Best Houseboat Brands | LakeWizard

There are around two dozen active houseboat manufacturers in the United States, yet a few stand out from the rest.

The best houseboat brands are Eco-Sea Cottages, Adventure Craft, Gibson Boats, Patio Cruisers, Trifecta Houseboats, Destination Yachts, Nomad Houseboats, and Metroship.

In this article, we’ll overview the history and qualities of eight of the best houseboat brands in the United States today. Additionally, we’ll go over the aspects that make these brands stand out, along with the perks of their boats.

We sourced the specifications and brand information directly from the manufacturers and distributors of these houseboats.

Table of contents


What Makes a Great Houseboat Brand?

There are a number of factors to consider when choosing the best houseboat brand. The first is reputation, as the relatively small houseboat community has a sense of quality. Good brands are known and respected.

Additionally, great houseboat brands have experience. That’s not to say that a brand new manufacturer can’t produce quality boats—they often do, but it takes time to prove yourself in the houseboat industry.

Finally, who could forget about the importance of quality? The best houseboat manufacturers source quality materials and rely on skilled builders. The best houseboats are built to last and make no concessions when designing and building their products.

Best Houseboat Manufacturers and Brands

We chose eight of the best current and recent American houseboat brands based on their reputation, floor plans, comfort, and material quality.

1. Eco-Sea Cottages

Picture of an Eco-Sea Cottage

Eco-Sea Cottages is a Washington-based company you’ve probably heard us talk about before. This small houseboat manufacturer produces some of the highest quality and most affordable houseboats on the market. Using contemporary and classic styling elements, an Eco-Sea Cottage is a perfect way to transition from a land-based house to a floating home.

Eco-Sea Cottages are available in several styles, most of which resemble traditional homes. This does two things: first, it makes the vessels very attractive. Also, it opens up the floor plan for more spacious and comfortable accommodations.

And for a starting price of less than $180,000, it’s almost impossible to beat the value of an Eco-Sea houseboat.

You can have an Eco-Sea Cottage configured almost any way you want. The interiors are designed for modern appliances, and you can install domestic equipment of almost any variety. This is especially useful for families who need full-size washing machines, dishwashers, and other appliances.

2. Adventure Craft

Picture of the Adventure Craft

Adventure Craft is a former houseboat brand with a specialized distributor based out of Florida. This classic houseboat company produces compact trailerable houseboats that are ideal for families and weekend getaways.

Trailerable houseboats, which are a rare commodity these days, offer numerous benefits that the larger houseboat market no longer capitalizes on. These fiberglass vessels are designed to take the headache and expense out of houseboat ownership.

So, what makes Adventure Craft houseboats stand out? For one, they’re built to last. Adventure Craft isn’t a super-luxe houseboat manufacturer—but they use the best materials to make house boating accessible to everyone. Plus, their boats are faster than the average houseboat and far more robust.

A little bit of chop or wind won’t ruin your day on an Adventure Craft houseboat. These vessels are designed more like boats than floating houses, so they can manage themselves out in real-life conditions.

Despite their excellent handling, they’re spacious and comfortable enough to spend extended periods on.

Adventure Craft houseboats aren’t currently in production, but the company was producing houseboats into the 2000s. Nobody knows if or when production will resume, but Captain Kirby and numerous loyal owners keep the used market alive and in communication.

3. Gibson Boats

Picture of the Gibson Boats

Gibson is another houseboat manufacturer you’ve heard of here before. Gibson houseboats is a well-known brand that manufactures classic and robust full-size powered houseboats. Based in South Dakota, the company is now under new family ownership.

Today, Gibson specializes in manufacturing large luxury houseboats based on well-known designs. While other manufacturers transitioned to ultra-modern and in-your-face styling, Gibson kept it simple and relied on proven and inoffensive exterior styling.

But below decks, there’s a different story—Gibson boats use only the best materials and most modern systems. Gibson houseboats have everything you need to get on the water full or part-time, including name-brand home appliances and efficient household mechanics.

Gibson Houseboats come with a Kohler generator and powerful inboard motors. You’ll get central heating and air conditioning, a full kitchen, and a stereo system with most models. Gibson is an experienced brand with a great reputation in the community.

All systems included are ready-to-run when you purchase a complete boat, which means you don’t have to waste time dealing with low-quality or non-functional marine systems. These vessels are built to last and worth the price.

The smallest production houseboat manufactured by Patio Cruisers is their 14-foot by 40-foot sleeper model. They get much bigger, too—you can order a houseboat in excess of 60 feet long, which is a genuinely large boat even by modern standards.

4. Patio Cruisers

Picture of the Patio Cruiser

Patio Cruisers, based in California, is a long-standing maker of high-quality houseboats. These vessels are perfect for lakes and feature classic design elements that are proven from years of use.

Patio Cruisers is one of the oldest and most experienced houseboat manufacturers in the world. In operation since 1968, the company has produced houseboats of all sizes and types that are common in the area. They also employ skilled craftsmen and demand a top-quality fit and finish.

Patio Cruisers is the go-to manufacturer for high-quality and affordable houseboats. With over a dozen floor plans available, you can order a Patio Cruiser to fit almost any commercial or recreational need. They’re equipped for living aboard as well, and the company offers custom designs services upon request.

5. Trifecta Houseboats

Picture of the Trifecta Houseboat

Trifecta Houseboats is a manufacturer of luxury and custom craft based in Monticello, Kentucky. This brand is unique as it combines years of houseboat building experience and the reputations of former houseboat production giants. Today, this company produces houseboats with the finest fit and finish on the market.

So, what’s the story of Trifecta houseboats? As the name suggests, the Trifecta Houseboat company is a merger of three former houseboat manufacturers with names you may recognize: Stardust Cruisers, Sumerset Houseboats, and Thoroughbred Houseboats.

These former manufacturers were the driving force behind houseboat design, development, and popularity over the last decades of the 20th century. Now, their experience and design expertise culminate in Trifecta.

Using only the best materials, appliances, and fixtures, a Trifecta houseboat is truly a luxury floating home. These vessels include whatever materials you want and employ the experience of expert craftsmen, cabinetmakers, and artisans.

6. Destination Yachts

Picture of the Destination Yachts

Destination Yachts is a twin-hull houseboat manufacturing company located in Southern Indiana. The company, which also owns Destination Vacations, is a shared-ownership brand with a stellar reputation for quality.

Destination Yachts produces the best twin-hull houseboats on the market. The company is run and financed by the owners, which explains why they refuse to sacrifice quality. And though they primarily produce twin-hull varieties, they’ll also build monohull and catamarans upon request.

Their boats are not one-off models, but they’re also not production duplicates—Destination Yachts is fundamentally a custom houseboat company. They offer models that range in size from 37 feet to 100 feet, and they also produce 100% custom models with the help of Amish craftsmen.

Destination Yachts houseboats are modern and elegant, as they’re designed for the high-end market. They also produce simpler floating condos. Currently, the main models available are the V-series full hull, the Q series twin hull, the I series twin hull, and the Top Deck twin hull.

7. Nomad Houseboats

Picture of the Nomad Houseboat

Nomad is one of the only manufacturers of trailerable houseboats. These vessels, which are based on traditional home built houseboat designs of the 20th century, are the perfect combination of a houseboat and a camper.

Nomad houseboats can be used as a boat or a camper due to their lightweight design and low-profile superstructure. This makes it unique on the market, as there are no well-executed similar designs available anywhere.

Nomad houseboats are ideal for minimalists, avid campers, and anyone who doesn’t want to deal with the effort and expense of owning a full-size houseboat. That’s why Nomad houseboats became so popular, to begin with.

The company has been producing these small excursion vehicles for decades. Currently, the company is looking for new owners, but it’s still around and likely to find a new crew soon enough.

8. Metroship

Picture of the Metroship

Metroship is a manufacturer of modern houseboats based in Orlando, Florida. The company, which originated in the UK in 1995, has been producing stylish and high-quality houseboats in the United States since 2009.

Metroship produces houseboats ranging in size from 31 feet to 53 feet and with various levels of fit and finish. The company produces houseboat hulls using fiberglass, aluminum, or steel—it’s up to the customer what material is used, and it’s often based on what kind of environment the vessel will be going into.

The general characteristics of Metroship houseboats are subtle and modern. Their designs are uncluttered and spacious. They allow plenty of natural light in, which creates an open and airy atmosphere. Metroship houseboats are not very ‘boat’ like in all the best ways.

Metroship houseboats use an outboard motor. This is great because it greatly reduces the costs and headaches associated with maintaining inboard motors. Today, Metroship primarily serves the Northeast United States houseboat market.