It has become a growing trend that many of the people considering purchasing a houseboat opt for one of the many small houseboats available, in large part because of the many advantages a small-scale houseboat provides the owner. A smaller houseboat, for example allows for easy transport in some models, specifically the trailerable models.
Types of Small-Scale Houseboats
There are several models of small-scale houseboats available. The most popular model, however, is a pontoon style houseboat, as it provides the user with more stability than many hull types for different models of houseboat.
For instance, while the catamaran style houseboat provides less stability on rougher waters, it also creates a lesser force of drag while traveling through the water, making it extremely fuel efficient.
Another extremely popular houseboat model is referred to as a full hull model because of the shape of the boat’s hull. This particular style of boat provides an increased amount of useable space by allowing the use of the hull located underneath the upper floor of the boat’s deck.
After you have chosen the type of small-scale houseboat you want, you also need to decide who should make it. It’s not just the name of the boat that matters; it’s also the name on the boat that bears significance in the world of small houseboats.
Many popular manufacturers got to the level of prestige they have achieved by being able to set themselves apart from other boat manufacturers or even “build-it-yourself” enthusiasts. This is typically an indicator of the overall quality of the boat, something boating enthusiasts take very seriously. After all, if your houseboat fails due to no fault of your own, the process of being towed back to shore, or worse, abandoning ship, can be an extremely daunting experience. Some of the most popular manufacturers of small boats include:
- Adventurecraft – Manufacturers of a few different styles of houseboat, this brand boasts reliability without the added cost of a high-end brand name. Usually considered the “best buy for your money”.
- Emerald Bay – A more high-end houseboat manufacturer, Emerald Bay boats are also a very popular choice in the houseboat industry. These boats have a reputation for being reliable and practical, two things every boat should be.
- Holiday Mansion – The name pretty much says it all- you live like you’re on holiday in your mansion on the water. More expensive than the other two boats, this brand also provides available upgrades to nearly every aspect of their small boats.
- Sunseeker – Another highly popular houseboat manufacturer, Sunseeker also has a reasonable pricing line on their reputable and efficiently designed houseboat selection.
Common Amenities on Small Houseboats
Depending on the amount of money you spend and the style of houseboat you purchase, there are a number of different amenities that may be found on houseboats. Under-the-deck resting or storage space is usually a big seller, as it provides ample opportunity to entertain or simply relax while out on the water. The biggest use for under deck resting area, however, is most commonly used as bedroom space for people who intend to be out on their boats for long periods of time, or even live on them. They are houseboats, after all.
Small Houseboat Hull Material
Material choice is also key when selecting a boat. There are three common materials used in the hull construction for a houseboat, and each of the 3 materials has its own benefits and down sides.
- Aluminum hulls, for example, are light and durable and usually considered to be long lasting. The most commonly reported drawback is the possibility of electrolytic corrosion, which can be prevented with a yearly check of the boat’s condition.
- Fiberglass is another popular choice in houseboat hull construction, because of the fact it is both strong and more easily repaired than other hulls. The drawback to fiberglass is that it is heavier than aluminum, meaning it may require more fuel to move from area to area.
- Often referred to as the “only traditional” material to be used for the hull of a houseboat, wood provides a beautiful material for a houseboat hull. However strong, wood hulls require more maintenance than the other types, and is the most difficult to repair.
These considerations are among the most important when looking at various types and models of small houseboats.