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If you want to buy a houseboat it’s important to know which brands are best. Which houseboat manufacturers are best for each budget?
Houseboating is a popular pastime and lifestyle choice in many parts of the world. It’s also one of the most affordable ways to enjoy time on water. There are plenty of options when it comes to buying your own boat—you can choose from smaller boats or larger luxury ships (do they even qualify as a houseboat when they get that fancy?)
. But how do you decide what type of vessel will be right for you?
The first step is deciding whether you need a full-fledged houseboat with all the bells and whistles, or if you’re just looking for something simple that’ll get you out onto the open waters. The second decision is choosing between a motorized vessel and a non motorized model. And once you’ve decided these two things, there’s still another big question looming large over the entire process:
What brand should you go with?
We got in touch with experts at some of the leading companies in this industry to find out which houseboat brands offer boats at various price points as well as varying levels of quality. Read on to learn about our top picks!
Sunseeker has been producing high-end yachts since 1994. Its models range from small dinghies up to 120 feet long. All of them have an impressive array of features including solar panels, underwater lights, air conditioning, private swimming pools, hot tubs, and even fireplaces. If you don’t mind shelling out extra cash, they are also available with custom interiors made by famous designers like Jean Prouvé, Philippe Starck, etc.
All Sunseeker vessels come equipped with all the modern amenities required for comfortable living onboard. They include GPS navigation systems, satellite TV sets, DVD players, Wi-Fi internet access, and more. You can also take advantage of their professional crew services. In short, everything you might expect from a luxurious floating home.
Oceanic was founded in 1998, so it certainly isn’t new anymore. However, it doesn’t seem old either because it continues to produce innovative designs year after year. Their lineup includes both sailing and power boaters alike. Depending on the size and number of guests you intend to accommodate, they provide four different types of models: cabin cruisers, catamarans, monohull sportfishermen, and multi hull touring yachts.
Unlike other houseboat brands we mentioned here, Oceanic offers a wide variety of interior design choices. This means that no matter which model you pick, you won’t end up stuck with plain white walls and wood paneling everywhere. You can customize the look of any Oceanic model however you please.
This company prides itself on being environmentally friendly. So not only does it use recycled materials where possible but it also provides customers with eco-friendly alternatives whenever they run into problems. For example, instead of using plastic rope, they often opt for organic cotton ones.
3. Sea Eagle
Sea Eagle started operations back in 1966. Today, it produces around 250 individual household cruising craft per year. As far as sizes go, the smallest model goes up to 9 meters, while the largest reaches 40 meters. With such huge ranges available, there really is something for everyone.
Like some of the others on this list, Sea Eagle manufactures multiple models designed specifically for fishing purposes. These boats’ main focus is maintaining extremely low drag and weight ratios. Most importantly, though, they continue to uphold superior safety standards. The latest models boast automatic collision avoidance technology, night vision cameras, radar transponders, dual bow rudders, retractable hardtops, and much more.
When it comes down to value, Sea Eagle definitely shines brighter than anyone else. Some of their units cost less than $10k whereas some reach upwards of $100k. That said, you’ll always pay for quality regardless of price point.
Seaward officially began production in 1989, making it older than most of the brands we discussed above. Despite this fact, Seawards reputation remains solid today. To prove it, consider that none of the other houses listed here were able to make it to this article.
Its current line of products consists mainly of sailing yachts ranging anywhere from 30 feet to 60 feet in length. Like the other vendors, Seaward also produces several different models designed specifically for the purpose of fishing. While they vary slightly across batches, the general idea behind each of them stays the same: maximum efficiency with minimum fuss. Seaward promises to deliver performance without sacrificing beauty.
On the downside, the cheapest models start at around $20k. On the upside, prices rise quickly depending on the size and capabilities of the unit. One thing worth mentioning is that Seaward makes excellent use of composite materials. This helps keep construction costs lower while providing better fuel economy.
5. Hatteras Yachts
Hatteras may not be as established as some of the other names on this list, but its history dates back almost 100 years. Since then, it’s earned numerous accolades and awards, including becoming America’s favorite maker of recreational marine crafts.
Some people believe that Hatteras builds the finest yachts in the business. Others would disagree based on the sheer volume of models offered. Either way, you can rest assured knowing that the highest level of care and attention goes into each piece.
A lot of Hatteras’ models feature exceptional engineering. They tend to perform exceptionally well under extreme conditions. Whether you prefer speed or comfort, Hatteras boats excel at delivering both. If you go for a bigger model, you’ll notice that the cockpit area is spacious enough to comfortably fit three adults.
As for the pricing aspect, Hatteras is known to charge higher rates compared to competitors. Still, you shouldn’t worry too much about breaking the bank. When you compare apples to apples, you realize that their offerings aren’t actually expensive. Many models fall within the $50-$75k price bracket.
6. Merit Motors
Merit Motors specializes exclusively in building small recreational vehicles called “motoryachts.” Unlike traditional motoring cars, these tiny vessels combine style with practicality.
In terms of sizing, Merit tends to favor longer lengths. The shortest model measures 10 feet in overall length, while the longest stretches up to 37 feet. Prices typically begin at around $40k, although this varies wildly depending on the specific model selected. Keep in mind that Merit puts particular emphasis on creating unique yet sophisticated automotive experiences.
Most of Merit’s models feature a mix of wood and metal elements. A few newer models incorporate fiberglass components as well. Regardless of material used, the goal is always to create beautiful pieces that feel elegant yet sturdy.
One interesting note is that Merit uses lightweight carbon composites rather than heavier steel. Doing so allows them to build lighter and faster, resulting in increased productivity. Another perk is that Merit’s owners can easily upgrade certain aspects of their vessels themselves through DIY projects.
7. Viking River Cruisers
Viking River Cruisers ranks among the oldest active houseboat makers in the United States. Founded in 1944, it currently owns six factories located throughout North Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee, New York, California, and Georgia.
Although Viking wasn’t originally focused on selling houseboats, it eventually found success thanks to its commitment to innovation. Nowadays, Viking focuses primarily on developing technologically advanced vessels. Although most of these models are meant for commercial applications, they also serve as great weekend hobbies for homeowners who’d like to spend extended periods away from land.
Prices usually begin around $60k for basic units. Additional upgrades add hundreds upon thousands of dollars to the final tally. Viking has recently introduced some exciting new models that boast incredible aesthetics along with improved functionality. We recommend giving it a try if you’re willing to invest a bit more money upfront.
Choosing the Right Houseboat Brand
With so many manufacturers offering so many models, it’s easy to become overwhelmed when trying to figure out which houseboat brand suits your needs best. Thankfully, we took the time to interview real life users and expert reviewers to help guide us towards finding the best houseboat brands for different budgets.
Now you know which houseboat brands have stood out amongst the crowd, helping you narrow down your search results accordingly. If you’re interested in learning more about purchasing a boat, check out our articles listing essential tips before buying a boat and reasons why owning a boat could improve your mental health.