Living on a Houseboat

Gabe Rentfrow, MVC Writer

Houseboats may be a common occurrence today, but they are a fairly recent addition to the way people live. The first houseboat was made in 1953 by a man named Jim Sharpe, and it only spanned 10 feet by 24 feet, which is smaller than most modern houseboats. Ever since then, houseboats have increased to sizes as much as 130ft by 23ft.
Some people think that living on a houseboat is easy, but they would be incorrect. To live on a houseboat, people need to have plenty of supplies, extra fuel, good navigation, and they need to be very cautious, because of simple things like storms, high waves, sandbars, low fuel, gas leaks, or swamping. All of these can cause major problems that can cost thousands of dollars to fix.
A houseboat is quite literally a boat with room to sleep, eat, and live on. They are massive, larger than some modern one and two story houses, due to the amount of space to accommodate people. They need one or more bedrooms, with space for a bed, storage, and a bathroom with a shower, sink and toilet. They also need a kitchen, with fridge, oven, microwave, storage for food and dishes, and a table. Additionally, they must have a room for the generator, electric wiring, engine/s and circuit breaker.
Though people need to be cautious and careful, living on a houseboat is also a lot of fun when people are properly prepared for situations and have a safe place to anchor down. They can spend their days relaxing, swimming, fishing, kayaking, jet-skiing, sitting around, and enjoy the freedom of not having to do much of anything. Many larger houseboats are bigger and nicer than some houses; they are good for people who like being in the water or near it. Also fishing trips are fun since people don’t have to return to their homes every day.
My experiences on a houseboat have been great and I would recommend if anyone gets the chance, to try it out. When I was on the houseboat it was always in the dock so we could bring our luggage on board. Most houseboat docks are usually at the far end of a dock so they don’t disrupt the traffic of commercial and recreational boats entering and exiting the dock. We usually leave, checking that the lines are undone and we have a sufficient charge on the generator. Then we shut off all the power except for the necessities like the engine, some lights, and the fridge.
Once we head out, we look for a cove or inlet so the houseboat does not disrupt or get in the way of any other boats. Once we have reached a nice area, we send the kayaks out on either side of the houseboat to tie up the boat to trees so the boat does not shift and run up onto the ground. Next we drop the anchor and turn the power back on, so we can get everything ready.
After that, it is just recreational time until we leave. We go water skiing, wakeboarding, kayaking, jet-skiing, swimming, tubing, boating, fishing, jumping off the boat, chilling on the sun deck, and having a fire in the firepit. The only things that are really planned for those days are breakfast, lunch, dinner, and sleeping. Since the boat only has three beds, the children usually take the hammocks outside.
Once it is time to go, we do everything we did to get there in reverse, we clean up everything, turn off the power, bring up the jet-skis, bring up the anchor, untie the ropes, then head back to the docks, where we finish cleaning up and leave.