Finally! Maiden Voyage with our tow-able houseboat

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K&M

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We finally got the houseboat down to the Lake! (This first shot is of us practicing beaching it at Navajo before bringing it down to the BIG lake!) We went down Sept. 18-Oct.3. Perfect weather except for a couple nights of big wind. We camped in the RinCon area for the first 3 nights, then the rest of the time across from the Hole in the Rock. We learned a couple of things about positioning for maximum solar which was good! The white painted roof really does help (the deck area will get painted later as well). The 12v swamp cooler was perfect as was the 12 v big refrigerator so that was great! All in all, it was more than we had hoped for!
As for the fishing, we did pretty well. We both caught a few 2+lb largemouths and pretty much every species except walleye. Hopefully they'll be biting when we go back. About the best fishing was the little bay we camped in--crappie, cat, large and small mouth and striper. Most of the smallies were a pound or more. Drop shotting was the most productive but we also were very successful fishing shallow square billed crank baits which we hadn't done much of before so that was fun. We are heading down again this weekend for 2+weeks and camping on the north end. See you down there!
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We finally got the houseboat down to the Lake! (This first shot is of us practicing beaching it at Navajo before bringing it down to the BIG lake!) We went down Sept. 18-Oct.3. Perfect weather except for a couple nights of big wind. We camped in the RinCon area for the first 3 nights, then the rest of the time across from the Hole in the Rock. We learned a couple of things about positioning for maximum solar which was good! The white painted roof really does help (the deck area will get painted later as well). The 12v swamp cooler was perfect as was the 12 v big refrigerator so that was great! All in all, it was more than we had hoped for!
As for the fishing, we did pretty well. We both caught a few 2+lb largemouths and pretty much every species except walleye. Hopefully they'll be biting when we go back. About the best fishing was the little bay we camped in--crappie, cat, large and small mouth and striper. Most of the smallies were a pound or more. Drop shotting was the most productive but we also were very successful fishing shallow square billed crank baits which we hadn't done much of before so that was fun. We are heading down again this weekend for 2+weeks and camping on the north end. See you down there!
View attachment 25012View attachment 25024ACH=full]24983[/ATTACH]
Glad you had a good trip, hope Halls ramp is open next spring. If so we plan on making a trip from Page. Would be great to meet up with you two again.
 
Sweet
What motor and how big? Looks like a great set up :)
The motor is a Suzuki 140. Without pulling the fishing boat, it'll run about 18 mph. Yes, it would be great to see you again, StickBow! And yes, the fridge is about as big as I could find, but it is a 12 volt and we only minimally ran the generator. It's also very quiet (the fridge). We'll give a fishing report when we get home in 3 weeks! Camping north lake this time.
 
Wow, the absolute dream. I would love to have something exactly like that. Starlink, solar, and a remote job…cake.

If you don’t mind me asking, how much all said and done and where did you find it? What a fun project to work on.

While working at Dangling Rope we had a couple come in with a similar sized boat but with a very unique lay out. I have photos of it on my old lap top. I’ll try digging them up.
 
PS-I don't want to hijack your post but boats like this make a lot of sense to me. I followed your project with interest because I have one of my own of this type going on right now too; By type I mean a trailerable smaller houseboat or camper boat.

I'm lucky enough to own 50% of a larger aluminum monohull houseboat in a slip but I'm looking for something else and that may be a smaller trailerable instead. Yes, a bigger houseboat can be deluxe, they can do things smaller boats can't, they can haul a lot of people and keep them in air conditioned comfort for a week but they have definite limitations and drawbacks, They tend to be cumbersome, slow, complex and expensive to own and operate. You are also tied to the marina and/or Page/Bullfrog with that type, WHEN it needs work, repairs or upgrades it has to be done there, it's not moving very far afield and you'll pay the prices they ask or your boat is stuck and in a way so are you! You can't just take it home to remodel or refit or to a trusted local shop in your hometown for repairs. In the end maybe less really is more?

So I've been exploring the advantages of faster, lighter, more flexible, easier and cheaper to own and operate trailerable houseboats. I'm surprised more manufacturers aren't building them and that more of them aren't on the lake. When I start to make some progress on mine I'll likely do what you did and share my progress by starting a thread. I think a lot of people who know the conditions and challenges unique to Powell understand the many advantages of a faster easier to handle smaller simpler houseboats with more basic accommodations. I'm really intrigued, especially with the faster part. Thanks for sharing about yours and your progress on this project.
 
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PS-I don't want to hijack your post but boats like this make a lot of sense to me. I followed your project with interest because I have one of my own of this type going on right now too; By type I mean a trailerable smaller houseboat or camper boat.

I'm lucky enough to own 50% of a larger aluminum monohull houseboat in a slip but I'm looking for something else and that may be a smaller trailerable instead. Yes, a bigger houseboat can be deluxe, they can do things smaller boats can't, they can haul a lot of people and keep them in air conditioned comfort for a week but they have definite limitations and drawbacks, They tend to be cumbersome, slow, complex and expensive to own and operate. You are also tied to the marina and/or Page/Bullfrog with that type, WHEN it needs work, repairs or upgrades it has to be done there, it's not moving very far afield and you'll pay the prices they ask or your boat is stuck and in a way so are you! You can't just take it home to remodel or refit or to a trusted local shop in your hometown for repairs. In the end maybe less really is more?

So I've been exploring the advantages of faster, lighter, more flexible, easier and cheaper to own and operate trailerable houseboats. I'm surprised more manufacturers aren't building them and that more of them aren't on the lake. When I start to make some progress on mine I'll likely do what you did and share my progress by starting a thread. I think a lot of people who know the conditions and challenges unique to Powell understand the many advantages of a faster easier to handle smaller simpler houseboats with more basic accommodations. I'm really intrigued, especially with the faster part. Thanks for sharing about yours and your progress on this project.
I'm curious. What make and model are you rebuilding?
I'd love to hear how you bought it and what you've done to it so far and of course your future plans with it.
Much like you, I had a larger boat in Wahweap but found it a little too much. Too cumbersome, too difficult and expensive to retrieve and launch and not something I'd take for a cruise.
A few months ago, I bought a 1971 Land-N-Sea Trail-A-Cruiser. 28 footer with a 305 Chevy. Should be in a slip in Wahweap sometime in March.
Can't wait.
 
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I'm curious. What make and model are you rebuilding?
I'd love to hear how you bought it and what you've done to it so far and of course your future plans with it.
Much like you, I had a larger bought in Wahweap but found it a little too much. Too cumbersome, too difficult and expensive to retrieve and launch and not something I'd take for a cruise.
A few months ago, I bought a 1971 Land-N-Sea Trail-A-Cruiser. 28 footer with a 305 Chevy. Should be in a slip in Wahweap sometime in March.
Can't wait.
Nice Maverick! A 305 V8 should do we'll for you. I actually have two trailerables right now. One is a 1985 aluminum (yes) Boatel Tri toon 10x36 with a cabin, it's basically a tiny houseboat, 60 hp 4 stroke outboards. It's built like a tank, I bought it in Page. It's called Maverick. (Funny) It's just needs a little cosmetic upgrading on the inside, not bad though. I'm trying to save that one for my retirement boat, has a trailer.

The other one is an 87 Patio Cruiser 10x32. It's basically an open air tiny houseboat, I also bought it in Page. It was a custom build with that company. A guy had it built as a houseboat without walls, just a full roof, bathroom and kitchen. It's twin pontoon but they are large and welded up as Hexagons.

I'm wanting to Hot Rod this one, I've got some 200 HP Evenrude E-Techs for it. I'm hoping to get all the welding done this winter and then try to get it on the water come summer. I'll also be adding some HydroFins under it,(I'm a dealer and certified installer) I hope to get it nose high up and on plane (as pontoon boats go anyway) I'd love to go 30 mph WOT. Somewhat risky to modify boats I know, not exactly proper to modify your boat, I know. Experimental, yes but I dream of an open air boat with a 1/2 bath that can haul people and run in the 20's all day, one that I can also camp out of in comfort if I want to. Something simpler mechanically than a cruiser with much more deck space yet just as fast. Something to get out and explore quickly in, to see a lot in 3 nights, to come out of wahweap and hit Oak, Rock Creek and Labyrinth in just three nights. It would be an excellent personal ferry to haul gear and people between marinas and moored houseboats too, I've got some ideas anyway. And yes, between my welder and myself we've restored and even built boats before, we have a few years of experience with Powell and Boats so we will be careful and we do feel like we have a clue beforehand. I've even consulted engineers etc. so it won't be a "here, hold my beer and watch this" endeavor. That's where I'm heading with it anyway if I can find the time this winter. My business is driven by bad weather as is the lake level so I'm not sure that I should be hoping for a mild winter, in fact I'm not. We'll see
 
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Wow, the absolute dream. I would love to have something exactly like that. Starlink, solar, and a remote job…cake.

If you don’t mind me asking, how much all said and done and where did you find it? What a fun project to work on.

While working at Dangling Rope we had a couple come in with a similar sized boat but with a very unique lay out. I have photos of it on my old lap top. I’ll try digging them up.
It really has been a great set up! We don't have Starlink, but are looking into it. The second trip we took we went North lake, camped a week right on the main channel on the beach outside (north) of Knowles. It was perfect having this huge sandy beach and such a perfect view of the night sky! But we knew the weather was going to change, so we found a great spot in a little cove north of Warm Springs.
We found the boat in Kansas, and I will say it was pretty complicated getting all the paper work since Kansas doesn't require some information that Colorado does and finding it was a big hassle. It was about the trailer. It was $32,500. The remodel (which will probably never be totally done! Always finding something else to tweek!) cost another $12k. "Fun" is not really the word we would use on the remodel....But definitely worth it!! It really has been everything we hoped it would be. It has no heat, and the last days down at Powell were cold enough at night that we are now looking into that so we can extend our times down there. Mr Buddy worked fine, but since you can't regulate it other than high and low, and we aren't totally comfortable running it while sleeping anyway, we need something with a thermostat. With our solar panels, we didn't need to run generator for power at all the second trip. The first trip we didn't choose a good enough orientation to the sun and did have to run it some. We are looking also into a solar set up for the trolling motor. Anyone out there have that?
I'll give a fishing report on the fishing forum.
 
I have StarLink and the router is 110 AC but I used one of those lighter plug 12V to 110 converter gizmos and it worked great,
I think it uses less the 100 watts, I used it at Lake Powell and depending on the canyon walls and good view of the sky,, it worked pretty good,
I also used it on open water on Lake Huron or camping , under trees no good, and it worked perfect with open view of the sky.
I still am running my business so need phone and internet, someday I'll retire.
 
so long and short is you don't need to run generator, can run on batteries.
The canyon walls are my concern. We got a Garmin In Reach 1 recently so we could let our kids know we are ok when boondocking, but I found I would have to walk up a hill or take the fishing boat out in the middle of the channel in a place where it was more open in order to make it work. I am thinking Starlink is the same way, so being tucked into a little cove might not work for it. Which might defeat the purpose of it for us..But thanks for letting us know it also works on batteries!
 
The canyon walls are my concern. We got a Garmin In Reach 1 recently so we could let our kids know we are ok when boondocking, but I found I would have to walk up a hill or take the fishing boat out in the middle of the channel in a place where it was more open in order to make it work. I am thinking Starlink is the same way, so being tucked into a little cove might not work for it. Which might defeat the purpose of it for us..But thanks for letting us know it also works on batteries!

The Iridium constellation (which Garmin and Zoleo use) is in constant motion using a polar orbit with 66 satellites - meaning that even if you don't have a full view of the sky at a given moment, you should have access (even with narrower views of the sky) about every 10-12 minutes. Sometimes it's just a matter of waiting.


Starlink's mission is different and their initial goal is for 12,000 satellites (to be expanded later). Their equipment gets the luxury of choosing among possibly multiple visible satellites - balancing signal strength with current free capacity, etc. That takes a larger footprint and more power. The upside is residential-grade two-way data streaming services.


I don't consider them to be competing technologies, but rather complimentary ones. I have both and use each for completely different tasks.
 
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