People with seasickness hate one thing: a rocking boat. So, if you're looking to spend time on a houseboat, you might want to know whether houseboats rock.
The truth is that houseboats tend to rock less than many other boats. However, this depends on factors such as the weight of the houseboat (heavier equals less rocking), the weather conditions (bad weather means choppy waters), the anchor, and the boat guards you're using.
Yes, your houseboat will rock, but there are a number of things you can do to reduce this rocking and ensure that you prevent unwanted bouts of seasickness while you're out on the water.
As the houseboat experts (and yes, we've been seasick quite a bit), we are going to give you the inside scoop on why houseboats rock on the water and what you can do about it.
Do Houseboats Rock?
If you enjoy houseboats but suffer from seasickness, understanding whether houseboats rock is a crucial question to ask before purchasing or renting one. Houseboats rock in the same way that every other boat on the water does. However, they tend to rock less than many other boats. In fact, many houseboat owners and vacationers have reported feeling less seasick while on a houseboat compared to other types of boats. According to the experts (that's us!), that is mainly due to the openness to the air, as in, houseboats are more open to fresh air.
That being said, the amount of rocking that happens on a houseboat will also vary a lot from boat to boat. This will be based on several factors that need to be considered by new or potential houseboat owners looking to spend more time or live in a houseboat.
To get started, the following are some of the factors that play a role in the way and the amount at which a houseboat rocks on the water.
Factors That Affect Houseboats Rocking
The Build Type
You may have seen this one coming a mile away. Believe it or not, the boat's construction significantly impacts how much the houseboat rocks while on the water. The heavier the houseboat, the less it will rock while on the water, as a rule of thumb. As a result, if you want a more stable houseboat while cruising or staying in one place, you should opt for a larger, heavier houseboat. These houseboats are not only going to be roomier and have superior infrastructure and amenities, but they also reduce the amount of swaying that you experience.
It should also be noted here that not everyone feels seasick due to the endless rocking of a houseboat. On the other hand, some folks tend to enjoy that the houseboat rocks a little. This is mainly because the rocking gives the impression of living on a houseboat rather than in a regular house or apartment, and it is this unique experience that many folks are willing to pay for. Keeping that in mind, if you like your houseboat to rock a little, you might want to choose a lighter houseboat.
Another reason why houseboats tend to rock while on the water is due to the weather (duh!). When it comes to rocking houseboats, this is at the top of the list of the usual suspects, and for good reason. The weather in the area where the marina is located or where you use the houseboat always has a big impact on the amount the houseboat will rock.
If you live in a houseboat in an area where the weather is unpredictable, you should acquire a houseboat that has been fitted with specially designed mechanisms that will help to keep it from shaking too much when the weather gets choppy.
The overall strength and the design of the houseboat's anchor will also have a big impact on how much your boat rocks. For instance, a houseboat that has been fitted with a sturdy anchor will ensure that it does not rock excessively, especially when it is moored.
The good news is that many different types of anchors have been introduced as a result of various breakthroughs in the world of boating, which will make it easy for you to find the perfect anchor for your houseboat.
It is also important to keep in mind that an anchor is an important component of every boating trip, not just for keeping the houseboat steady but also for the safety of the passengers in the houseboat. This is why before you buy an anchor for your houseboat, it is important to make sure that you check the quality of the anchor first.
The location is going to be another crucial factor to consider when it comes to your houseboat rocking. In fact, where you have anchored or docked the houseboat can make the difference between getting a good night’s sleep or feeling the boat sway all night. What experienced houseboat owners find out the hard way is that docking or anchoring your houseboat in lakes or inland water bodies results in the boat not rocking as much, regardless of the wind outside.
On the other hand, if you keep your houseboat in larger bodies of water, such as a river where the water is always moving, then you can expect to experience far more rocking from your houseboat than usual. This also includes traveling up and down a river that some houseboat owners tend to do, which can also cause the boat to rock a lot. The good news is that it is easy to find a location that has calmer waters on a lake so that your houseboat does not rock too much and throw you from side to side inside the houseboat.
No, we're not talking about hiring security guards. One of the tips experienced houseboat owners give to new buyers is to include extra guards if they find that the houseboat is rocking a lot. Today, you can purchase a houseboat with special guards installed to reduce the amount of rocking that users experience.
There are also other protective systems that houseboat owners can use which prevent the vessel from rocking more than it should. Taking advantage of these extra boat guards and protective systems is especially useful if the location where your houseboat is docked experiences bad weather frequently. But, if you have already purchased the houseboat and are now looking for a way to make the rocking stop, then you can also install these same protective systems with the help of a mechanic. That being said, the installation of these systems mainly depends on the type and size of the houseboat, which means that they will not work on every houseboat.
It should be mentioned that having extra guards or other protective systems, such as rocker stoppers installed externally after you have purchased the houseboat, is not recommended, mainly because they work as more of a short-term solution. This is the reason why we recommend purchasing a houseboat that already comes fitted with all of the necessary bells and whistles, including pre-installed protective equipment that will prevent your houseboat from rocking too much.
If you've spent enough time on a houseboat, you will notice that houseboats have the ability to rock in sync with the water. This is because they are built on a foundation. Houseboats are meant to be pulled around rock more than motionless or static floating vessels. After the second day on the houseboat, people tend to feel a bit better and get used to the slight constant rocking. However, if the houseboat is rocking a lot, then you should opt for another larger option or just make your way to another location (if you're in a bluewater houseboat).
Your feelings about food may have a significant influence on how nausea affects you. To help with nausea symptoms, you can use pressure bands or battery-operated bands. You will feel better if you eat salty items like saltines or crackers. Crystallized ginger is another pleasant and effective nausea-relieving kitchen pantry remedy. If you're feeling seasick, you can even take the wheel, which is higher on the boat and tends to rock less.
Some individuals are not queasy on houseboats, while others are nauseated no matter where they are. Getting out of the boat and getting some fresh air, if the weather permits, maybe incredibly useful. Return to the point where you started. The usage of certain medications and beverages can help with seasickness. It's great if your cabin is toward the top and bottom of the houseboat as well as you are unlikely to feel the same level of swaying from those areas.
If all else fails, then you can also try to put up a "No Wake" sign, which is commonly seen at lakes and marinas where there are many houseboats. This is done to help reduce the waves from cruisers nearby. Many houseboat owners who like to keep their houseboat from rocking too much also use a spring line method to secure the houseboat, which helps soften the rocking.
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