Well my friend if it’s a house boat you’re contemplating then I am truly envious. The though of living on the water really excites me, unfortunately my partner and three teenage children are a little less excited about that prospect than me. So for now at least I’m well and truly stuck on terra firma.
But for you the dream may not be far away, you lucky thing’s.
Wether your contemplating a new 70 footer to live on and get away from the mortgage forever or simply looking to rent a houseboat for a weekend party or perhaps something in between like, buying some plans and building your own or buying second hand or buying an older craft and refitting her there is an amazing amount of help available to you both on and offline. There are free forums you can join online and meet other like minded people, these are an invaluable tool for gathering very helpful information, some of which may help you avoid expensive pitfalls these people have experienced and overcome.
Sales of houseboat plans are on the rise which indicates that more and more of you are making the choice of building your own vessel. This can be a great way to build exactly what you want and do it as your budget allows. Or if your technical know-how is like mind and somewhat limited then a better option may be to buy an older craft and refit her. If you are considering this please be sure that you buy something that is structurally sound and basically well designed, believe me you don’t want to end up spending your refit budget on expensive structural reconstruction!
There are also many books available that can help you decide what options may be best for you, I suggest you spend some time gathering information especially if your boating knowledge is limited. This kind of research will save you time and money in the long run.
If buying a new houseboat or refitting and older one is outside of your budget or skill level or if like most of use you’re a busy person, becoming a shareholder or multiple owner may well be a better way to go. There are many different options available if you take this path, and some very attractive benefits, firstly you greatly reduce the capital you have tied up, so you can afford a bigger and better houseboat than you would if you are the sole owner. Secondly (and I love this benefit) you can turn up to your vessel and she is clean, fuelled up and ready to go, also ongoing maintenance is all taken care of, this really is the a carefree option.
Lastly if your time is limited or you would just like to give it a go to see if the houseboat experience really does “spin your wheels” you can simply hire one for a week or weekend. There are many sizes and styles available, in some of the most beautiful parts of the world and you can usually view photographs before you hire so picking a vessel and place that suits you and your budget is really easy.
Whatever you decide to do be careful out there and respect our environment, and most of all enjoy your adventure!