Houseboat inspection: anyone ever done them?

I had a chance to inspect a houseboat in Sausalito CA last week along with a marine surveyor. Lenders require that they be inspected by marine surveyors before they’ll lend on them, but some surveyors feel inadequate about their abilities to deal with the house part, since they mostly deal with boats.
It was fun to have a mission on a 10-day vacation, and to learn about the differences between boats and houseboats and the areas in which the home systems overlap, and how marine environments affect materials designed to be used in homes ashore.
The agent told me that there are houseboat communities in Portland, OR and Seattle WA, and on some of the larger lakes.
Anyone ever been hired to inspect them?
Some are of very original design and it was a lot of fun to walk the piers and take photos from an inspection perspective.
Check out the doorstep of the yellow home.

herbal financed engineering from that era (summer of love)
there’s been a green movement before it became chic

Dr. Joe is on a rant about green roofs this month

he loves to take their money for the research and then stick 'em with it

herbal financed engineering from that era (summer of love)
there’s been a green movement before it became chic

Dr. Joe’s on a rant about green roofs this month

he loves to take their money for the research and then sticks 'em with it

Great pictures Kenton. They have house boats up on lake powell but nothing that looks like your pictures.

Did you hear about the newbie who drowned in the crawlspace?:smiley:

Kendal, house boats (floating homes) are no differant than a traditional home inspection. There are the issues regarding moisture and the elements that may require additional input on your part. Items such as holding tanks, mooring, service connections and of course the hull. The hull (floatation) should be described in terms of it’s construction type, the visual condition and then deffered to a tradional underwater marine surveyor which it sounds like you are in contact with. Let me know if I can be of any assistance. I am in Kentfield


There are differences for marine from conventional; structures. Recommend you consult Article 553, “Floating Buildings”, in the NEC.

If it’s not permanently moored, you may find additional differences such as the use of fine-stranded wiring (not NM) and other components subject to vibration, shock and salt environments.

Boat wiring is covered under US Coast Guard regulations Title 33, Chapter I, Parts 183.430 and 183.435 (refer to Table 5 for ampacity & adjustment factors) of the CFR.

All of the other requirements for boats are also covered by this CFR. For inspection on an existing boat, I would be most concerned over the condition of the natural and powered ventilation systems, fuel & ventilation hoses, fuel tanks, serviceability of the navigation lighting and condition of the flotation (if any).

I would also imagine you would want to consider carefully the serviceability of the ignition-protection components and condition and mounting of batteries.

Another important point concerning boats and not conventional housing is the condition of the fire extinguishers; and whether the have a annual valid inspection certificate attached.

I would also be curious about the terms of the mooring lease and whether it will remain in effect with a new owner or be subject to termination any time in the near future.

None of these qualified as boats because they had no means of self-propulsion. Jurisdictions are very specific about that kind of thing. Jurisdictions are also not very happy to have them around, since they fall into a grey area when it comes to inspecting them. For a while I considered writing a Standards of Practice for inspecting them and the Sausalito City inspector I spoke with was very encouraging.

Where can I learn to become a boat inspector.
Being in a marina environment for 10 years with my small sport fishing boat and now having members ask me, can any one refer me to some association or site on boat inspection courses.

Nice photos Kenton.

That occupation is called “Marine Surveyor”, Robert. Try googling it.

Thanks Kenton.

I am happy to see you on the MB again.
I surely missed you.
You are neutral and very solid source of information.
Again congratulations on your promotion in INACHI.

All the best KENTON.

Thanks Robert!

If anyone is interested, 3D has a software for Marine Surveys reporting.

“I’m out here in the open, MMMotorboatin’!”