster Fuller, the Water, The Erie Canal, Buffalo, heritage, history, architecture, efficiency and effectiveness, shantyboat living, tiny homes, fun, dreamers and innovation!
Contact the author for plans, kits, delivery information and pricing.
Thank you,
Michael R Weekes

Originally posted 2013-06-17 07:17:21.

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