Houseboat Docking; Where Is It And What Does It Cost?

In recent times the increase in demand for living on a houseboat has reached an all-time high. People who have a taste for nature and wildlife have widened their perspective and have come up with a new innovative way of living by shifting onto an actual houseboat. 

Many people get confused between the term houseboat and boathouse, where the latter one is a shed for storing boats. On the other hand, a houseboat is a modified boat that usually offers two or more rooms. It has a deck, sitting and relaxing area along with a porch, which makes your travel much more luxurious, proper space is provided to indulge yourself in different activities and truly enjoy your stay in a houseboat.

One issue that people often have with houseboats is that docking them is difficult and even finding docks can be hard in some places. Knowing exactly where houseboat docks are available as well as how much you could expect to pay is important whether you live on a houseboat or are just renting one for a vacation. 

Typically you will find houseboats and houseboat docks anywhere that there is enough water to use them on and enough demand as well. Houseboats can only be used on rivers or lakes so you will only find houseboats and their docks in those types of locations. 

How much it costs to dock a houseboat varies from city to city, state to state, and country to country. How much it costs will normally come down to demand. 

In places where the cost of housing is high and the supply is artificially restricted (because of laws or regulations put in place by the city) you will find that docks can run $500-$1,000 a month for people who live on board! In other places where there is plenty of supply and it isn’t a real touristy area you should expect to pay a few hundred dollars a month. 

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Of course those numbers are for places here in the USA. If you are outside the US the same principles hold true but you will have to do some digging to find where the cheaper places are to dock your houseboat. 

Houseboat: A perfect choice for vacations

Houseboats have always been a choice of luxury providing you with a home away from home. In recent years. the popularity of houseboats has increased immensely, be it as a choice of lifestyle or for the purpose of vacationing, where houseboats are used as a summer home. People all around the world prefer going down small rivers in a houseboat, getting away from the stress of city life and getting a chance to reconnect with nature and wildlife.

Earlier, houseboats were towed and had to be manually rowed to move across the waterways but with the recent advancements in technology and with the development of the motor engine, now motor houseboats are immensely popular providing much more convenient modes of travel that not only saves time but also minimizes the extra effort required in rowing a boat manually.

What do you mean by docking a boat?

Docking your boat refers to sailing to a fixed structure that allows you to basically “park” your boat. This area is called a dock, where ships are stored for loading, unloading and for the purpose of repairing. The boat is generally fastened to a dock so that it can be kept safe in a harbor until you need it again. While the task of docking is not easy as it may seem, you can learn your way to dock by following basic steps and practicing. 

For a few houseboat owners, docking is one of the biggest nightmares and also it is considered to be the most nerve-wracking part of handling such a big boat, since pulling it in for a smooth dock is a difficult task for many people. The wind, high waves and rain are some of the factors that make docking tough but if anyone follows the simple step by step guide, docking even in harsh weather conditions becomes comparatively easier.

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No one is born with the perfect set of skills be it for docking or any other task. To help all those who struggle and all those new at it with the desire to learn how to dock like an expert, there are multiple books and online guides available. Taking things to the next level, you can even hire professional help that can help you dock your houseboat safely, and as per your convenience.

To learn more about how to safely dock a houseboat check out the video below. 

Docking fees in different areas and other necessary information 

A docking fee is a fixed amount of money that is charged by the owner for using a dock to park a vessel (in this case your houseboat). The average fee for docking can vary quite a bit depending on your location and how long you intend to be docked for. 

Some marinas charge a monthly fee and you can stay there as often or as little as you like while other marinas charge by the day. 

As mentioned above the popularity of a tourist spot can also affect the docking fee and an increase in the pricing can be expected as compared to the fee charged by smaller unpopular spots. 

Let’s take a look at some popular houseboat spots around the world and what  the docking fees are that you can expect  in different countries and states.

  • Amsterdam, Europe: This is one of the finest and thus costliest places to dock as functioning houseboats can be seen in small streams or in the rivers in Amsterdam. It even offers houseboat hotels that lets you enjoy the solitude and beauty of nature. The docking fees and the renting of houseboats are very expensive in Amsterdam due to the high demand and Amsterdam being a hot tourist spot.
  • Kerala, India: This location is perfect for a leisure trip. Houseboats in Kerala are huge and mostly rowed manually. Previously these houseboats were also used as a means of transportation for people as well as goods. In recent times, the beauty of the south has turned into a major tourist attraction and houseboats is one of them. The docking fees are moderately high, and renting a houseboat on an hourly basis is usually favorable over staying on one long term.
  • Kashmir, India: The Dal lake is a hot tourist spot due to which locals have established a flourishing business of houseboats there as well. Unlike mobile houseboats, you can see stationary ones near the lakes and they serve as a hotel on water where tourists can stay and enjoy the luxury offered there. With fine settings, furniture and interiors, the cost of these houseboats are generally high and requires you to spend a good amount for all the luxurious facilities.
  • Seattle, Washington: Another popular tourist spot is the houseboat services in Seattle, which is home for an immensely large collection of houseboats. Offering luxury summer getaways and beautiful views to enjoy, houseboats are a major hit in the lakes. Along with houseboats, floating homes are also very popular and people prefer living in a house built on a float in water.
  • Canada: Houseboats are gaining immense popularity in many states of Canada, as the country is blessed with beautiful lakes and plenty of rivers. The houseboats are mostly motorized and recreational ones. Along the Pacific coast, float houses are very common and a popular choice of living. Docking fees are generally affordable and renting houseboats is a good deal in most of the lakes.
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With the growing tourism, people are discovering new places all around the world resulting in the starting of many new businesses. Houseboats are a top choice for all those who love to immerse themselves in the beauty of nature and are up for a ride through the beautiful forests and wildlife.

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.

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