Your boat can be made so much more fun and comfortable with just a few extras, like these high-quality houseboat and marine accessories.
The best houseboat accessories are the Kenmore Elite pedestal washing machine, SGP inverter, Predator generator, Magma Marine BBQ, Bimini top, Tiki torch, Den Haan anchor lamp, Weems and Plath barometer, Davis Vantage weather station, and the Horizon VHF radio.
In this article, we'll go over the top ten accessories for houseboats. We'll review the key features of each item along with how they can make house boating safer, easier, and more enjoyable for you and your guests.
We sourced the product information and technical specifications of the following items directly from their manufactures when available and also from trusted distributors.
1. Kenmore Elite 51972 27" 1.0 Cu. Ft. Pedestal Washer
A washing machine is one of life's least appreciated luxuries. But anyone who's washed clothes by hand knows how helpful a washing machine is. The problem so often encountered is that houseboats contain insufficiently powered or outdated washing machines with minimum capacity.
Not any more—as the Kenmore Elite 51927 drawer-style pedestal washing machine is the best compact way to wash clothes on a houseboat. This unit is compact, efficient, and uses minimal amounts of power and water to wash 10 cu ft of clothing. Kenmore, known for its high-quality appliances, put extra care into making this unit durable and reliable.
For the price, the Kenmore Elite 51972 is an excellent value. And at 27 inches, the unit is small enough to be used in even the most compact liveaboard houseboats. This self-contained washing machine can be installed permanently into available space, and you can expect it to last through years of heavy use.
This unit allows you to have a home-style washing capacity on your houseboat—no more cutting corners on laundry or re-washing loads. You can use this washing machine for delicates and hand wash clothes, and it's large enough to handle your sheets too.
2. 4000-Watt DC 48V Pure Sine Wave Inverter with Charger
The best appliances, like the Kenmore mini washer, require a reliable and safe source of power. Without a good inverter, you could be limiting the level of comfort you can enjoy aboard your houseboat. Why sacrifice air conditioning, clothes washing, and efficient cooking when you don't have to?
The LFP Series 4,000-watt inverter is ideal for powering accessories and appliances on your houseboat, especially if you have a sizable power bank. It's also a charger, which monitors your battery levels and keeps the system safe from overcharging. The unit includes an auto-transfer switch for generator power, shore power, or battery power.
This inverter and charger combo is highly efficient thanks to sine-wave technology. It comes with digital control and remote control. The unit features adjustable charging, auto generator start, and a priority mode that dedicates the majority of power to either immediate use or charging, depending on the circumstance.
3. Predator 3500-Watt Super Quiet Generator
What use is an inverter without a generator? Here's a unit designed for outdoor use that's more efficient than your houseboat's built-in motor. This 3500-watt Predator generator can only be used outside. However, its extremely quiet and efficient operation makes it ideal for houseboats that are usually connected to shore power.
You can bring this generator along on a camping trip or houseboat outing, kill the main engine when at anchor, and use the Predator generator for efficient battery charging and appliance energy production. It's on the pricy end for 3500-watt generators, but it's high-quality and quiet enough to use on the deck day or night.
The Predator 3500 generator features 11 hours of run time and a noise level of only 57db. It uses a 212cc air-cooled gasoline engine and produces 3000 sustained watts and 3500 starting watts. It has a digital control screen that also monitors overloads, power levels, and oil levels.
What houseboat party is complete without music, running water, and electric lights? Well, none. This is why it's essential to have a reliable source of power all day—and a source of power that's quiet and economical enough to use all day long. The Predator 3500 unit fits the bill, and it's one of the most well-reviewed outdoor gasoline-powered generators on the market.
4. Magma Marine Cabo Gas Grill A10-703
A grill is one of the most popular and useful houseboat accessories, and the Magma Marine Cabo barbecue is one of the best on the market. Who doesn't love a cookout on the water during a warm summer evening?
Having a gas grill makes cooking fast and low-maintenance, and a grill greatly expands your onboard culinary and entertaining capabilities. Plus, this compact Magma Marine gas grill mounts easily to a rail anywhere on the outside of your houseboat. This unit is constructed with durable and corrosion-resistant stainless steel, and it's built to last through years of regular use.
For the price, it's difficult for anyone who loves steaks and burgers to reject adding a grill to their houseboat. It's great for parties and entertaining guests, and it's also low-maintenance.
This unit gives you a chance to cook outside of the cabin. Outdoor cooking is especially nice on hot days when running the stove inside a small cabin is an unattractive prospect.
5. Bimini Retractable Awning
What houseboat deck is complete without shade? The sun can be the enemy on a hot summer day, and a simple retractable Bimini top can save you and your guests from an unpleasant sunburn and overheated electronics.
Bimini is the classic producer of retractable boat tops. They've been in business for ages, and they produce some of the best quality waterproof and sun-shielding tops available. These tops, while most popular for protecting speedboats, are also available for houseboat cockpits and outdoor spaces.
And since they're designed for marine use, these tops can stand up to wind, rain, and years of constant sun exposure. And when you get underway, or the sun goes down, it's easy to collapse the top and stow it out of sight.
The standard Bimini folding top features dyed UV-resistant fabric that offers 99.9% protection from UV rays—so it's just about as good as being inside. The material is waterproof and breathable, which resists mold and allows the canvas to dry rapidly after a rainstorm.
This top also features 180-degree swivel mounts, which allow mounting on any surface. Bimini provides a 3-year warranty for their tops. They also offer numerous different sizes, shapes, and colors, so there's sure to be a Bimini top that fits your boat.
6. Tiki-Brand Outdoor Torches
Tiki-brand oil torches are an absolute classic house boating accessory. You can celebrate your relaxing nautical lifestyle on a pad of astroturf with tiki torches all day long if you want—but no houseboat deck or cookout is complete without them.
Tiki torches also serve a practical purpose. For one, they provide light without wasting the boat's battery power. Additionally, you can use citronella-infused lamp oil to resell mosquitos. In fact, studies have shown how anti-mosquito lamp fuel is actually effective at reducing the number of mosquitoes in a given area.
And for the price, who wouldn't justify picking up a few tiki torches? They're inexpensive and fun, and they can add some natural aesthetic fun to an otherwise cold white fiberglass houseboat. You can use them on your lower or upper decks, though never indoors or immediately below any part of the boat.
7. Den Haan Rotterdam Brass Fresnel Anchor Lamp
Den Haan Rotterdam is a longstanding and historic European manufacturer of fine nautical equipment. They're currently a premier supplier of marine navigation lights and similar products, though they actively produce legacy models for both aesthetic and practical purposes.
Den Haan produces a huge variety of classic brass and copper marine light fixtures and lanterns. These brass old-school oil or electric anchor lamps are available in oil or electric power, which gives you an opportunity to own a real newly-manufactured piece of history.
When it comes to flame-based lighting, you can't go wrong with a classic marine oil lamp. And Den Haan produces the finest on the market, period. This lamp is both functional and attractive, and it's the perfect addition to a tasteful houseboat interior.
8. Weems and Plath Marine Barometer, Thermometer, and Hygrometer
Here's a classic nautical accessory that's perfect for houseboats. Plus, it's functional and a necessary tool aboard boats of all types. This all-mechanical weather station requires no power and operates solely on weather conditions.
Decorative weather stations have been produced by Weems and Plath for decades. This model is made with high-quality parts and a real brass case, so it can last for decades and retain its shine with regular polishing.
This old-school brass weather station is much higher quality than marine store models, and it's actually useful for monitoring the weather. It has a large thermometer on the face, along with a barometer for monitoring air pressure.
There's also a hygrometer for monitoring humidity levels, which can help you determine when to implement anti-mold and humidity control devices.
9. Davis Vantage 6322 Pro2 Wireless Digital Weather Monitoring System
But what if you're looking for something with advanced weather tracking capabilities? If so, look no further than the Davis Vantage Pro2 wireless weather monitoring sensor set. This set of high-tech professional sensors is designed for real weather monitoring with high-level instruments.
This is a premium weather station that's ideal for houseboats. This set mounts to a post or anywhere the bracket will fit, though it's best used on an unobstructed high point of the boat. A weather station like this is perfect for amateur meteorologists and boaters who want to be weather-aware.
This weather station is just the instruments—not the display. That's purchased separately. But if you already have a comparable display, this wireless system will work with it. So, why consider a professional weather set? Because you can stay a step ahead of the game every time you're out on the water.
10. Standard Horizon Mobile 25-Watt 2-Way VHF Marine Radio
Communication is essential on the water. Radios are one of the most reliable and widely-used marine communication devices, and you should definitely consider installing an up-to-date and powerful model, such as this Standard Horizon 25-watt model.
Marine radios are easy to install. These devices can be used to communicate with other boaters, call the Coast Guard or the police, and to hail draw bridges. These radios operate universally on VHF frequency bands, and they can be used as a receiver and a transmitter.
This particular model is a standard 99-channel marine VHF radio. It produces an output level of 25 watts at full power, and it's adjustable for clarity and squelch. The squelch knob works just like it does on a CB radio. It can be used to drown out distant channels and static, only activating the radio for nearby communications.
About THE AUTHOR
I have a deep love of houseboating and the life-changing experiences houseboating has brought into my life. I’ve been going to Lake Powell on our family’s houseboat for over 30 years and have made many great memories, first as a child and now as a parent. My family has a passion for helping others have similar fun, safe experiences on their houseboat.Read More About Brian Samson