Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 17-07-2012, 10:22   #16
Marine Service Provider
 
Tony B's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Presently in Rogersville, Al
Boat: Mainship 36 Dual Cabin
Posts: 695
Re: houseboat cruising

Quote:
Originally Posted by edinwheels73 View Post
Been plotting a course with gps to mobile and there is a split and one comes out on the east side of mobile bay the other on the west side. Is either one better than the other?
Yes Definitely.
The east outlet takes you to Florida which is much much more scenic with much much cleaner water and much much more protected water, at least until you get past Panama City.
Heading west will take you almost immediately into potentially rough water - too rough for most houseboats. It's part of the ICW but not very well protected. As you head west, the water becomes noticably browner.
__________________

__________________
Mainship 36 DC - 1986
Retired and Full Time Cruising the Eastern U.S. inland Waterways
www.FreeBoatProjects.com
Tony B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-07-2012, 10:30   #17
Marine Service Provider
 
Tony B's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Presently in Rogersville, Al
Boat: Mainship 36 Dual Cabin
Posts: 695
Re: houseboat cruising

Quote:
Originally Posted by edinwheels73 View Post
.... I know a houseboat is not ideal for a long river cruise but I use a Wheelchair and that's the only kind of boat that can be made easily accessible for me......
Most river cruisers are housboats, at least from what I have seen. The sketch below is one of many inland waterway maps showing navigable waterways. Navigable, in like barges with deep draft which means you can go further than them.

There is also a forum houseboatmagazine.com with very knowledgable members. The forum is undergoing a technical change on their website, but you should still be able to log in.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Waterway Map.jpg
Views:	93
Size:	22.7 KB
ID:	43591  
__________________

__________________
Mainship 36 DC - 1986
Retired and Full Time Cruising the Eastern U.S. inland Waterways
www.FreeBoatProjects.com
Tony B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-07-2012, 12:38   #18
Registered User
 
edinwheels73's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: east Tennessee
Boat: 50' houseboat
Posts: 16
Cool thanks ill check that out.
__________________
edinwheels73 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-07-2012, 13:14   #19
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: May 2012
Location: New Orleans
Boat: We have a problem... A serious addiction issue.
Posts: 3,940
Re: houseboat cruising

The section from Carrabel to Port Isabel is almost all in open water, though part of the ICW. If taking this route be careful of the weather and how far to the next port. In some sections you can be 20-30 miles from the closest place to duck in or hit a marina. The section from Mobile to Pensacola if going outside is notorious for this. As there aren't any harbors, thou you will be looking at beach front homes the whole run.

It's a great run when you have the right weather, but can be brutal if the wind is against you.
__________________
Greg

- If animals weren't meant to be eaten then they wouldn't be made of food.
Stumble is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-07-2012, 13:30   #20
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: between the devil and the deep blue sea
Boat: a sailing boat
Posts: 17,314
Re: houseboat cruising

Hi,

I have a friend who converted his boat so that he gets onboard with a hydraulic crane. This is much easier than a ramp as he can use most piers and quays in the vicinity. He drives the crane with a wired remote but now there are also wireless remotes available.

His boat is a converted working cat. There was not very much required to convert but he had to build two lifting ramps that let him go from the deck level to the bridgedeck level - one inside the boat and one outside.

Last summer I helped him convert a fishing cat as he wanted a second boat. We cut the transom open, laminated and gave her a hinged ramp just between the twin outboards. This is a good solution but only when you have your own dock or when you know exactly where you will be berthing - the ramp has its limits.

As far as the houseboats are concerned then here on our side of the pond people use them on rivers and canals quite a lot. I never tried this but I am sure I would love it. Every day you can be in a new place and get all your food fresh and then you can go to a place of your own if you have had enough of the crowds.

If you google for 'narrowboat barges in UK' you will find some fantastic ideas of what a houseboat can be. The other place worth checking out are the things people use on the inland canals in France / Belgium and Holland - you know, thousands of miles of non-tidal water, fresh bread and country cheese, and FRENCH WINE!!! You can look up under 'french barges canals', you will get plenty of hits.

Eh. So this is what one can do with a houseboat. Pretty amazing.

Cheers,
b.
__________________
barnakiel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-07-2012, 22:01   #21
Registered User
 
edinwheels73's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: east Tennessee
Boat: 50' houseboat
Posts: 16
Ok if I come out in mobile bay at the Spanish fort its a 25 mile run to the southeast corner to oyster bay. How protected is that stretch? My other question is can you travel the canals that run parallel with the Florida coast between the bays? I can see barges using them on the satellite images.
__________________
edinwheels73 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-07-2012, 22:46   #22
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: May 2012
Location: New Orleans
Boat: We have a problem... A serious addiction issue.
Posts: 3,940
Re: houseboat cruising

The run through Mobile Bay isn't protected at all. You can hug the side the wind is coming from to avoid the worst of the waves, but if it's out of the north or south it can get rough in a hurry. The entire bay is pretty shallow, so waves stack up quick. Most of the time however it is a pretty easy trip down the bay. Stay out of the channel though, the big ships have limited maneuverability, and the depth across most of the bay is around 10-14'. Just don't come to close into shore.

You can run the intercostal from Mobile Bay to Carrabelle Florida. But that is one of the most boring trips I have ever made. The ICW is relatively narrow through most of it, so you have to have a very alert bridge watch at all times, and constantly monitor the radio. Because a lot of the barges will hold to the middle of the channel (it's only ~150 foot wide) unless they know there is a boat there. It's not that they are rude, they just don't want to hit the shore either. The whole area is a no wake zone, so slow speeds reduce your trip time significantly.

As a practical matter this also means no running at night, and there are limited places to put in, so you tend to move from harbor to harbor every day. And at most of the harbors there is litterly nothing to do. Like no bar, no restaurant (maybe a greasy spoon open until 7). That's it. And this whole area is a mosquito pit...

God I make it sound miserable . It really isn't as bad as all of that, but there just isn't much of note either. I have done this trip a few times via the ditch, and will always choose to go outside if the boat can handle it.

Generally my trip would look like mobile - Pensacola (40ish miles) - fort Walton (40ish miles)- panama city (40ish miles)- Apalachacola (60 miles) - Steinhatchie (80 miles) and this leg is pure open water.

Of course if I am on a schedule, or just don't feel like stopping somewhere I may skip one of these, or two. But I always prefer to go outside when the weather allows. Even if that means waiting a day or so. I figure the open water is worth not having to slog the ditch.

And like I said, my powerboat is not the most offshore capable boat out there. But waiting on a weather window is still nicer (to me) than the ditch.
__________________
Greg

- If animals weren't meant to be eaten then they wouldn't be made of food.
Stumble is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-07-2012, 14:23   #23
Registered User
 
edinwheels73's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: east Tennessee
Boat: 50' houseboat
Posts: 16
Starting to really like the bluewater cruisers the more I look at them. What are some opinions on gas or diesel.
__________________
edinwheels73 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-07-2012, 14:27   #24
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: May 2012
Location: New Orleans
Boat: We have a problem... A serious addiction issue.
Posts: 3,940
Re: houseboat cruising

We have a diesel, in large part because I don't like any boat that carries that much gas around. A diesel will tend to be more expensive up front, but have lower operating costs over the long term. They also tend to last longer.

We have twin 450c cummins diesels, and other than a bad heat exchanger when we first got the boat haven't done anything it change the oil and add fuel in the last 5 years.
__________________
Greg

- If animals weren't meant to be eaten then they wouldn't be made of food.
Stumble is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-07-2012, 14:42   #25
Registered User
 
edinwheels73's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: east Tennessee
Boat: 50' houseboat
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel
Hi,

I have a friend who converted his boat so that he gets onboard with a hydraulic crane. This is much easier than a ramp as he can use most piers and quays in the vicinity. He drives the crane with a wired remote but now there are also wireless remotes available.

His boat is a converted working cat. There was not very much required to convert but he had to build two lifting ramps that let him go from the deck level to the bridgedeck level - one inside the boat and one outside.

Last summer I helped him convert a fishing cat as he wanted a second boat. We cut the transom open, laminated and gave her a hinged ramp just between the twin outboards. This is a good solution but only when you have your own dock or when you know exactly where you will be berthing - the ramp has its limits.

As far as the houseboats are concerned then here on our side of the pond people use them on rivers and canals quite a lot. I never tried this but I am sure I would love it. Every day you can be in a new place and get all your food fresh and then you can go to a place of your own if you have had enough of the crowds.

If you google for 'narrowboat barges in UK' you will find some fantastic ideas of what a houseboat can be. The other place worth checking out are the things people use on the inland canals in France / Belgium and Holland - you know, thousands of miles of non-tidal water, fresh bread and country cheese, and FRENCH WINE!!! You can look up under 'french barges canals', you will get plenty of hits.

Eh. So this is what one can do with a houseboat. Pretty amazing.

Cheers,
b.
Do you think your friend would sent me some pics of those modifications?
__________________
edinwheels73 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-07-2012, 14:44   #26
Registered User
 
edinwheels73's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: east Tennessee
Boat: 50' houseboat
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumble
We have a diesel, in large part because I don't like any boat that carries that much gas around. A diesel will tend to be more expensive up front, but have lower operating costs over the long term. They also tend to last longer.

We have twin 450c cummins diesels, and other than a bad heat exchanger when we first got the boat haven't done anything it change the oil and add fuel in the last 5 years.
Is it hard to find marinas with diesel?
__________________
edinwheels73 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-07-2012, 17:07   #27
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: May 2012
Location: New Orleans
Boat: We have a problem... A serious addiction issue.
Posts: 3,940
Re: houseboat cruising

Quote:
Originally Posted by edinwheels73 View Post
Is it hard to find marinas with diesel?
I can't remember ever having a problem getting diesel anywhere in the US. Worst case you can always call a fuel tanker if you need 750+ gallons.
__________________
Greg

- If animals weren't meant to be eaten then they wouldn't be made of food.
Stumble is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-07-2012, 17:19   #28
Marine Service Provider
 
Tony B's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Presently in Rogersville, Al
Boat: Mainship 36 Dual Cabin
Posts: 695
Re: houseboat cruising

If you come down Mobile bay I would not even think of heading west even on the ICW, unless of course you are trying to collect insurance. Heading east wont be bad except for a few small areas with open bays. There are some really cool out of the places to anchor - Wolf Bayou and Pirates Cove come to mind.
One more kicker here - watch the weather closely when coming down Mobile Bay. Conditions go bad quickly, you can sink your houseboat from calm to all hell breaking loose in less than 15 minutes. Dont always believe the weather forecasts. Keep an eye out for signs of weather changing. Its not terribly far to Bon Secour Bay so if you get a weather break, go as fast as you can and get inside Bon Secour. Once in there, weather is no longer a factor.
__________________
Mainship 36 DC - 1986
Retired and Full Time Cruising the Eastern U.S. inland Waterways
www.FreeBoatProjects.com
Tony B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-07-2012, 19:15   #29
Moderator Emeritus
 
Pblais's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Hayes, VA
Boat: Gozzard 36
Posts: 8,700
Images: 15
Send a message via Skype™ to Pblais
Re: houseboat cruising

Quote:
Starting to really like the bluewater cruisers the more I look at them. What are some opinions on gas or diesel.
They are nice but you need to understand the cost. 1 million won't buy the best. All boats need to use caution and pick your day and be willing to hold fast until it happens. Under those rules a houseboat can travel a very long way. Rivers will suit a house boat fine with the Upper Mississippi, Ohio, and the TenTom being some to the best.

For summer Hudson River / Lake Champlain / Erie Canal are spectacualr too. A house boat on the US inland rivers can go a LOT of cool places. Lower Mississippi is mostly long and not very exciting. There are only a few places that compensate for the long boring stretches.

As for diesel - only way to go unless you water ski. You get more energy per gallon. Marinas that have fuel usually have both gasoline and diesel. Most big boats use diesel. My 63 hp does too.
__________________
Paul Blais
s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
Pblais is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-07-2012, 21:14   #30
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: May 2012
Location: New Orleans
Boat: We have a problem... A serious addiction issue.
Posts: 3,940
Re: houseboat cruising

Hmm, a lot of people have been disparaging the Bluewater so just to be clear, it is a sharp bow bridge deck boat. So it has a lot more capability that a standard houseboat. At least one has been out in hurricane conditions and did ok.

I wouldn't recommend it due to the low freeboard, but they do have open water, just not true deep sea capability. I would happily take mine out 30-40 miles in open water, but not much passed that.
__________________

__________________
Greg

- If animals weren't meant to be eaten then they wouldn't be made of food.
Stumble is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
cruising

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 22:39.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.