Amphibious Houseboat Hits the Open Road

What’s better than having your own houseboat? How about an amphibious houseboat? That’s exactly what [Theon Parseghian] is building in his driveway. It all started with a derelict 32-foot long houseboat. A 1967 model with a rusted steel hull, [Theon] originally bought it as a guest house.

[Theon] couldn’t let the boat rust away in his back yard though. Quickly decided to get it back on the open water…. and on the road. An amphibious houseboat. While looking for large tractor tires, [Theon] found an entire crop sprayer which hadn’t been used in years. This crop sprayer was a giant tricycle wheeled monster, with huge spray arms.

The original plan was to carve out a hole for the sprayer, and essentially drop the boat on the sprayer chassis. Things never quite work out as planned though. The sprayer was a bit too short, so it’s chassis was replaced with one from a school bus. The axle wasn’t quite long enough to clear the boat’s draft, so it was extended with custom steel wheel spacers.

The build is documented in a 7 part series on YouTube. The latest episode details the boat’s first drive under its own power. We’re not sure how street legal an amphibious houseboat would be, but [Theon] doesn’t have too far to drive, as there is a large lake just behind his shop in Upstate New York. The houseboat launches on August 23. Good luck [Theon]!

If a houseboat is too big for you, how about a barrel boat. If you’re into tiny boats, you could cross the Atlantic with a 42-inch vessel.

13 thoughts on “Amphibious Houseboat Hits the Open Road

    1. The main problem is the powertrain; it’s almost certainly much heavier than anything he took out, and is probably going to make the boat very, very stern heavy. And if he tries to put a proper interior in it, he may end up with it barely floating.

      I suspect he’ll also have some hull leaks given how much welding they did to put the hull back together. Hopefully he’s smart enough to install a sizeable bilge pump before the maiden voyage.

      The biggest problem I forsee is the “rudder” aka back tire. There’s no way in hell that will be an effective rudder. I suspect he’s going to have to install a proper rudder…probably two, one behind each prop. I’m guessing for a guy like him that’s going to be barely more than a weekend project. He’s pretty clever and may be able to figure out how to mechanically link the rudder and tire steering together.

  1. Congrats! We noticed your boat a couple of months ago – we have a 1969 all aluminum 34′ house boat, same shape, minus the wheels. Just finished reno and brought it over the canal to just south of where you are.
    Ours floats! ;-)
    Good luck with your launch, so far, you’ve done an awesome job!
    Bring it to the cove and we’ll float them side by side.

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