This blog is for anyone interested in building, modifying and living aboard houseboats or shantyboats.


  1. About…rather an all-encompassing word. This blog is About whatever happens to be interesting me at the moment.

    The things that interest me though are:

    Panama. I’ve been granted my Pensionado visa and plan on moving there as a permanent resident in the not too distant future.

    Boats, Ships and sailing upon the Sea. I grew up in Orleans on the elbow of Cape Cod and naturally developed a love of the sea. I also worked as a licensed captain for 18 years on yachts and small commercial craft, spent nearly three years on the French Riviera (Antibes) and sailed across the Atlantic in November 1991. In 1992 I bought a pretty little sailboat, a Kaiser26 that I named Nancy Dawson and took off for nine months and did a single-handed cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Mexico, Belize and the Rio Dulce in Guatemala and return.

    Music. I am a child of rock & roll. I love good old-fashioned honky-tonk, barrel-house piano and living in New Orleans I got to see some of the best ivory-ticklers in the business. Professor Longhair, Dr. John, James Booker, Allen Toussaint, Tuts Washington and one of my all time favorites…Marcia Ball.

  2. Hi,
    We share an interest in beer and Panama, but I initially found your blog while researching shanty boats, which got me to minimalist boating, and a whole lot of other stops since. Surprising how little shantyboat info is available, it seems I keep getting pointed around a relatively small circle.
    Today I found http://www.theboathitch.com/houseboat.html
    this is a guy who has really thought this through and has the ability to put his dream and drawings together.
    I sail the upper Chesapeake Bay while waiting for global warming to raise all boats so I slide into the Delaware Bay and then over the Joisey Shore to the Atlantic. For the near future I don’t want a heavy displacement boat, but some of the river designs won’t do even on an average day on the bay.
    I keep toying with the idea that a 10 x 40 shanty/houseboat, with a small motor skiff for trips to the grocery/beer store, and my 28 foot Catalina nearby to satisfy my sailing jones, (and maybe a Hobie for the kids and a despicable used beater “personal water craft” for going fast….oh, and a tiny house with some acres up the Susquehanna in the Pennsylvania hills for the dead of winter) would do the trick.
    Houses are easy, even foundations. But building or choosing a “foundation” for shanty/houseboat ain’t simple. Thinking long term I don’t want to pay for hauling, cleaning and painting a beast that big, at least not often. Don’t want to consider spreading that much epoxy and glass resin. Steel has its problems, among them I don’t weld. Aluminum is a possibility. 30 or 36 inch poly pontoons (http://goodoutdoors.theshoppe.com/pontoon_boat_kit.html) might work. Molded fiberglass pontoons look good too, but get costly ….too.
    Anyway, the boathitch guy has some great ideas other than the boat hitch. If you haven’t found him I thought you might be interested.
    all the best,

    I agree with you about how little information is out there about shanty boats. As you can see my site started out with a bang and then tapered off dramatically when I kept finding when I would Google for more subjects to add that I had become a primary source. While that’s good for the ego it sure sucks when trying to find new material.

    I’ve been up and down the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays a few times when I had the time. Mostly my trips up and down the east coast were deliveries and I’d have to make the run “outside” due to time constraints. But I enjoyed the bays when I had the chance.

    I think that what I’d use for a dinghy would be a Puddle Duck Racer. Small enough to be easily transported aboard yet large enough to carry a good load of groceries. Plus they’re cheap to build and so ugly that they wouldn’t be targeted for theft.

  3. a houseboat project on the Danube in Budapest, Hungary: http://dunnaonduna.org/

  4. Hello,
    I just got to Bocas del Toro on my sailing boat and it happens that used to build quite a few houseboats in Germany. Hence I was quite astonished to see that there is actually someone here who spent a lot of time and effort in the same topic. I would love to get together for chat. How can we meet?
    See you soon

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