Houseboat Homes - Part Two of the Fantasy Homes Series
Living in a Houseboat - Sausalito Floating Homes
Sausalito Houseboat Tour
Fantasy Homes - Houseboats are No. Two on My Wish List
About the same time I was fantasizing about treehouse homes in the early 1970s (see my hub Part 1 of Fantasy Home Series http://hubpages.com/hub/Treehouse-homes ) I moved from the mountain forests to a small coastal town in Marin Co. California where I learned about many new ways to live and homes to live in. I met a couple fisher/boat folk who lived in houseboats on Sausalito Bay right over the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. I never got to see the inside of their floating homes, but they told me some fabulous stories about riding out winter storms, springing leaks, waging battles with local and state authorities over permits and taxes, and keeping children, dogs and cats happy on houseboats. It all sounded romantic and even though it would probably be a lot of work to maintain one, houseboats became No. 2 on my wish list of fantasy homes.
When I lived briefly in San Francisco I would often take the bus over the Golden Gate to Sausalito and spend an idyllic afternoon exploring the shops, restaurants and the wharf there, all the while gazing wistfully at the boat-homes and their people. I spent some time in the No Name Bar listening to fishermen and boat people talk their own lingo. After I moved to Marin County I spent less time in Sausalito because I lived near beaches and ocean and spent a lot of time with the coastal people of West Marin, almost entirely away from the tourist scene.I lived in the anti-tourist town of Bolinas, and maybe I’ll tell you about that some day.
But I still carried this fantasy with me of at least vacationing on a houseboat someday.
I was told one time, by a fellow who was trying to seduce me to come spend a weekend at his place on the water in Sausalito, that he staggered home drunk as a skunk one spring night, passed out in his bed, and during the night a huge storm came up. He didn’t wake up through all the thunder, lightning and wave action, until the next afternoon's calm woke him to find that during the night his watery home had escaped its mooring. He was floating in the middle of the bay! with his house listing to port! I didn’t know whether to believe him or not. He said it took a tugboat to bring him back to safety, where his boat cat was waiting patiently on the dock. But that was enough to convince me NOT to spend time with him at his house! Now I wish I hadn’t missed my chance to spend a night on board a houseboat.
Sausalito houseboats are well-known for their legal hassles with the state and the city of Sausalito over sewage, water connections, and taxes. The state finally won their battle and now charges them a “shadow tax” based the land included in the shadow of their boat as being the “improved land”. They are legally designated as “float homes” which does not sound as romantic to me as the term houseboats. The last I heard was that they still don't have the permanent OK from all authorities and must renew their battles periodically.
I include some exterior photos of Sausalito's floating homes here - but unfortunately I have no interior shots of these private homes.
Of course, one can easily rent a houseboat on many lakes in the U.S. and find out what living on one would be like. In California I have heard that Lake Shasta (see link below) has some great two-story houseboat rentals that will sleep ten or more people for a week or more of lazy fishing, exploring the lake’s little coves and sunning yourself.
Now that sounds good to me, find 8 friends, get them all together at the same time, for about $300 each and some yummy gourmet food! . . . for maybe a couple days, after that I think I would be ready to swim to shore to get away from my companions. I’m not used to spending so much time in such close quarters with so many of my friends (if I could even persuade them to come along) By the end of the week I would need to find 8 to 10 NEW friends to replace them! But, if I win the lottery or something, I think I could handle a week or two with a couple very close buddies out there on the water.
I include here a photo of a beautiful little houseboat from Lake Union in Seattle, Washington. I know nothing at all about it, but it looks inviting, doesn’t it? Seattle also has a fairly large community of floating homes, along with some vacation rentals there.
And another one, a real beauty from Dal Lake in Srinagar where the boat people make their homes beautiful with colorful wood carved paneling . The finest are vacation homes decorated with luxury furniture, carpeting, modern bathrooms and kitchens and some are moored overlooking beautiful lotus gardens. You can hire houseboats there by the day and the rental includes meals and a free shuttle service back and forth to the jetty. Srinigar is in Kashmir, India - the sound of it is exotic and beguiling, if I win the lottery maybe I’ll go there (with a couple very close buddies)!
A major drawback for me and a houseboat would be the fact that I do not have a good record of boating experiences. This is after all, only a big fantasy for me, that is to say, I generally get sick after a half hour or so on a boat and stay sick until my feet touch land! But I couldn't I adapt? I like to imagine I could - especially if I had a lovely big bed with a lovely porthole so I could watch the sun and moon rise over the water! And, perhaps, a water-tight skylight so I could view the stars and wake up with the sun. I would adapt!
- Houseboat Rentals on Lake Shasta | Antlers Resort & Marina
Antlers is a full service resort on Lake Shasta specializing in luxury houseboat rentals, competition ski boats, patio boats, personal watercraft, and fishing boats. We also have lake view cabins nestled in the trees within walking distance of the ma