Are Houseboats Cold? Things to know for winter use

Houseboats are one of the most amazing places to spend your vacations. They are cozy, comfortable, as well as calming to say the least. If you too are fed up from the constant rat race of your daily life and want to refresh your body, mind, and soul, then there’s no better place than a houseboat for you to be. It is one of the best ways to rejuvenate the body as well as the mind and the soul and get rid of all the worries of daily life. 

For the summers houseboats are a great place to spend your precious time in. A large number of people spend their entire summer vacation in a houseboat. Talking about the winters, there’s a common assumption among many people that houseboats are not a good place to be for the winter seasons. This assumption by some people is based on the common thought process that in winters we should remain far away from the water. People, many times have the query, are houseboats cold during winters? 

Whether a houseboat is cold depends on a variety of factors including the type of houseboat, how well it is insulated, what type of heater is on board, and more. Each of these factors will have a direct effect on how cold your houseboat can get. There are many people who live on houseboats year around so at least for those people they don’t get too cold to live in. 

Houseboats are a great place to be during the wintertime as long as your houseboat is properly prepared for the season. A houseboat must be prepared for the cold just like a house needs to be. If you have a house with no insulation or heater then you wouldn’t want to stay there when it is cold outside. The same is true with a houseboat. 

In the rest of this article we will tell you about some of the things that you should keep in mind while staying in a houseboat during  the wintertime.

Related Post  How Much Fuel Does A Houseboat Use?

Best types of houseboats for winters 

When we talk about houseboats then there are two major kinds of houseboats that will be the best for you during the winter. The first one of these is the concrete barges and the second one of these is the steel freight ships. Below we will discuss each of these types in more detail. 

Concrete barges 

These ships are just like modern houses. The houseboat is structured in such a way that there’s a wooden frame which is built on top of a concrete barge. These houseboats provide you with all the facilities that you can enjoy in a normal house. The very first thing about these houseboats is that they have a good level of insulation to keep the heat in and the cold out. The majority of these boats have Central heating as well as floor heating. 

Of course just because you have a concrete barge doesn’t mean that you will never be cold. You have to make sure that the heat is working properly and that you are in a good local for the wintertime. If you are in Antarctica then no houseboat will ever be warm! 

Steel freight ships 

These types of houseboats are well insulated too, and they will usually also have a central heating system. There are many houseboats in this category that still prefer the old school gas system to get warmth inside. There might also be a wood stove or sometimes a fireplace in some of these houseboats too. The heat that is emitted by a wood stove is way more concentrated as compared to central heating. Sitting around that stove with your loved ones is one of the greatest feelings which can’t be provided by any Central heating system but it limits where in the boat that you can go or sleep without being too cold. 

Of course each of these houseboat types have their pros and cons but if you are looking for a place to stay in the winter then these two types of houseboats are your best options to stay warm. 

Benefits of using a houseboat during the winter

People often use a houseboat during the winter season due to a variety of reasons but let us tell you that this is one of the best seasons to rent a houseboat or even live on board one. Below, we will give you a few reasons why. . 

Related Post  How To Convert A Pontoon Boat To A Houseboat?

You’ll get seasonal savings

There is a wide range of offers as well as discounts for the people who make rent or even live in a houseboat during the off-season. As winters are considered as the offseason, there’s a good chance that you will be getting a good discount on the prices which are offered during the normal season (assuming you are renting the houseboat and don’t own it). 

The major reason behind this is the lack of a huge number of tourists or people renting houseboats. This is because of the preconceived notion that people have regarding living in a houseboat during the winter season. The majority of the people try to avoid the water in water bodies, be it frozen or in any other form during the winter seasons as it is quite simply cold water!

The bookings of these houseboats remain low during the winters due to this reason. To make up for this the houseboat rental companies will often provide huge discounts as well as multiple kinds of offers to anyone who rents or uses a houseboat during the winter. This is done in an attempt to lure them during off-seasons so that way the houseboats aren’t sitting empty. 

Better chances of availability

During the summers, houseboats remain in high demand. People plan their vacations in advance and many of them book their houseboats many months or years prior to the trip. Even if you’re able to get a houseboat, you’ll not be able to get one on your preferred date or worse you will not be getting the houseboat with your preferred facilities and amenities. 

All those people who don’t book a houseboat in advance don’t get one during the summer months, but the case is not the same during the winter.  In winter you don’t have to do advance bookings many months in advance. There is even a chance that you might get a booking if you just visit the place and ask for a booking at the last minutes. 

In winters even if you rent a houseboat on short notice or book the houseboat on the spot, there’s a great chance that you’ll get a houseboat on your preferred date and the model of your choice with the facilities and the amenities that you need.

Related Post  Are Houseboats Hard To Sell?

Extra room on the water

This benefit applies whether you are renting a houseboat or if you own it. In summers, there are a large number of people making a booking for houseboats and the number of bookings means a large number of people will be on the water and there will be less space for movement in the lakes or other waterways. 

This is another great benefit that you’ll be getting during the winter season. During the winter seasons, the number of boats on the water will remain really low, resulting in way less number of people filling the local stores, docks, etc. If you are someone who doesn’t like large crowds then using your houseboat in the winter will be an amazing experience for you! 

If you are using your houseboat during the winter then there’s a great chance that you’ll feel like you have the whole lake river to yourself as no one will be there to bother you.  If you are someone who is going to try spending time in a houseboat for the first time, then it’s highly recommended that you try this activity during the winter. This will help you in enjoying your time like no other as long as your boat is well heated. 


There are many pros and cons to using a houseboat in the winter but a houseboat being cold doesn’t have to be one of them. If you make sure that the houseboat you buy or rent has enough insulation and proper heating to stay warm then using a houseboat while it is cold outside can be quite enjoyable. 

Sitting inside a houseboat looking at the beautiful views of nature you will probably realize that being all alone on the water is something that doesn’t happen often but it is quite an enjoyable feeling.

Matthew Robbs

I love the outdoors and especially spending time with my family. Whether on a boat or at the beach, my happy place is near the water.

Recent Posts