There are many different types of houseboat and they are constructed for different types of waterways and for different reasons. They can provide comfort and luxury and house many people or can be utilized for the basic provision of a minimal living space. Their use as permanent homes as well as for holiday rentals has become increasingly popular in recent decades (See Reference 3).
Pontoon and Full Hull
One of the most common and popular type of houseboats is the pontoon. It is stable on the water, is safe and easy to use. The pontoon boat does not cost as much as many other models and the running expenses are also relatively low. Another popular type is the Full Hull. Its shape also makes it stable and practical with the added benefit of a lot of storage space.
The Catamaran type of houseboat is constructed on two long and thin hulls which are connected by the main body of the boat. Because of their width, they will provide you with excellent stability and comfortable cruising. This factor is enhanced due to their twin engines, which also provide extra maneuverability and handling. Because of the narrow hulls, these catamarans have a low level of displacement and greater fuel efficiency.
Trailerable and Barges
Long and narrow boats are required for navigating the canal systems of Western Europe or smaller rivers. They are often made of steel or less commonly of wood. They also come with traditionally round port windows or rectangular panes. Many people live on boats such as these, either permanently moored or with the option to move about. So-called Dutch barges have similar features to narrow boats but are wider and have more accommodation. They are suitable for mooring on both canals and rivers but their width limits the canals that they can be used on.
River Houseboats and Yachts
River houseboats may require different designs depending upon currents and widths. If you are considering living permanently on a river or just taking a vacation, you might consider a river cruiser. These are made from fiberglass and come in many shapes and sizes. Boats that have been used as motor fishing vehicles can be ideal for conversion into a houseboat if you want more space. However, whilst they can be used and moored on coasts and rivers, their size may limit their use inland. Luxury yachts can make excellent houseboats but you will be confined to coastal areas and marinas.
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