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Thread: Small Houseboat Plans

  1. #1
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    Default Small Houseboat Plans

    Anyone have plans for a small wooden houseboat...25' or less with a hull approximating the shape of the old flatbottom school boats used in Louisiana in the old days. I'm interested in building one that looks good, traditional, in marine plywood with cypress and mahogany mixed in where I can. Small outboard powered. I'm more interested in form than function at this point, so nice curved gunwale and shear would be nice. Flatbottomed with maybe pretty reverse curve aft, in which case I'd probably want to revert to cypress planks to accommodate the curvature. Just completed my 16' crawfish skiff which I built out of 5/16's planks of cypress encapsulated in fiberglass and epoxy, powered by a 23hp gator tail motor. Now all I need to complete my dream package is the houseboat.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Small Houseboat Plans

    Lots of stuff around: you might start with some of Atkins stuff:
    http://www.atkinboatplans.com/

    Under "rowboats and outboards" scroll down to 'River Rat", for example. A 22' "houseboat/cabin cruiser".

    Under "Miscellanious", you might check out "Herald of the Morning" or "Retreat" (both 18') or slightly larger: "Rocking Chair"
    Sometimes you've gotta leave the kibble out where the slow dogs can get some....
    ... Roy Blount, Jr.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Small Houseboat Plans

    Harry Bryan's Shantyboat ... Similar to the Atkin "Retreat," but a bit larger (20') and with more style.

    http://www.harrybryan.com/harrybryan...yboatPlan.html

    Phil Thiel has a 22-foot design called "Friendship" and a 23-footer called the Joli Boat (as well as an 18-footer called Escargot, which is shown in the last link below):

    Phil's Friendship:
    http://www.mission-base.com/pedal-po...ip_layout.html

    Phil's Joli Boat:
    www.shambalariver.com/joli.html

    And here's a whole web site on Shantyboats, with links to more resources ... designs, books, discussion groups:
    http://shantyboatliving.com/photos.html
    Last edited by Steve Paskey; 01-28-2010 at 01:30 PM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Small Houseboat Plans

    I hate it when someone says, "This design doesn't meet your specifications, but here it is anyways" ,and now I find myself doing the same thing.

    I love the aesthetics of this design... couldn't help myself.

    http://www.parker-marine.com/sam36page.html

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Small Houseboat Plans

    Do you have a picture of the type of hull you're talking about. I came across a very interesting design the other day. It was published in The Rudder years ago and then republished in the Woodenboat issue that had an article on Pete Culler's sailing scow. Designed by Roger Haddock it is a tunnel hulled houseboat.

    The only drawings I know of are here: http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=scow&w=43145927%40N00

    And it's 28'. And the Wooden Boat article said the only plans were lost in a fire. But it's worth a look.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Small Houseboat Plans

    I think I like shanty boats....

    Suspect there would be snobbery against them, tho

    That would just add spice to having one

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Small Houseboat Plans

    I have the plans for Aqua Casa, a 16ft or 20 ft shanty houseboat. more here:
    http://www.berkeley-engineering.com/...Houseboat.html

    Cape Codder is a floating home, 20 ft or 24 ft. from the same designer.
    http://www.berkeley-engineering.com/CapeCodder.html
    " He who works with his hands is a laborer.
    He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist".
    St. Francis of Assis (1181-1226)

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Small Houseboat Plans

    http://www.svensons.com/boat/

    under house boats

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Small Houseboat Plans

    Quote Originally Posted by Robmill0605 View Post
    I have the plans for Aqua Casa, a 16ft or 20 ft shanty houseboat. more here:
    http://www.berkeley-engineering.com/...Houseboat.html

    Cape Codder is a floating home, 20 ft or 24 ft. from the same designer.
    http://www.berkeley-engineering.com/CapeCodder.html
    I like the Aqua Casa. If you don't want to go boating in it just go camping:


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Small Houseboat Plans

    Rueull Parker's Sampan houseboat is about 34 feet IIRC but could be made smaller. It's got a unique style that really grabs me. Maybe it will grab you, too.

    Edit--sorry, it's 36' not 34: http://www.parker-marine.com/sam36page.html
    Last edited by MiddleAgesMan; 01-28-2010 at 06:28 PM.
    Goat Island Skiff and Simmons Sea Skiff construction photos here:

    http://s176.photobucket.com/albums/w...esMan/?start=0

    and here:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/37973275@N03/

    "All kings are not the same."

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Small Houseboat Plans


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Small Houseboat Plans

    -- Tom (boating blog)

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Small Houseboat Plans

    Quote Originally Posted by dguidry View Post
    Anyone have plans for a small wooden houseboat...25' or less with a hull approximating the shape of the old flatbottom school boats used in Louisiana in the old days. I'm interested in building one that looks good, traditional, in marine plywood with cypress and mahogany mixed in where I can. Small outboard powered. I'm more interested in form than function at this point, so nice curved gunwale and shear would be nice. Flatbottomed with maybe pretty reverse curve aft, in which case I'd probably want to revert to cypress planks to accommodate the curvature. Just completed my 16' crawfish skiff which I built out of 5/16's planks of cypress encapsulated in fiberglass and epoxy, powered by a 23hp gator tail motor. Now all I need to complete my dream package is the houseboat.
    So, what does a Louisiana school boat look like? Did they move around? Motorized or towed? Any old pictures?

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Small Houseboat Plans

    Quote Originally Posted by MiddleAgesMan View Post
    Rueull Parker's Sampan houseboat is about 34 feet IIRC but could be made smaller. It's got a unique style that really grabs me. Maybe it will grab you, too.

    Edit--sorry, it's 36' not 34: http://www.parker-marine.com/sam36page.html

    I like the outhouse.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Small Houseboat Plans

    I've always liked Atkin's Retreat

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Small Houseboat Plans

    Quote Originally Posted by SamSam View Post
    So, what does a Louisiana school boat look like? Did they move around? Motorized or towed? Any old pictures?
    This isn't exactly what they would have had in the "old days," but the NOAA photo library identifies the boat below as a "Grand Bayou School Boat," pre-Katrina.

    Last edited by Steve Paskey; 01-29-2010 at 08:03 PM.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Small Houseboat Plans

    Now I get it ... if you're a kid growing up in Grand Bayou, you don't ride a bus to school, you ride a boat ...

    Grand Bayou is, quite simply, an anomaly. Some people don't even believe it exists upon learning about it for the first time.

    It's an isolated community in Plaquemines Parish, located along the banks of the Grand Bayou. If one were to travel there, he or she would take Highway 23 to a small road paved with oyster shells, follow that for nearly a mile and then continue by boat a short distance to the community, where they would find a number of homes and shrimp boats, but no streets.

    You read correctly. There are no streets, no automobiles, no traffic in Grand Bayou.

    In fact, a trip to school means waiting outside for the "school boat" — a bright yellow boat provided by a member of the community — to pick up the children and take them to the shell road to catch the actual school bus.
    Last edited by Steve Paskey; 01-29-2010 at 08:03 PM.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Small Houseboat Plans

    Just wondering some of the boats are in effect pontoon boats but wouldn't it be easter tohave a flat bottom all the way acrost and therefore less draft? if the bottom reached all the way out to the side more stability because as Mr Bolger wrote " that way no one can step where its not suported by the water." if the bow has a very gentle slope up then waves are contained under the overhang insteed of comming aboard

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