Posted by: oldsalt1942 | March 2, 2015

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  1. I too have been afflicted with the intense desire to build a houseboat / shantyboat. So far I have curbed my enthusiasm with heavy doses of reality.
    So far, I’ve found out that styrofoam, like you are talking about, can get water-logged and lose all usefullness. Robert Rieheld of North Carolina built large pontoons in sections and bolted them together. But the intense stresses of a tropical storm in the area bent them to the breaking point. He had to run long bolts all the way through to solve the problem. (https://www.sites.google.com/site/robreiheld/houseboat it worked.)

    The biggest problem I’ve encountered that I can’t seem to solve before building ..is getting insurance on the finished boat. It seems that “home built” boats are like Ebola to insurors. I don’t want to build a nice little houseboat like Aqua Casa or Kerry Elwood’s boat and then fins no marina to tie it up.
    Is that not a problem in Louisiana?
    Mike

    Glad you found the site.

    If I ever get around to building something like this (I have my doubts because of health conditions) I’d not only bolt the sections together but I’d use thickened epoxy to hold them together. Don’t think they’d snap then, and I have years of experience with using epoxy and built re built quite a few cockpit decks on sport fishing boats using thickened epoxy.

    The whole situation with dockage and anchoring is getting to be a horrible hassle up there in the States. I expatriated to Panama about six years ago and there’s no problems here with that stuff. It’s like stepping back into the ’50s in some instances. When I did have a shantyboat back in the mid ’80s I kept it at a marina in Chalmette just outside of New Orleans. After Katrina I doubt that the marina is still there, but quien sabe? as they say here. I think of all the States anything west of FloriDUH would be more open to shantyboats. In Louisiana there’s lots of marshland back in the bayous that would be good and the Atchafalaya, too.

    Regarding insurance, you’re not building a yacht here. Build it cheep and don’t worry about insurance. I never had it and nobody ever asked for it, either.


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