How To Transport Houseboat

1. How Much Is the Average Houseboat?

While an average houseboat costs $50,000, there are many different types of houseboats which greatly vary in price. Some look more like typical houses, while others appear to be 100% boat. Perhaps the most popular style of the houseboat, though, is a flat pontoon or barge-like vessel topped with four walls and a roof. Many of these kinds of houseboats come complete with a full second story or, at least, a deck where owners can sit out and relax on the water.

While prices vary dramatically, you can certainly find a decent-quality houseboat in the 600-square-foot range for around $50,000. If you go much less than that, you may be dealing with a fixer-upper. And, if you go much higher, you could end up with a slightly past-its-prime yacht. Of course, there are also more luxurious half-a-million-dollar plus options available to the wealthier houseboat buyer.



These few tips will help to ensure that your houseboat move goes smoothly and as planned. Your houseboat is a great place to hang out and chill, so you will certainly want to make sure to take good care of it. 

A move can be expensive but when you get the desired results, it is all worth it in the end. So make a smart decision by following all the instructions provided carefully and enjoy the new location of your houseboat!

Are houseboats expensive to maintain?

An average cost of a relatively good houseboat should range around $100 per month to maintain/repair. Again, this cost is the one variable that differs the most from person to person so please keep that in mind. ‍The average cost to live on a houseboat is $955 per month.

Find the Best Boat Hauling Service

The overall cost for your boat transporting service varies from company to company. No two companies will price the same, so it is best to reach out to each company for a boat shipping quote. Receiving referrals from family members and friends is also a great resource when deciding on the best route for your boat transport.

When you are comparing quotes, make sure that you input the same information throughout the application. For example, make sure that you have your boat’s accurate weight, height, and width in each quote. Make sure that you also have the proper mileage updated and the location of where you need to have the boat moved to.

Does distance add more At the overall cost of moving a houseboat?

Distance travel is another major factor that plays a massive role in setting up costs. If the shipping company deals in a long haul, the price can go from $600 to $1000. Anything that can be covered up in a shorter distance than the price will be around the $150 to $350 figure. Location of pick up and delivery of the boat will significantly influence the price.

Can you put a houseboat anywhere?

While it is legal to live on a houseboat on U.S. waterways, it is almost impossible to live solely on a houseboat without retaining a legal permanent land address. The U.S. Postal Service requires a current permanent address before issuing a post office box. A person must have an address to register a vessel.

Hiring the Best Boat Transport

Now that you know how much it costs to transport your boat to wherever you need it to go, it’s time for you to start your quote. Not only is the cost a defining factor of who you decide to use to transport your boat, but the quality of service is another factor you need to consider.

Shipping a boat should be easy when working with a professional boat transport company. And with Nexus, it is!

Cost Of Living On A Houseboat Year Round

What exactly are all the costs associated with living on a boat? Below is  a list of what you will need to calculate for yourself. We have put in the average cost for each (again this will vary from person to person) Mooring Related Fees This is essential the cost to have the houseboat parked in a marina or particular area.  This price will vary on location etc. but here are some averages:  ‍‍Liveaboard Fees : $150 average‍Doc/ Mooring Fees Per Ft. : $11 – $17 This generally includes garbage disposal, water, 30w power, wifi. ‍Pump out Fees (Waste removal): $50As an example, let's assume you have a 25ft houseboat: Total Mooring related fees per month: $625 per monthInsurance Houseboat insurance varies per location and circumstances but averages $150 per monthHeating Costs Typically a diesel powered heater is what is most commonly used.  Prices to run it averages $80 per month. Cooking Costs Cooking with Propane on a houseboat costs about $30 per month. Maintenance & RepairThis is something that will vary dramatically from one boat owner to the next. ‍Obviously when you buy your houseboat, things can/will go wrong from time to time (similar to a house)  This will also depend on the condition of the houseboat you purchase. An average cost of a relatively good houseboat should range around  $100 per month to maintain/repair.  Again, this cost is the one variable that differs the most from person to person so please keep that in mind. Total Costs‍The average cost to live on a houseboat is $955 per month.Again, a lot of the costs are variable from person to person. But this average cost is much better than the average household bill.‍


The prices include a year round living expenses. The heating fee is averaged out monthly but the majority of the heating costs will obviously be during the winter months

Most marinas/docks will have electricity supply (as part of the mooring fees) and the price has been included for the harsher winter climates.  One thing worth mentioning is that you can always move the boat to warmer climates in the winter, an enviable bonus that houseboat owners have over traditional house owners.  Imagine being able to pick up your house and move it somewhere warmer in the winter?


This again varies from country to country & city to city but do inquire with your local accountant/legal professional.  You may have the bonus of being exempt from sales tax (in some instances)  It is an important step to find out the tax structure in your local area as it can save a lot of money. e.g. Minnesota, US do not pay sales tax on houseboats. (this may change)

8. What Are the Financial Advantages and Disadvantages of Owning a Houseboat?

The financial advantages of living on a houseboat include:

  • No property taxes
  • Generally lower maintenance costs
  • Potential houseboat tax breaks
  • No yard to take care of or pay for landscaping

The financial disadvantages of living on a houseboat include:

  • Regularly paying to have your sewage pumped
  • Maintenance costs related to the engine and other parts of the houseboat
  • Fuel costs
  • Dock or marina costs

Is it Cheap to own a houseboat?

Compared to the price tag that comes with traditional home maintenance, maintaining a houseboat, on the other hand, will be cheaper.

The average cost of living on a houseboat will be around $6000. The average cost of living in a houseboat on an annual basis is much more affordable than living in a traditional house. Many seniors choose to retire on houseboats since it provides a more inexpensive option than the traditional house.

The maintenance cost of a houseboat is much less; proper maintenance is the key to ensuring the houseboat stays in the appropriate condition. But you will have to pay your fees for living in a houseboat, which is not a problem with an ordinary house. You will have to deal with rental payments and less space in the houseboat. These are some of the issues that will not be present in an ordinary traditional house.

Details You Should Know

To ensure you have a smooth experience when shipping your houseboat, get all the details on the following issues upfront:

  • Licensing is an important requirement, and they should provide you with their DOT & MC numbers, which can be verified at the FMCA website.
  • Adequate Insurance is necessary in order to be compensated in case of damage or loss. An uninsured, or under-insured carrier can be costly; make sure they carry proper coverage.
  • Read the Contract and fine print to be aware of any important details.
  • Down Payment amounts should be discussed prior to accepting.
  • Refunds are sometimes allowed, so verify conditions that must be met for a refund.
  • Full Payment is due when? Upon delivery, or before departing?
  • Schedules & Delays are inevitable, but how do they charge for them?

Height Limitations

Preparing a houseboat for safe transportation is crucial in ensuring a hassle-free delivery. The following pointers can help you discover areas that require your attention. Keep in mind that the usual height restriction is 13'6." While you're at it, let the houseboat transportation firm know about your vessel's specifications.

Make sure your measurements are correct since they will allocate room for your boat based on the information you provide. Keep in mind that they're only interested in the actual weight of your boat, not its tonnage. Search for Displacement in your boat's stability book if you don't know where else to look.


Brian Samson

Brian Samson

I have a deep love of houseboating and the life-changing experiences houseboating has brought into my life. I’ve been going to Lake Powell on our family’s houseboat for over 30 years and have made many great memories, first as a child and now as a parent. My family has a passion for helping others have similar fun, safe experiences on their houseboat.

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