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Homesteading and Livestock

Self-reliance and sustainability in the 21st century.

Build a Houseboat

By Heidi Hunt

Tags: houseboat, Atchafalaya, Gwen Roland, Brandy Bar,

brandy barHow many of us have dreamed of a cabin in the woods, nestled on the shore of a lake or river? For most of us, that dream is a high-ticket item. But what if you could have your cabin and not have to worry about buying the land or paying recreation-land taxes?

Enter the houseboat! A cabin on a barge-like vessel, capable of plying the waters or sitting stationary close to shore. Imagine yourself spending the weekend lazing across a lake, fishing pole in hand, rocked to sleep at night by the gentle movement of the water.

PBS will be hosting a documentary, Atchafalaya Houseboat, about Gwen Roland’s experiences on the houseboat she and her partner built on the Atchafalaya River in the 1970s. Her article, Barge on a Bayou

 was featured in Mother Earth News in 1982.

Gwen’s houseboat barge was 103 feet long. But if you are thinking of something a little smaller and easier to move around, check out this article and plan for how to build a houseboat. And read more on how to build a boat here.

Photo by Richard Trachi