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Considering a houseboat for sale? Better read this first

What could be more adventurous than occasional beach holidays and vacations on the water? Perhaps living on a houseboat full time is.


This type of lifestyle comes with great expectations, lots of fun, as well as a few challenges.

If you’re contemplating buying one of the various houseboats for sale to begin life on the waters, then you’ll need to learn a few things that come with this lifestyle.


Among other things, you’ll want to learn how houseboats work, the toilet’s system of work, design choices, their movement or floatation, and perhaps the various ways by which houseboats differ from luxury yachts.


This article is meant to dive deeper into houseboat design, explaining many of its features and which features make a good design. We'll also look at functionality to help you choose the right home for you and your family.


Let’s dive right in.


Houseboat: How does it work?


There is a whole lot involved in making a houseboat work. A houseboat uses the principle of buoyancy to ensure it continues to float on water. Houseboats are predominantly built out of fibreglass and wood. Because these materials are light, they are able to float easily.


They are also less dense and weigh less to ensure they do not sink below the water. Unlike a liveaboard boat, houseboats are not usually designed to be seaworthy. They are instead only able to travel a short distance to make maintenance and repairs possible.


They are more of a home than a boat. While the above has to do with the manufacturing aspect needed to make the boat seaworthy, there are also a few things in place to make life on the boat easy and comfortable.


Houseboats are designed to offer similar conveniences to landed buildings. While some can be modest, there are also some that can offer luxury convenience and amenities onboard.


The parts are named similarly to those in sailboats to contain the berth, stateroom, galley, head, cabin, cockpit, etc.


Houseboats are powered by electricity which can either be accessed by hooking up to the marinas or by generators, rechargeable batteries or renewable energy.


History of Houseboats


Houseboats were first invented in Holland in the 17th century. The Dutch used them as floating houses on canals. They weren’t designed for travelling across the water; they were designed for living on the water!


The houseboat is a modern and luxurious way of living. It’s a great choice for people who want to experience the best of both worlds: the freedom of a boat, but with added comforts and luxury.


Houseboats are large boats that can be anchored in one place or can be moved around. They are also known as house barges or house yachts.


What choice of design makes a houseboat seaworthy?


Before you go shopping for houseboats for sale, how about we look at some design choices?


While liveaboards such as yachts, boats, and others may be seaworthy, houseboats are usually not designed for the sea. Most houseboats are not usually seaworthy, unlike liveaboard yachts and boats.


While certain design choices can make liveaboard boats seaworthy, houseboats on their own parts are usually not seaworthy and can be dangerous and unstable at sea.


Can a houseboat be moved?


Houseboats are either cruising or non-cruising.


Non-cruising houseboats have limited mobility and are usually not meant for travelling around. They would usually have a small engine or sail.


These are usually the most common types of houseboats and are usually moored or anchored to a slip or their special spot in the marina.


Cruising houseboats, also known as bluewater houseboats have engines and sails to provide mobility.

1997 Cruiser Houseboat 55 “Hakuna Matata”


Whether or not you’ll be able to move your houseboat is not an issue.


While the cruising houseboats for sale usually come fully equipped with engines and sails that can make every day a voyage and excursion for you, non-cruising houseboats have limited mobility.


They’d usually come with smaller engines because of this and so are not designed to be moved around frequently.


How do houseboat toilets work?


If you’re wondering what happens to the waste on a houseboat, then you’re in the right place to get a better knowledge of this.


Most houseboats usually come equipped with marine toilets.


Marine toilets draw water either from below to flush the toilet or from the freshwater tank. The water and the waste are then discharged into a tank which also holds wastewater from the sink and shower.


Using the toilet, it is advisable to avoid using substances that can easily clog the bowl and wastewater system. Common materials like these include paper towels as well as some common feminine products.


It’s also often common to have different tanks holding the waste from the toilets and showers.


Although most toilets would often have an in-line macerator that makes a kind of whirring sound, this only grinds the waste on its way to the holding tank.


The sewage is usually emptied at a harbour. A sewer hose is used to connect the holding tank to the harbour’s sewage system for disposal. Some other toilet types may also include composting toilets and incinerator toilets although these are less common.


What’s the difference between a luxury houseboat and a yacht?


Looking at the various houseboats for sale, it’s easy to confuse the idea of a houseboat with a yacht but there are stark differences between both vessels.


The focal points of a houseboat’s design are usually comfort and space.


Houseboats are meant to fit in as convenient and comfortable homes whether for permanent or semi-permanent use.


As the owner of your own houseboat, you’ll have to assume captainship of your vessel. A yacht in comparison has to be driven by a captain you’ll have to hire along with an onboard crew.


Also, houseboats are usually designed as floating homes without that much focus on speed as in yachts.


Yachts, on the other hand, are built for open waters and are usually equipped with more powerful engines. While yachts are generally a kind of seasonal or holiday entertainment idea, houseboats are manufactured to become permanent homes to provide their owners with a year-round residence as desired.


Are you contemplating a houseboat living lifestyle?


It’s a fantasy that lots of people share. Aside from the fact that you can check out our collection of houseboats for sale, you can also contact us at BASCO for advisory and consultations for your boat needs.


It’s going to be a big lifestyle change with lots of fun and adventures.


Still, you won’t want to face the challenges unprepared. Whether you’ve made up your mind or at the planning stage of getting a houseboat for sale, you can always count on our wealth of experience and unlimited options to choose the perfect houseboat to suit your lifestyle.



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