Tuesday, December 19, 2017

A Boat for A Friend

I am helping a friend of mine conceptualize a houseboat as a liveaboard for a single person.  Since I have learned a lot by virtue of designing and building Autarkia, I thought that incorporating her successes into the design, as well as a few mods specific to his requirements might lead to something interesting.

This boat is smaller than Autarkia.  Her length minus the motor mount/swim platform is 28 feet as opposed to Autarkia's 34 feet.  She has a 9-1/2 foot beam as opposed to Autarkia's 11 feet.  But she would be built in very much the same way as Autarkia using multi-layers of fir plywood and fir 2by4s.

She is not meant to sail and would be powered with a 15-25 hp outboard.  I would also not have a dedicated steering station, but rather a wireless remote helm that can be used anywhere on the boat (this is a future project I intend to do with Autarkia).  Even though she will not sail, a small retractable off center board would help steering and keep her easier to control in a breeze.

She does not have a utility room as does Autarkia for obvious reasons, but would have a queen size bed on the port side of the fwd cabin, with bookshelves and storage above.  A desiccating head could go under the fwd hatch like Autarkia, that also serves as a step to get in and out of that fwd hatch.

The aft cabin with standing headroom could be laid out in a number of ways, however I am a fan of open concept using furniture that can be moved around as required.  But there would be a built in galley across the aft bulkhead, as well as cabinets above the windows.  The windows are at eye level when seated.

The covered cockpit is self draining with the sole above the waterline.  Deckboxes can house fuel, propane, anchors etc.  A BBQ is mandatory!

There is lots of roof area for flexible solar panels, and the roofs are guttered to collect rainwater.  Water tanks and a chain locker are under the fwd deck.


  1. interesting.
    I have much the same problem.
    interior layout I mean

    I took your advice from a couple of years ago and bought an old hull...

    it's a 1972 SeaCamper houseboat.
    I ripped out the insides...
    now I'm trying to figure out what the best layout would be..

    1. Hi Everitt! Good to see you here. I'm going to research your boat. Congrats on getting a project!

  2. thank you...
    I would have left pictures but I couldn't figure out how to do it

  3. Sure stirs the imagination with that huge covered back porch: makes tons of sense in the pac NW. Shantyboats are about as romantic as they come, in their own way. They will never sail to the fabled isles of Pago Pago but don't have the stress and danger factor required to get to Pago Pago either. Some quiet backwater, rock cod on the grill or some venison, wood stove purring inside as the sun sets over the bluff to the west, anchors not going to drag at 2 am, microbrew cans chilling in a bag submerged off the stern, big ole queen bed ready for a great nights sleep, cat's stretched out near the wood stove, project underway on the craft table, and on and on. Yes, shantyboat living is pretty idealistic and if done right the bankers don't have a single piece of it. Hard to see why there isn't a robust young persons movement into shantyboating in lieu of financial bondage all their lives.

    1. Thanks Robert. Actually my friend is in Florida so I was thinking protection from the sun with that big back porch but that aside - right on!

  4. I am looking at doing a similar project only 8.5 in width to make it trainable in the US and maybe 20-25' in length. I would like to use it as a travel trailer / boat camper. I'm really interested in hearing your idea on this project. Thanks for sharing all of this valuable information.

  5. Hi Marc, have a look at my version of a 24 foot Triloboat I drew up on this page: http://junkrighouseboat.blogspot.ca/p/other-boat-ideas.html

    There are two views. She's 8 feet wide to simply accommodate standard plywood sizes.