Freshwater houseboat or something larger- Jessica made a comment on the blog about owning a fishing skiff for freshwater, but her husband always wanting “a houseboat or something larger”. Hope you don’t mind, Jessica, but your comment motivated me to re-read a few buy the right boat articles I have here at the house, and I wanted to take few minutes to throw my thoughts into a readable post. While I have some really, really smart experts who follow this blog and even may read it from time to time, I’m NOT a boating expert by any means, thus I read a lot to see if my thoughts match what experts say.
First,,,,I have no idea how old you guys are or if you have kids, aging relatives or a ton of responsibilities that preclude a purchase; but my advice would be to seriously think through a lease or purchase of the houseboat or something larger,,,,while you can. I’m motivated in this thought by my own experiences and other’s heath scares that precluded them from doing what they always wanted to do, simply because they waited too long. I hear a lot of folks who say they always wanted to get a houseboat, sailboat or fishing boat to spend vacation or weekends on, but wait too long. They get older, they can’t afford it or a major health issue comes along and those people fall into the “wish I would have done it while I could category”.
Second,,,,for a larger purchase you can of course buy new or used; but I recommend you follow the same process as buying a sailboat or powerboat. If the boat is large enough to live on (kitchen, bathroom) then it could be used as a tax write-off in the second home category. Thus, I would recommend you get a surveyor who specializes in that type of vessel to look it over, take a test drive in it and get it out of the water to look over the bottom. I’m no expert in fresh water boats, but these steps just seem logical to me. Most larger boats have some form of bilge and engine, make sure you and your husband get a good look inside,,,clean bilge =’s happy wife as there will be less smells!
Hope this helps, do it while you’re young enough to enjoy it-