House Boats

By: Thomas Morva

There are two ways of looking at the word houseboat: a house that floats on water or a boat with all necessary amenities you get at home. Either way, a houseboat is a permanent place of residence, where you can enjoy the benefits of a house on land.

Houseboats can either be recreational or residential. A recreational houseboat is more compact in nature, though with most amenities intact. Also, it may have the luxury of powerful motors to take it places, apart from facilities like a water tank, a generator and other services. Conversely, a residential houseboat is pretty much resigned to a life beside the dock.

Houseboats may be new to the United States, but Asian and European countries share a long history with them. It is common in some parts of Asia to see fishing communities living on temporary houses that are floating on logs. In the Netherlands, at Amsterdam and other cities linked by canals, houseboats are more modern in character and can often be sighted along waterways.

Although an attractive proposition, it is sensible to check out the local laws before buying a houseboat. Many cities have stringent laws on its use, particularly when it comes to sanitation. It is imperative for a residential houseboat (or more precisely one with permanent residents) to be suitably connected to the power supplies and a sewage system. Luxury houseboats that have temporary use of a dock are usually not subject to those laws.

The reasons for owning a houseboat are manifold. One is the aesthetic setting of the location where the houseboat is anchored, which is often underdeveloped and with a natural feel. Secondly, it could be that property on water is less exorbitant than on land. Houseboat owners generally have their own society, with people sharing the same interests.

Of course, houseboats are now fast becoming a tourist attraction. In the state of Kerela, in India, houseboats with luxurious amenities are a great attraction.

Recreation and Sports
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