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Old 11-07-2012, 10:10   #1
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Houseboat Cruising

I plan to get a houseboat in the near future would like to hear about trips ppl have taken in one. I will be docking on Watts Bar on the Tennessee river in the Harriman/Kingston area. 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. I mainly want to travel to Mobile and back. My wife would like to travel to Savanna Ga but that doesn't look to promising. Thanks in advance for your stories.
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Old 11-07-2012, 13:57   #2
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Re: houseboat cruising

Edin,

We bought a Bluewater Yacht which is similar to a traditional houseboat, but with much better seakeeping capability. It is still a coastal boat, but can take some waves.

We have taken her to and from Sarasota fl, a number of times, same for Pensacola Fl, and operate her primarily in a large lake. All from New Orleans.

Bluewater Yachts | Home
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Old 11-07-2012, 20:25   #3
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I'am on the upper Mis. river & don't have a houseboat but there are several in the marina. I've heard stories from some of the owners about trips they've made over the years. From the 283 umr mm some have cruised to minneapolis, cincinnati & Kentucky lake ,the Tennessee river. They have lots of room, shallow draft & are a fine vessel for cruising on the inland rivers. I saw in Heartland Boating in Gibson ad that a Ginson owner was doing the loop in one, just have to watch the weather. Good Luck
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Old 11-07-2012, 20:28   #4
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Re: houseboat cruising

You can cruise a houseboat on relatively calm waters for as long as you want. Enjoy!
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Old 11-07-2012, 20:39   #5
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Re: houseboat cruising

I don't know about doing the loup in a houseboat... Coming down the Atlantic, or crossing the gulf can be treacherous in a boat that can't handle a chop. Certainly people have done it, but it seems you would spend a huge amount of time moving from protected harbor to protected harbor, with no margin for error.
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Old 12-07-2012, 05:31   #6
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Re: houseboat cruising

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, edinwheels73.

Actually, I think a houseboat, such as a “Holiday Mansion” type, might make an ideal platform for a long river cruise.
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Old 12-07-2012, 16:43   #7
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Any opinions about an outboard motor on a houseboat?
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Old 12-07-2012, 16:49   #8
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Re: houseboat cruising

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Originally Posted by edinwheels73 View Post
Any opinions about an outboard motor on a houseboat?
My brother-in-law had a pontoon houseboat on Lake Powell with twin outboards. They make a special prop pitched just right for houseboats. It was a pretty good system, especially given that our standard way of overnighting was to run the front of the boat up on a beach and then set sand anchors sprung forward from the stern.

On a pontoon houseboat it doesn't take a whole lot of power to get the boat from Point A to Point B.
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Old 12-07-2012, 17:46   #9
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Re: houseboat cruising

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Any opinions about an outboard motor on a houseboat?
Outboards for houseboats are great. They are generally in calm waters so you don't need to worry about the props leaving the water like you would have with outboards in big chop or heavy seas.

In a way outboards have the advantage of being simpler than having an internal engine. Especially when they need to be serviced or replaced. There is no trying to get yourself into a tight area. For replacing them, you just unbolt them...no tearing anything apart.
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Old 12-07-2012, 18:04   #10
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Re: houseboat cruising

If you had lots of time to only travel during the 'good' weather conditions in the Gulf and around Michigan, you could do the loop in a houseboat, or just the Southern half. You have to plan your route and ask questions here about places to stop in case of bad weather. Panama City to Tampa would be the tricky leg.

You also might just want to take it slow the first year or two.

Have fun!
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Old 12-07-2012, 22:09   #11
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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?
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Old 14-07-2012, 18:05   #12
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Re: houseboat cruising

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Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
Edin,

We bought a Bluewater Yacht which is similar to a traditional houseboat, but with much better seakeeping capability. It is still a coastal boat, but can take some waves.

We have taken her to and from Sarasota fl, a number of times, same for Pensacola Fl, and operate her primarily in a large lake. All from New Orleans.

Bluewater Yachts | Home
I have a 58 foot Bluewater also that I brought up to the Great Lakes from Charleston along the coast and have been to Key west and all over 4 of the great lakes the last 5 years, they are a great boat. I would have no problem doing the great loop in my Bluewater!
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Old 14-07-2012, 18:14   #13
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Re: houseboat cruising

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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?
Not really. If you are heading east take the east exit, west the west exit... The west does have a bridge, but I think the verticle is 75' or something ridiculous like that. I know we got a Columbia 50 under it two weeks ago.

Heading east from Mobile bay though you do have to worry about the Dixiey Bar. It is a shifting sand bar that stretches from just off shore to past the old light house. Head south at least to R12, and the further you go south the safer, regardless of what the chart says.


RaySeaLady,

We have the 58' too, and love it. I would have no problem doing the loup with it. But a traditional houseboat like the Holiday Mansion is a much less capable cruiser (not that the Bluewater is a heavy off shore boat either).
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Old 14-07-2012, 18:29   #14
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Re: houseboat cruising

This ocean-going powercat was owned by a wheelchair bound boaty
Bathroom and doors all large enough to accommodate the chair

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Old 17-07-2012, 09:46   #15
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I like the cruisers but I think a houseboat is more for us but you never know by the time we are ready to buy. Gotta wait till my oldest starts driving to school so it will be a couple more years. Im just getting all the information I can till then.
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