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Thread: WBS class? Build Your Own Houseboat!

  1. #1
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    Apr 1999
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    West Boothbay Harbor, Maine
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    Default WBS class? Build Your Own Houseboat!

    I wish the WB School would conduct a class for building houseboats. I can imagine a whole fleet of them anchored in the shallows off the WB dock as alternative 'camping' sites for students. Wagbags and water jugs would do. I'd love to take a class building one with a bunch of others and would gladly buy it at raffle depending on the design. I wonder if one could be knocked together in a week or two? There's a sweet cove right nearby where we could moor one for our grandchildren to play and live on. Endless fun. When I was a teen a couple of friends built one on a discarded raft and we had so much fun with it.
    "So we beat on, paddleboats against the wake of a neighbor’s jet ski, born back ceaselessly into the past." The Great Lakes Gatsby

  2. #2
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    Mar 2017
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    Loon Lake, Washington
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    Default Re: WBS class? Build Your Own Houseboat!

    I did design a minimal 16' plywood "shanty" boat last winter. Basically, an eight-foot cabin with four-foot stern and bow decks, about eight feet wide on centerline. Rockered bottom and curved sides to stiffen the plywood. The rockered bottom might make it a bit noisier at anchor than a true flat bottom, but by curving the surfaces I think we can get away with less framing than the typical barge boat. Standing headroom only on centerline with a curved roof.

    I never quite finished the design or modeled it, but it was simplicity itself and certainly could be built quickly.
    It looked like an awful lot of fun!

  3. #3
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    Mar 2014
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    Rochester, NY
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    Default Re: WBS class? Build Your Own Houseboat!

    Quote Originally Posted by Etdbob View Post
    I did design a minimal 16' plywood "shanty" boat last winter.
    I know of the "Lisa B Good" and "Aqua Casa" - would be interested in learning more about this additional small shanty. Floating van life.

    John

  4. #4
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    Default Re: WBS class? Build Your Own Houseboat!

    I call it R.O.U.S.


    As in a "Rodent Of Unusual Size" from the film The Princess Bride. Which had nothing at all to do with house boats, but shanty boats are typically considered the lowest form of flotsam out there and it is big for a rodent!

    I imagined building one and spending a season floating hidden backwaters and bayous down south, making a living hunting the Coypu (also called Nutria), which are Invasive Rodents of Unusual Size. They are also good to eat, are hunted for fur, and a bounty is paid for every tail turned in. Last year something like 200,000 tails worth more than a million bucks were turned in, by only 200-odd licensed hunters. If I were twenty years old again I'd go for it.

    Anyway, the boat exists only on paper in my notebooks thus far. One day last winter I was out in my boat shop doing little more than tending the woodstove when the inspiration hit me and I started sketching furiously. I was quite taken with it, but figured I really had no practical reason to make one so I didn't finish the design. I'll have dig it out and take a look at it, see it fit's worth more effort.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: WBS class? Build Your Own Houseboat!

    We're waiting Sketches are always fun!

  6. #6
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    Mar 2006
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    La Conner, WA
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    Default Re: WBS class? Build Your Own Houseboat!

    Great idea, pulling back my boating dreams. Let’s see...build a shanty boat, build an outboard skiff and putt putt into a nice summer cove. Aaah.

  7. #7
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    Seattle, WA
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    Default Re: WBS class? Build Your Own Houseboat!

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Schweiss View Post
    Great idea, pulling back my boating dreams. Let’s see...build a shanty boat, build an outboard skiff and putt putt into a nice summer cove. Aaah.
    great idea Paul.

  8. #8
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    Southern Maine
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    Default Re: WBS class? Build Your Own Houseboat!


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
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    Default Re: WBS class? Build Your Own Houseboat!

    Quote Originally Posted by pcford View Post
    great idea Paul.
    Exactly.
    "So we beat on, paddleboats against the wake of a neighbor’s jet ski, born back ceaselessly into the past." The Great Lakes Gatsby

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Rochester, NY
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    Default Re: WBS class? Build Your Own Houseboat!

    Www.themainemag.com/rocking-the-boat

    So that is nice but I think R.O.U.S might be scaled down a bit? But that one would get wifey on board.

    For the 16' ply shanty I think of "Lisa B Good", "Aqua Casa" and I just stumbled on a Tennessee design by Bolger? Seems to be two: on a long thin sneakeasy like his other state designs but than this odd little sketch.

    All of these sound like your 8' cabin, 16' rockered hull. All low freeboard, not sure if that is what you had in mind.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
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    Cushing, Maine
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    Default Re: WBS class? Build Your Own Houseboat!

    As I recall in the classic American Boy Handy Book or a title close to it there is a very simple house boat. It also has the classic flatbottom skiff with a single mold and the transom pulled in with a Spanish windlass.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: WBS class? Build Your Own Houseboat!

    I like it. If it were built in the traditional method -- timber and nails, maybe a few screws, then paint -- a week would be enough. But if the entire thing needs to be epoxified inside and out, every joint watertight and weatherproof, built to last two or three lifetimes -- then no. It's all of a sudden a 1,000-hour project.
    -Dave

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