The best houseboat manufacturers produce safe and comfortable houseboats using high-quality materials. They stand by their boats and customers.
The best houseboat manufacturers are Adonia Yachts in Utah, Bravada Yachts in Arizona, Catamaran Cruisers in Tennessee, Eco-Sea Cottages in Washington, and Gibson Boats in South Dakota.
In this article, we'll cover five of America's best (and lesser-known) houseboat manufacturers. Additionally, we'll go over the traits that set these companies apart from the competition and why it's worth investing in better-quality vessels.
We sourced the technical information for this article from houseboat manufacturers and the houseboat community. We also compared vessel quality and specifications to other brands to distinguish stand-out quality.
Traits of a Great Houseboat Builder
Houseboats are a lot like RV's and campers. There are dozens of Manufacturers, but only a handful are truly excellent. Here are the qualities that we look for in choosing the best houseboat manufacturers.
Material quality is of the utmost importance when choosing the best houseboat manufacturers. Houseboat builders that skimp on materials don't have your best interests in mind, as cheap boats fall apart faster than most people could imagine. All the manufacturers on this list are known for using top-quality marine-grade materials.
Safety is also a critical factor when choosing the top houseboat manufacturers. Companies with a great safety record demonstrate their commitment to the well-being of customers, and they stand by the quality of their boats.
The best houseboat manufacturers use high-quality wiring and code-approved mechanical and electrical systems. They also use properly sized pontoons and flotation materials and never overload or improperly balance their vessels.
Reputations exist for a reason. And though it's a subjective measurement, it's always helpful to know how the community feels about a manufacturer. If enough people have a good experience with a company, its reputation will often reflect that. And with big-ticket items such as houseboats, reputation can make or break a purchase.
Design and Layout
Great houseboat manufacturers incorporate smart and useful designs. Some of which are traditional, and others are cutting-edge. More importantly, they consider customer feedback and actively work to improve their layouts and designs.
Great houseboat builders design and select reliable mechanical and electrical systems for their boats. That means high-quality engines, drivelines, and other proprietary and non-proprietary components. Houseboat owners shouldn't have to constantly replace critical parts.
The mark of a responsible houseboat manufacturer is its customer service. Is it willing to work with customers and resolve issues, and what about custom designs? All of the companies on our list have good customer service and communication.
Popularity Vs. Quality
Houseboat popularity doesn't necessarily equate to quality or value. Some lower-quality houseboats are extremely popular due to low prices or brand recognition, but sometimes the better models hide somewhere in the background. All of the manufacturers on this list were chosen for their quality, not quantity.
Top 5 Houseboat Manufacturers
We sought out five of the best houseboat manufacturers in the country today. Some of these companies are proven and others are new, but they all offer high-quality vessels that appeal to a wide range of potential buyers.
1. Adonia Yachts
Adonia Yachts wins the 'Cool Factor' for houseboat design, and their luxury vessels are some of the highest quality on the market today. The company itself, which is based in Utah, is pioneering the next generation of high-end houseboats.
Adonia is also proof that companies don't have to be old to have a great reputation in the industry. With features including radar, helicopter pads, and fully integrated 'smart' technologies, Adonia yachts is focused on the latest and greatest developments in marine engineering.
From a material standpoint, Adonia houseboats are just about as good as it gets. Stylistically, it's easy to confuse one of their houseboats for a high-end ocean-going yacht. It's flashy but not over the top. In other words, their design philosophy is unique and attractive.
Styling is reminiscent of space-age private cruising vessels, with sleek lines and clean edges all around. The interiors of Adonia houseboats are spacious and stylish but not busy with unnecessary bits and pieces. Adonia houseboats seem to strike a perfect balance between elegant design and practical simplicity.
2. Bravada Yachts
Bravada Yachts is another well-known producer of modern houseboats. They use top-quality materials and cutting-edge design to produce unique and highly practical houseboats. Bravado undoubtedly focuses on producing modern and eye-catching designs, but they take a sharper and more sleek approach to styling.
Bravada yachts, with manufacturing facilities in Arizona, designs houseboats that simply belong in a breathtaking desert lake. They employ highly efficient manufacturing techniques to produce luxury houseboats at surprisingly affordable prices. They offer special payment programs and boat partnerships to help normal people enjoy the best the industry has to offer.
In other words, a bold and modern Bravada houseboat with all the latest tech is affordable for many people who would not otherwise consider purchasing a new houseboat. For a plug-and-play ready-to-go floating luxury home, it's hard to be the quality and fantastic design qualities of Bravada yachts.
The vessels themselves are built to last, and they are a welcome refresher to the houseboat industry. They don't even look like houseboats, which is one of their most attractive qualities.
With features like a fire pit, spacious living areas, and full tiled bathrooms, it's the first real competition for the vacation home that we've seen in years. The company is relatively new, but so far, they've shown great promise and commitment to quality.
3. Catamaran Cruisers
Catamaran Cruisers is a proven and long-standing houseboat manufacturer famous for quality, affordability, and universally attractive designs. Catamaran Cruisers produces affordable houseboats that do everything a houseboat should—without unnecessary and costly frills.
However, that's not to say that you can't find a Catamaran Cruiser with features or luxury-level quality. The company manufactures houseboats using high-quality materials such as stainless steel. And despite the affordability, Catamaran Cruisers doesn't cut corners on materials or construction. Catamaran Cruisers offers multiple varieties of houseboats that you can actually afford to own and use.
Catamaran Cruisers are safe, reliable, and designed with care. These houseboats are built to resemble the basic shape of vessels produced throughout the 20th century. There's a reason most houseboats follow the basic design pattern—because it works, and it works well for a long time.
The differences Catamaran Cruisers retain a classic design without looking antiquated, and all the interior fixtures are up-to-date in modern. Catamaran Cruisers are also manageable sizes and easy to handle. They build houseboats for comfort, safety, and longevity. And with over 5,000 vessels produced over its 40-year history, Catamaran Cruisers is a proven and long-standing company.
4. Eco-Sea Cottages
But what if economics is a primary concern? It should be, and Eco-Sea Cottages puts special emphasis on reducing costs and preserving quality when manufacturing their houseboats. Eco-Sea Cottages come in a wide range of traditional and ultra-modern styles, and all models are turn-key and ready for move-in.
Eco-Sea Cottages are both affordable and responsibly produced, as they use high-quality materials throughout the construction process. As it turns out, traditional materials are also quite strong and resistant to decay, which means their affordable houseboats are likely to survive many years of frequent use.
But how affordable could a well-built new houseboat really be? Surprisingly so—1,100 square-foot Eco-Sea models start at just $175,000 in ready-to-run condition. That's 1/3 of the cost of an average American house, and the Eco-Sea houseboat is likely much higher quality than the average $350,000 cookie-cutter stock home.
Customers have a great bit of design choice as well. The company offers metal-framed houseboats, wood-framed houseboats, and all-fiberglass models as well. The house-like appearance of Eco-Sea Cottages makes them ideal for transitioning from a traditional house to a water-based lifestyle, and at an affordable price as well.
For a fraction of the cost of a waterfront house or condo, you can live in a brand new and modern houseboat that is visually indistinguishable from a land-based house. Eco-Sea Cottages offer familiar floor plans and can support virtually all modern home infrastructure, including full-size kitchen appliances.
5. Gibson Boats
Here's another manufacturer of classic houseboats with a reputation for quality. Gibson Boats is a family-owned builder of houseboats located in South Dakota. The houseboats, which are based on a traditional design, have a modern flair and the latest marine technology.
Gibson fiberglass hulls ensure a long life, and high-quality home appliances make the vessels comfortable and attractive. Gibson houseboats feature inboard propulsion, a top-quality Kohler 13kw generator, and a navigation station with excellent visibility. The models come completely furnished down to the upholstery, and they're turn-key and ready to run.
These Gibson yachts have a 'premium' feel, yet they're just over half the price of a typical new American home. And Gibson installs all of the systems you'd expect in a house, including central heating and ample ventilation. From a quality and convenience standpoint, it's tough to find a better houseboat manufacturer.
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