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Old 04-12-2012, 12:55   #1
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Trying to get afloat

Hey guys! I have a few questions for the cuisersforum wealth of knowledge...

I've always had the idea that I would enjoy living on a boat, so I bought an old 27' sailboat and moved what little I own aboard. After 3 days I realized a $2500 27' boat wasn't going to cut it. I sold the boat and I am now on the hunt for my next boat.

A 1972 River Queen Star Stream houseboat caught my eye, but the problem is I know absolutely nothing about houseboats or any steel boat for that matter. I was hoping some of you could help me out with some questions I have.

This particular boat is listed at $15k. I tried to look up a value on NADA but couldn't find River Queen as a manufacturer and I'm not sure if they go back to 1972 anyway. Is there a resourse I can use to try and figure out what a fair value for this boat would be?

What is River Queen's general reputation? This boat is steel, which I love, but again I don't know what I'm talking about so I'm not sure if thats a good thing.

If I bought the boat I'd assume I could pay to have it transported from MI to MD, but getting it insured seems to be a problem. They online quote program for progressive seems to reject both steel hulls and full time liveaboards. Any thoughts?

Any information would be very helpful. I'm always impressed at the amount of knowledge being shared here.
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Old 04-12-2012, 13:28   #2
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Re: Trying to get afloat

Guess it depends on if you ever want your boat to really go anywhere. Houseboats are not much good for going places.

I'd avoid Progressive for any insurance. Most people seem to be treated well by BoatUS.

Main thing to look for and be aware of with steel is rust; surface rust needs to be taken care of, and deeper rust will need the boat pulled out of the water and a welder to remove the rusted part and patch it. Depending on how it's been maintained on the bottom, a steel houseboat of that age might have rust that you can't see without getting under there.

Another thing to consider is that many marinas don't allow houseboats; they're really nothing more than barges with a structure on top of them. I personally find them ugly and unboatlike; they're boxy and nothing like a sleek craft designed to actually go places.

If you want a real boat, you can easily get a 30+ foot vessel for your $15k that would have a lot more room than your 27' did. You might want to specify more about why the 27' foot boat didn't cut it; I'm assuming space issues. Even in that size range, other boat designs might be more spacious.

Just my two cents, my experience isn't much, so older wiser heads will probably have much better advice.
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Old 04-12-2012, 14:49   #3
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Lots of helpful people here, but it is a sailing forum, not so much a dock queen forum for houseboats . There are quite a few you tube videos on houseboats, maybe that could be a source of information.

To a degree, anything that floats, shares somethings in common.

Sometimes the only thing holding back water on old steel boats is a layer of rusty paint. Buyer beware.
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Old 11-12-2012, 16:31   #4
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Re: Trying to get afloat

On the Cheasapeake Bay and rivers there are very few marinas to live on a houseboat. That out of the way. Look for dealers of new houseboats on the Bay. Gibson has dealers. Does the boat have gas or diesel engines? Is it wet inside? There are a few insurance companies which will insure liveaboard, many do not. The Bay is not a lake. There are some houseboats that would be nice to live on. You get what you pay for, more so in a houseboat than a sailboat. I have looked at houseboats, and still consider one a choice for living quarters, while I sail my sailboat.
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Old 11-12-2012, 16:58   #5
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I knew two people that own River Queens and both were rust buckets. Not very sea worthy for the bay either.
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Old 11-12-2012, 19:56   #6
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Saw a river queen a few years back, a freshwater boat & it had already had the hull re-skinned. It was a late 60s early 70s model, if you must have a metal houseboat look into Kingscraft their aluminum, other than that a Gibson as suggested in a earlier post may be better than either in saltwater.
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:07   #7
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Re: Trying to get afloat

Google ? ➥ https://www.google.ca/search?q=River...ient=firefox-a
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:23   #8
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Re: Trying to get afloat

Also you should be aware that often the worst rust problems on a steel boat are on the inside of the hull where it's harder to see. Look under the floor boards, down in the engine room, any place that you can access the inside of the hull and check closely in any holes, cracks, joints, next to framing and such.
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:59   #9
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Re: Trying to get afloat

Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Sorry if I seemed a little brusque or abrupt.
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Old 12-12-2012, 15:27   #10
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Re: Trying to get afloat

I would be concerned that placing an old steel houseboat on a tractor-trailer bed and trucking from Michigan to Maryland will result in the receipt of a boat with broken seams and holes. In addition to the shipping charges you may lose what little value was present in the boat. There are many opportunities to spend the 15K in the Chesapeake and have something with less risk for loss. I think you can get far more reliability for your money buying fiberglass and local. Solomons has a lot to offer on the used market on the Patuxent.
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