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Old 01-06-2009, 09:28 PM
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Default Homemade House Boats



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Anyone got any good cheap ideas for a Homeade house boat? I have been looking over the net and have found a few but nothing that I could call cheap. Thinking something for $1000-$1500 dollars that anyone here could build/use. Maybe 6-9 55gallon plastic drums, some 286 and a roof. something basic ya know? Ideas and or drawings welcome.
Old 01-06-2009, 09:52 PM
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I seen a pontoon boat with a pop-up camper removed from its frame and mounted to the pontoon deck a few years ago. weird but it worked.
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Old 01-06-2009, 10:01 PM
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Probably more than you wanted to spend, but here are some basic kits to get you started.

http://www.pithpontoons.com/BoatKits.ivnu

http://www.logoboats.com/LOGO/U%20BU...OON%20KITS.htm

http://www.all-about-houseboats.com/...oat-plans.html

http://www.glen-l.com/designs/house/marktwain.html
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Old 01-06-2009, 10:15 PM
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'Rustic Retreats' by Stiles has a nice set of plans for a houseboat using foam billets as floats. It looks pretty cheap to make too.

blt
Old 01-06-2009, 10:30 PM
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Take a weekend to come over to the Atchafalaya basin in South Louisiana. If you tour the rivers and bayous you will see many different designs. We call them cabins here. We drag them by boat to where ever we need them, anchor them off then have the boat to go fish or hunt.

I've been playing with the idea of building one just for a fun project and have been sketching out plans. I have always loved them and really enjoy staying on them. I live pretty far out now but if my work allowed it, I would love to be living full time in a spot only accessible by boat. There are places here where you can live well this way and some still do.

Most are built on small barges. You have to add a little ballast, often in the form of cement, to keep them stable. Used to get them cheap but they have gotten outrageous lately due to the price of steel. I'm presently looking for one to salvage, either a stripped down barge or an old cabin that I could strip down and rebuild.

Party barges can be made into a cabin if you really watch the weight in relation to the flotation provided by the pontoons. If you could get by with canvas walls, it would be a cheap way to go.

I don't know if I would trust 55 gallon drums unless you were going really, really small. And plastic containers would not hold up to a stump strike. I have seen huge styrofoam blocks encased in sort of a wire cage with a wooden platform above but the whole thing did not look too stable to me. I also have known people who built actual houseboats from marine plywood.

The idea of your preps going to the bottom of a river is concerning if the boat were not well built.

Sorry I don't know of a cheaper way. I know there are some other Louisiana people here. Maybe they can add something.

Here are a few links from sites that I have browsed through. You might be able to get a few ideas from the plans available there.
http://www.duckworksmagazine.com/r/p...houseboats.cfm
http://www.freeww.com/boat_plans.html
http://www.berkeley-engineering.com/HouseboatPlans.html
Old 01-06-2009, 11:06 PM
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I watched a documentary about this guy in mexico who basically collected plastic water/soda bottles 16oz, 2liter, 3liter, you know the type and plastic/string/rope netting or old fish nets and stuffed the nets full of these bottles (with caps on of course) and basically clustered them all together until he had this huge flotilla. He then spread some form of organic base layer down and then built on top of it in the form of a bamboo gilligan's island style type of dwelling. He basically built his own floating private island for free. Everything used was discarded waste. Mine the cities and build whatever you want with whatever you find. Get creative and think about what you have readily available and in abundance in the region you live.
Old 01-07-2009, 08:03 PM
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I've got a good friend that bought two wrecked pontoons after a storm. He welded a steel frame to connect all four sponsons together, and then floored the "deck" with 3/4" treated ply. He then stick framed and built a small cabin out of lumber, and finished it just like a small house. It's basic, but comfortable for 2-4 people. With a rebuilt 40hp motor he said he's got $4000 in it. I will e-mail him and see if he's willing to post some pictures.

T2E
Old 01-07-2009, 08:52 PM
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Try this link, it has just about everything you'll ever need.
http://www.boat-links.com/boatlink.html
Old 01-08-2009, 12:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SHoNUFF View Post
Anyone got any good cheap ideas for a Homeade house boat? I have been looking over the net and have found a few but nothing that I could call cheap. Thinking something for $1000-$1500 dollars that anyone here could build/use. Maybe 6-9 55gallon plastic drums, some 286 and a roof. something basic ya know? Ideas and or drawings welcome.
(Humor) My buddies and I were joking one day about this idea when we "designed" the ultimate redneck yacht. You get one of those river barges like they haul coal and gravel on. Put a couple of feet of dirt on it and plant some grass. Park a ragged looking mobile home on it. Put a fold down ramp on it so you can gravel a driveway and pull your pickup right up the driveway. Now for the piece De resistance, Put an old Trans-Am out front on blocks, plant some flowers and tomatoes in car tires, put up a swing set, a clothes line and get about six stray dogs and buddy you be STILLIN'! Oh, and don't forget the two or three vintage riding lawn mowers.
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Old 01-08-2009, 09:56 AM
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Old 01-08-2009, 10:06 AM
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When I was a kid a lot of people would use military surplus drop tanks. To give you an idea of their size. Finding them may prove to be difficult.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drop_tank
Old 01-08-2009, 10:58 AM
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I'd spend months building one, and on the first time it goes into water, it GOES into water. Then I'd get ****ed and curse the time, money, and effort I put into that failure.

I'll leave it to the pros on this one.
Old 01-08-2009, 11:15 AM
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Sounds like a good idea. Have you thought about finding some old pontoons and starting from there?
Old 01-08-2009, 06:13 PM
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First, Thanks to everyone for the input.

The used pontoons i have found here in my area are about 3000 for the set i assume due to the price of metals. And one of these was damaged. I have found some ideas from one sitting on the river yesterday. It was there with noone to talk to so i boarded and looked around. It was 6 55gallon drums (plastic) with some form of netting around them and 2*8 or 2*10 set wide enough so the drum was half way in. The deck was raised over that and ply wood floor. Then he had it framed like a house for the walls. The beds i assume would be air matresses and he had a spot for what i assume would be a battery with a small water pump and a brace for what, again I assume; was for a small motor. Looked fairly good and was pretty sturdy considering the crudeness of it. Would be nice to get something to cut the water on either side but assume that would be easy enough with sheet metal or tin. I dont know if he had the barrels stuffed with any thing like foam not even sure if that would help to tell you the truth.
Old 01-08-2009, 08:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bizarro View Post
If I were to build my own houseboat, I feel sure it would look real similar to this one.
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Old 01-09-2009, 12:25 AM
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OH snap
Old 01-09-2009, 02:14 PM
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I have a local lake near me that has a 10hp max rule. Alot of people have made 25ft long or so house boats. A porch sytle design and plastic drums. Keep the drums sperate, don't try to plastic weld them togther. Make about 1/2 a fixed structure roof and the rest a canvas roof. Will save on weight. Check your state laws on making a homeamde vessel. In NY they require to be inspected by USCG auxillary and have a certificate of seaworthyness by them. May want to check your local DMV website.
Old 01-09-2009, 02:38 PM
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Hey, what are the laws in your area regarding a house boat in the water? I think it sounds like a great idea. Im kinda near lake Travis.
Old 01-09-2009, 09:44 PM
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im not sure on the actual law, but there are several home made house boats down the neches river. Looks like they are used mostly as water camps to run honey holes for fish. My dad said there is a spot past where i turned around with a really nice sand bar and about 5-6 55gallon house boats that always stayed near it. I will have to travel further down sometime and get a video. I know most of them are setup for motors cause the ones i have seen have a brace for them but i have not seen the motors on the boats myself. Would be faster to drag them somewhere or drift down stream and only motor up.
Old 01-10-2009, 03:17 PM
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Default drop tanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Creek Walker View Post
When I was a kid a lot of people would use military surplus drop tanks. To give you an idea of their size. Finding them may prove to be difficult.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drop_tank
There's this guy who runs a military surplus/salvage yard in middle Georgia who has a ton of these drop tanks. His salvage yard is in Barnesville, GA on hwy 19/41 on the northbound side. Can't remember his name or the name of the salvage yard. These tanks were brand new, never used. If I remember correctly he said the Govt. paid around $10,000 a piece for these drop tanks, never used them and then sold them for $150 a piece. Got to love the Govt. for that one. Republicans and Democrats they are all a bunch of flea bag carpet baggers if you ask me...
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