A little bit of history

The houseboats appeared in the USA in 1905, and by 1930 their number exceeded 2,000. The numerous lakes in the country contributed to the development of tourism and an increase in the number of houseboats. With the development of industry, floating hotels, shops and even banks opened their doors in houseboats.

In Europe, the first floating houses were the pontoons with a build-up structure used for living. Sometimes, the reason for choosing a house on the water was high land taxes, lack of land or high cost for it in big cities.

Entire villages consisting of houseboat appeared in various European countries, such as: England, France, the Netherlands, and Germany. The most beautiful houses on the water can be seen on the canals in Amsterdam, and the most state-of-the-art – in Germany.


Terminology and classification

There is no unified classification for floating houses, but for easier understanding, they can be divided into the following groups:

A floating house (FloatHouse, Floating House, floating landing stage, etc.) is usually a non-motorized house built on a massive pontoon made of concrete (!) or steel. They are often transported by tugs. It is closer to a house, than a boat.

A houseboat (HouseBoat, CanalBoat, CamperBoat) – is a motorized house, combining mobility of a ship with home comfort.

Materials used: steel, aluminum, sometimes plastic. It is closer to a yacht, than a house.

According to the type of hull, the houseboats can be single-hull and multi-hull (twin-hull, triple-hull).


International Houseboat Market

In Europe, houseboats have become popular as a cheaper alternative to regular housing. Mostly, these are either barges reconstructed for living (England, France, Holland) or ultra-modern floating houses which are mostly built on floating concrete foundations (Germany, Holland).

In the United States, due to the numerous lakes, the houseboats are mostly used as weekend and travel floats, so they are almost always motorized. Americans do not really bother with design, so a typical American houseboat looks like a large ‘floating garage’ stuffed with furniture and household appliances. Aluminum hull, wooden frame, sandwich panels, interior decor made of plywood. They are usually up to 5.5 meters wide, so that it would be easy to transport them by trailers from lake to lake. Serious houseboats cost from $500,000 to $1.5 million.


Russian Houseboat Market

The Russian houseboat market is just emerging. More and more people are wondering, “Why don’t we live on water like them?” Some people create DIY houseboats by themselves, some people buy the ready-made vessels abroad and bring them home, and the rest are still waiting for a massive migration to the water.

Russian houseboats are made either by amateur private entrepreneurs or by small family-owned companies. A platform is assembled on 2-3 floats, using the rule of thumb on which a bathhouse or a small house is put, and the structure is set in motion by one or two outboard motors. The level of comfort is minimal.

Recently, a licensed production facility of American aluminum houseboats was established in Saratov, which is a breakthrough for the domestic the market.

People who are fond of foreign and, apparently, more comfortable housing usually order new houseboats from abroad, mostly from the USA. Since almost every man is a creator and a designer deep down, the ‘foreigner’ originally built for warmer climate, is then modified to fit the Russian reality: electrical equipment, insulation is added, etc. Usually, the result turns out to be more expensive than a new houseboat, but the process brings so much fun!

Although most of the houseboats are not suitable for all-year-round utilization, this lifestyle is becoming increasingly more appealing. Entire villages on the water are designed and advertised, and many yacht clubs already host houseboats together with yachts. The experts predict rapid expansion of this market in the coming years.


Houseboat Design

The houseboat consists of a floating base and the upper part.
The floating base is made of plastic modules in cheaper options or aluminum in more expensive ones. Shipbuilding steel is used if the base is required to withstand freezing into ice.

The most common types are mono-hull (like a boat) or twin-hull.

The hull usually houses the motors, fuel tanks and engineering systems, depending on the level of comfort required.
In cheaper options, the outboard motors are used, in more expensive options – stationary motors. Rotors or water-jet propellers are used as driving force. It is believed that water-jet propellers are safer in shallow water – there is no danger of bending the rotors.

Residential facilities usually consist of a frame with insulation and then lining of plywood or other materials, depending on the budget. The control station is usually located at the front of the houseboat, for example in the living room. Sometimes a second control post is placed on the second floor.

The finishing depends on the preferences and the budget.


What is the houseboat used for?

First and foremost, a houseboat can serve as the second or even the only home. This is not only a fully functional house, but also an exciting lifestyle full of interesting acquaintances, independence and traveling. Buying a houseboat will optimize your time and emotional resources. For example, living in Moscow for five days, you can leave the bustling capital on weekends without wasting the time and fussing around as everything is already with you! It also solves the problem of living between several houses. And you can choose the view out of your window without even leaving your house!

Secondly, it is a fully adequate river yacht suitable for long trips with the comfort of a home. Change the environment, get new impressions, and enjoy the beauty of the rivers without changing your place of residence: your home will always be with you.

Thirdly, it is a comfortable solution for those enjoying fishing and even hunting.

Fourth, it can also become a mobile office: your clients will appreciate an unorthodox office on the water with a beautiful view. And if you decide to change your location, this will be done without getting distracted from work!


What should I begin with if I am interested in living on the water?

First of all, you need to make a call to the specialists of our company.

Second: check out our sample houseboat. As the famous saying goes, “a picture paints a thousand words.”

Third: think about your expectations.

The houseboats are usually built to order. As they say: “If you don’t know where you are going, you will definitely come to the wrong place!” Therefore, we can build you a dream house if you know what you want.

First of all, it would it be great to know the purpose of your future home: going swimming during weekends with family and friends, a river yacht for traveling, a floating bathhouse, a fishing lodge or a full-fledged house for all-year-round living? The design, equipment and, of course, the price will depend on it.

Second, think over the composition of the premises and their approximate area at least preliminary. Some people prefer large rooms, some people like smaller spaces, some people absolutely need a sauna, and some people can very well do without it.

Third, determine the desired budget at least in ballpark figures. It is no use thinking over the number of bedrooms and the size of the helicopter landing spot if the budget is only 3 million rubles.

Well, after the wish list is complete, you can order the floating house of your dreams! And in six months’ time on the average, it will be ready to host a housewarming party!