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Old 08-31-2011, 07:39 AM   #1
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Trawler vs. Houseboat

Since my sailboat hasn't sold yet I have time to think, which for me, is not neccessarily a good thing. My best purchases were always on instinct so I will know the right boat when it comes along.

Anyhoooooo, while surfing yachtworld.com I came across a houseboat by accident. That got me to thinking. I realize that they are not sturdy and I can't imagine how bad windage could be as compared to a trawler. Almost all of the houseboats are gas engines with limited fuel tankage. I don't know anything about engines of any kind but inspite of myself, I learned a lot about diesels and MPG from this forum.

What other drawbacks are there to houseboats and what kind of milage can I expect from a 40 footer? Am I talking miles per gallon or is it gallons per mile?

Thanks in advance

Tony B
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Old 08-31-2011, 07:43 AM   #2
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RE: Trawler vs. Houseboat

Quote:
Tony B wrote:
What other drawbacks are there to houseboats?
*Just about everything you can think of.
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Old 08-31-2011, 07:53 AM   #3
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RE: Trawler vs. Houseboat

Several years ago we used to do some cruising with a couple who had a 38 ft "Coastal Barracuda" and twin Chevy 350 I/os. He would get about 1 gal/mile similar to most gas engine boats in that size range. His issue was he had only 2* 50 gallon tanks so we were always waiting for him to get fuel.

Windage was a definate problem for the boat. The slightest puff of wind, especially when it changed direction, and he was always the very first in the anchorage to swing. That almost always led to an issue, especially in the middle of the night.

The boat had killer room though.

The boat made many trips to Block Island, Nantucket, NYC, etc.
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:22 AM   #4
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RE: Trawler vs. Houseboat

Quote:
Tony B wrote:What other drawbacks are there to houseboats and what kind of milage can I expect from a 40 footer?
*They are very ugly and don't look like a boat, not even a little.

(sorry... I'm no help) ;-)
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:33 AM   #5
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RE: Trawler vs. Houseboat

Quote:
GonzoF1 wrote:Tony B wrote:What other drawbacks are there to houseboats and what kind of milage can I expect from a 40 footer?
*They are very ugly and don't look like a boat, not even a little.

(sorry... I'm no help) ;-)

*Actually you and everyone else have been a big help. You have confirmed my own thoughts on the matter even though I know nothing about them.

And Gonzo, yes, life is too short to own an ugly boat.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:07 AM   #6
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RE: Trawler vs. Houseboat

Always wondered if Bluewater boats were considered houseboats. Never been on one, but it sure looks like they don't have much freeboard. Any forum folks have one or know about them?
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:26 AM   #7
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RE: Trawler vs. Houseboat

Quote:
Old Stone wrote:
Maybe there is a houseboat forum out there. :no::no::no:
******** I'm sure there is! :frustrated:
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:36 AM   #8
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RE: Trawler vs. Houseboat

Quote:
Old Stone wrote:
....*Maybe there is a houseboat forum out there. .....
*I have been looking and havent found a good one yet.

If I bought a houseboat, it would be strictly inland waterways off the Missisippi and Tenn-Tom. I'm not real keen on the idea, just temped because you can get a lot of boat, if you want to call it that. for the money. I think fuel costs would outweigh any other factor, but was just curious.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:58 AM   #9
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RE: Trawler vs. Houseboat

And now for a completely take, I owned a houseboat for 19 years prior to moving to my current boat. It all depends on where you plan to boat and how far you want to go. You will not find anymore square footage for the dollar then you will on a house boat and if your longest run will be less the 80 miles in protected water it is not a bad choice. They are relatively CHEAP for the side of the boat you buy and the Coastal you looked at has a great bow for relaxing protects the typical low bow on other housboats. I've alway been more about functionality then bling, so if some folks call them ulgy, so be it. We raised on kids spending on average 20 weekends a year on the Sacramento Delta on a 36ft Gibson with a flybridge. Loved the boat and had so much fun, and saved so much $$ that my wife decided it was time we bought something to go out in the SF Bay and perhaps to mexico and beyond. So don't sell houseboats short.

This page has alot of active boaters on it. But you go to any marina and look at the boats in the slips. 80% never go out. many of those that do go out are so over built for where they go. Who needs a bow 12 ft off the water to tread in many of the lakes and protected bay in this country. Wo needs a diesel that would love to run for 100 hours straight, if your longest run will be 2 hours. Many are Boatels..(boats used as motels). So it all depends on where you want to go and what you can afford. Don't spend alot of money on a boat thay will take you down the coast, if you plan to stay in protected water houseboats offer alot of advantages. Rafting up together, with the flat decks to walk between, make it very easy to enjoy your friends. I know alot of follks here, wouldnever dare to be that close to another boat, but with small or just kids aboard and in a safe anchorage, it is a huge plus.

So say what you like, it might be the perfect step into boating without spending alot of money. As for fuel , I would get 2-3 miles per gallon with a single 350 motor and outdrive runing about 12-13 miles per hour. Not in a rush enjoying the view. My longest stay out was about 2 weeks. We had a generator,10ft zodiac, propane run the stove and fridge. Now a bad way to get started.

Again just my 2 cents,

Dswizzler
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:03 AM   #10
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RE: Trawler vs. Houseboat

As for Bluewaters, the same can be said, while we all had houseboats one of our buddies at a 42 ft Bluewater, great boat depending on what you are doing. Protected waters and short runs a good boat. I would not take a Bluewater out in the open water on a bet., but then the same can be said for alot of other boats as well.

Not everyone needs a trawler to enjoy being on the water....but if you want to really go somewhere, it is a great way to go. I

*
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:39 AM   #11
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RE: Trawler vs. Houseboat

House boats like everything else have their place, more house than boat though. I have never owned one, but my family rented one on the Columbia River and it was wonderful!! 50' with two levels easily accommodated our family and guests. This one was twins with small Nisson diesels. Some version of a tunnel drive, I was told made it fairly shallow draft. Fairly flat bottomed, but on the river was very stable and more like a barge. Beautifully decorated and very roomy with full sized furniture and real beds. On a large body of water they would be a disaster. But on our river systems and lakes they are a modern expression of the 18th / 19th century river boats. They are not for everyone but in their own element really something to experience.
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Old 08-31-2011, 01:24 PM   #12
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RE: Trawler vs. Houseboat

HOUSEBOAT ?

Trumphys were called houseboats in their day.

Its a name that covers a lot of ground.

A GRP Trumphy would fit most "trawler " owners to a T , tho were larger ( 55 to 65ft) than some folks want.
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Old 08-31-2011, 02:28 PM   #13
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RE: Trawler vs. Houseboat

One of my berth neighbors has a something-like-40-foot houseboat.* He and his wife live on it.* In the berth next to him is*his something-like-40-foot auxiliary sloop.* I presume he prefers to use the sailboat to boat about, but I've never seen either vessel leave their berths.

Houseboats are for very specialized uses and highly limited geographical areas.* If your boundaries are larger, get a "real" boat.* Where houseboat use is appropriate, you can almost always*rent one.
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Old 08-31-2011, 05:33 PM   #14
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RE: Trawler vs. Houseboat

All delusions of grandeur aside, I believe a house boat makes a lot of sense for most of the marina patrons. When I lived in Boston, I used to tell my liveaboard friends that they should replace their current (usually sailboat) with a house boat. Each one got offended. The fact of the matter is that they had an excuse why they couldn't go out today... to windy, not windy enough, my lines are perfectly adjusted yada yada yada.
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Old 08-31-2011, 05:39 PM   #15
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RE: Trawler vs. Houseboat

Capt. Jack is right.* For tying to a dock, house boats are about as good as anything else.* For coastal cruising, they are just not suited.* OK, if you wait for just the right conditions maybe.* But that is not real cruising.* Live aboard at the dock?* Engines are not even needed.
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Old 08-31-2011, 05:46 PM   #16
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RE: Trawler vs. Houseboat

Tony, I don't know what I Have to tell the truth! Hell I might have a houseboat. I get 1 mile/gallon. I know what house boats are and they are very popular up the rivers and I know several people that have them here on the coast. My hull was a shrimp boat design in the 50's and 60's, now its probably a houseboat compared to some of these vessels on this board. Buy what makes since to you at the time. Try to buy it used and get a good deal that way you could sell it when you get tired of it. Good luck.
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Old 08-31-2011, 05:55 PM   #17
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RE: Trawler vs. Houseboat

There are not many houseboat-type boats in the PNW. But there are some makes--- Cruise-A-Home comes to mind--- that are actually somewhat seaworthy. There are a couple of them in our marina and in years past at least one of them was a regular visitor to the marine parks we frequented in the islands.* Don't know how they are powered--- I recall the one we used to see a lot sounded like it was gas powered.* But they seem to do very well in the normal water conditions we get around here.* There is apparently an owners association for these boats.* Photos are off the web.

*
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Old 08-31-2011, 07:17 PM   #18
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RE: Trawler vs. Houseboat

A reasonable priced, decent handling and fairly seaworthy option I'd consider is the 40-60 ft. Carri-Craft Catamarans. *A bunch of them were built in the 60's and 70's, and then again after 1990 when the company when the rights to the design was purchased. *There's a lot of the 57's out there with gas and diesel both, and on both coasts. *I know at least one loop cruiser that has a 57' with 427 Chevys and no desire to change them. *These boats are not hard to push and will get pretty good mileage below 10 knts., but can go up to 19 or so if needed. *The best of them are over 200K, and the older ones can be found for near 100K or below.
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:04 PM   #19
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RE: Trawler vs. Houseboat

Here is an interesting concept I ran across called a Swift-Trawler-Cat, and is from a new company and product line by Aerocat Marine, LLC, Lake City, PA.

It is being marketed as a 36ft*liveaboard and loop capable boat.* With 2-115 hp outboards,*they claim*22 mph at 2 mpg, and a 300 mi range. In no wake zones on 1 engine, they claim 5 mpg and 750 nmi range.* It comes with many cabing layouts, and optional covered rear deck and*flybridge.

If you set aside the fact that it is a houseboat, it has many attractive features: low draft, low height, good mileage, comfortable interior, upper and rear decks, side isles for easy docking etc.* You would have to be careful crossing the Gulf...

(I have no relationship with anyone there or the company)

http://www.aerocatboats.com/special_offer/

http://www.aerocatboats.com/special_...r_003_gallery/

*

*
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:36 PM   #20
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RE: Trawler vs. Houseboat

Bluewater boats are made in Mora Minnesota. They come in many variations, Here where I live, on the Mississippi in Iowa, they are fairly common. There is one in town that looks like a big water yacht. It is about 45' with a pilot house and flybridge and a very hign freeboard bow and hull. It is fairly handsome. I don't view it as the highest quality but it is probably a very practical, and a very good value. By appearance, it looks capable of the Great Lakes. Most Bluewaters are more houseboat like with low freebords. They are a bit overstyled in my opinion, but most people think they are quite nicely styled. In my opinion, they tend to look dated fairly quickly, but that is a subjective thing. If your willing to go slow, you have to be if interested in a trawler and not a trawler look alike with twin 400 HP engines, gas consumption of the houseboat won't be too bad. Personally, I would avoid sterndrives like the plague. V=drives or outboards will be more reliable, or at least cheaper to fix. Gasoline engines are not a bad way to go, due to gas availability on the inland rivers. If the style suits you, go for it. WHO GIVES A RATS REAR END WHAT OTHERS THINK. Personally I like the traditional style of the trawler, and have no desire for a house boat, but that's justme.
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