blue houseboat

The main difference between a home and a houseboat is obvious. A home is one land and a houseboat is on water. The second biggest difference is the bathroom.

This might depend on the quality of houseboat you live in, but bathrooms on houseboats are not as nice as bathrooms in homes. Why?


You need a water heater for hot water and most houseboats do not have a water heater. You will need to be willing to take cold showers if you want to live on a standard houseboat. Our advice is to shower during the daytime if possible in order for the hot outdoor weather to warm you up fast.


To create the same amount of water pressure a standard faucet in a home produces, you must turn on the water pressure valve in a houseboat. The water will pour out of the valve fast when turned on. This strains the boat so do not leave the valve on for any longer than absolutely necessary. If you forget to turn off the water valve you will drain your freshwater tank very fast.

Most houseboat owners do not drink water from their tank either. The water is not fresh. Houseboat owners will often just drink bottle water instead.


Not all toilets on houseboats have a standard flusher on them. You need to turn the toilet to the fill valve for the toilet to fill up then use a plunger to pump the toilet until the water clears out then turn the switch on the toilet to the drain function. Then turn the fill on a again and plunge a few more times until the toilet bowl is filled with fresh water again.

This is not true of all houseboat toilets but it is something to be aware of. You should also be careful not to flush toilet paper down the toilet either. The pressure is not strong enough. You need a garbage bag for immediate disposal to prevent the bathroom filling up with used toilet paper.

If you can afford a houseboat with a fully functioning bathroom, we recommend it. But if not, you should be aware of these factors before deciding to move from a home to live on a houseboat.

houseboat decor

It’s a fun idea to live on a houseboat. It should be fun to decorate it too! You don’t have to go with a nautical theme. You can be creative and decorate your houseboat however you want, however, there are a few things to consider when buying furniture and décor for a houseboat.

For the most part, houseboat interior decorating is no different than decorating a standard home, condo or apartment, but there are a few key differences to be aware of:


Homeowners will generally invest most of their remodeling budget or décor costs in their kitchen or living room or somewhere indoors. However, for a houseboat owner, we would recommend focusing primarily on the deck. After all, the beautiful views of a lake or ocean are a main reason to live on a houseboat to begin with.

You should invest in nice deck furniture for the exterior of the houseboat as well as solar string lights for around the roof for evening lighting. Guests of your houseboat will simply adore this set up.


Be careful when purchasing lamps and other breakable items for interior décor. Remember the boat will shift around some even when docked as you are on water. You will need to fasten table lamps and floor lamps to the surface. You should also purchase wide-leg furniture that is very sturdy and less likely to slide around the interior of the houseboat.

For flooring, consider vinyl material or something that can get wet. If you want a little color and comfort, consider using rugs to decorate. You will find that rug cleaning is much easier than carpet cleaning in a houseboat.


There aren’t large landscape windows on houseboats so you will want blinds that allow a lot of light in during the daytime hours. It is also important to note that it gets very dark in the evening time out on the water. There are not street lights nearby or any artificial lighting to illuminate the area.

You should invest in deck lights as mentioned above as well as recessed lighting or mounted lighting on the interior of the boat to ensure there is enough light for your nighttime routine when inside the houseboat for the evening.

You can hang artwork and purchase flowers and other traditional accents for your houseboat. Of course, you will want a TV and some other entertainment as well. Just remember our tips above before any purchase to ensure the décor is houseboat-friendly.