Ever Thought of Living on a Houseboat?

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to live on a houseboat? You might remember the floating homes from the movie Sleepless in Seattle. On the Great Lakes and other massive bodies of fresh water, you may have seen flat-sided cruisers that resemble miniature ocean liners. Living on a houseboat is a different life, with its own pros and cons, but for some it’s the only way to live.

Living on a Houseboat, TJ Woods Insurance Agency Inc., Worcester, MAThe Motorized Houseboat

Houseboats come in two major categories: motorized and tethered. The first is more like a traditional boat, with a bow and stern and enough engine to get up to speed. Depending on the type of water, these may be more traditional-looking to deal with open seas and chop, though most houseboats should not be taken out of the sight of land. These “houses” pride mobility over space, and interiors resemble expanded luxury mobile homes or RVs.

The Tethered Floating Home

The second kind, sometimes known as floating homes to differentiate their shackled nature, are usually tethered at docks and marinas. While they bob in storms and with the tides, they usually have hinged walkways from the home to the dockside with electrical, water, and sewage lines hooked up to the boat. These second kind of houseboats tend to form in communities, most of them placed upon flat-bottomed rafts rather than the sloped keen of a true boat, lacking any true maneuverability or engines.

Houseboat Perks

Houseboats hold a certain place in the heart of Americans. For some they represent freedom from being tied down, for others they represent a quaint way of life, and for many it’s an exciting change of how they live. Houseboats (either kind) tend to be cheaper than either houses or boats, and some marina communities have reduced or free utilities. Due to their nature they are not taxed as houses, though captains still must pay slip rent and dock fees.

Houseboat Drawbacks

Owning or renting a houseboat isn’t for everyone. Regardless of being tethered or motorized, you are on the sea: with all the motions and danger that entails. Fragile or top-heavy items are at risk in the swaying houseboat, and water damage is a real possibility. Getting supplies to and from your houseboat can be a hassle, especially if you don’t own a car or are anchored off shore. Even walking your groceries through the length of a marina to your floating home can quickly become a drain.

Getting It Insured

Last, just like a home or a boat, if you should decide to get a houseboat, you need to make sure that it is insured. Buying insurance for a houseboat can be tricky, and insurance you think would cover them may not. For instance, if the houseboat is your primary residence, you cannot cover it with boat insurance, and you may need to take out personal insurance to cover many of the related liabilities. If you’re interested in pursuing a houseboat or are interested in getting the one you own insured, please contact TJ Woods Insurance and we’ll help you chart the course of getting your dreamboat shipshape.