When I think of floating homes or houseboats Seattle's Lake Union is the first place that comes to mind. You can count about 500 floating homes there. And Lake Union of course is home of the world-famous Sleepless in Seattle (1993) houseboat that is docked off Westlake Avenue on 123 Lake Union -a popular tourist attraction!
A peek inside.
Then just like us (people who own a house that stands on solid ground), houseboat owners expand their square footage, remodel and renovate. Do they face more challenges when doing so? The story about this Seattle houseboat remodel provides some insights (click image).
And just across the border in Canada is Sea Village on Granville Island, a houseboat community that is an integral part of downtown Vancouver.
Another celebrated collection of houseboats floats in Sausalito, a lovely, scenic town just over the Golden Gate bridge.
Floating homes have been a Sausalito tradition for over a century and range from simple cottages to rather ornate domiciles. Otis Redding composed the hit 60s pop song Sitting By The Dock Of The Bay while living on a Sausalito houseboat in 1967. I love oldies, so any chance I get, I include an old song like I did here and here.
You can read more about the Sausalito houseboat community here.
You won't find coastal houseboat communities the size of Seattle and Sausalito in other parts of the U.S. Small ones, yes, like this row of houseboats at the City Marina at Garrison Bight in the Florida Keys or the Flagler Houseboats.
Then there are 55 houseboats moored at Manhasset Isle Yacht Club in Manorhaven on Long Island (NY)...
... and here's a cozy dwelling docked at a marina amongst motor and sailing yachts in the Chesapeake Bay.
The lifestyle does sound intriguing. Bay Yacht, an Agency that sells floating homes in Annapolis, puts it this way: "You can own a waterfront home for a fraction of the cost of traditional waterfront property. Imagine 1-3 bedrooms and baths, but with no grass to cut. Tired of the area or neighbors, just pick up and move. Choose a houseboat and pick from one of the 4 locations we have." But houseboats don't have the best of reputations in certain boating-oriented locales, "Sometimes the phrase "floating trailer homes" may slip out in conversation," and Bay Yacht owners Smith and Dillard have been hitting some roadblocks with their venture. Read the full article here.
The trend to live-aboard a boat or yacht is growing (which is for another post), so perhaps we will see more houseboats in the future too. As for me, I'd love to try it out and rent one for a week or so. What about you, could you imagine living on a houseboat?