You'll see houseboats all over the world these days, but where is the houseboat capital of the world? Where are the most houseboats manufactured?
For those of you who do not know, Lake Cumberland is widely considered to be the "Houseboat capital of the world." The calm waters, peaceful environment, and ease of access to all of the necessary amenities have made the lake the central hub for houseboat owners.
Houseboats are a great way for folks who love the ocean to experience living near the water firsthand, even if they can't afford a beach house. While houseboats are growing in popularity, not just in the US, but in many other countries, some locations are just better at accommodating these floating homes than others.
If you are looking to get the best possible experience of living on a houseboat, then you've come to the right place. As owners of houseboats, we are in the best position to tell you more about the houseboat capital of the world.
Houseboat Capital of the World
Contrary to popular belief, there is a criterion for becoming the world's houseboat capital, which means that just being a lake or body of water is not enough. Whether it's a houseboat that's to be permanently moored or one that will be used to go up and down the river, houseboat owners look for locations that offer the best amenities and, of course, the best location.
But even more importantly, unlike regular boat owners who only spend a few days or the weekend on their boat, houseboat owners require reliable marina amenities and dock management to make their stay there a pleasant one.
In the US, Lake Cumberland is considered the houseboat capital of the world and pretty much checks all of the boxes on any houseboat owner’s must-have list. The lake, located in Kentucky, has the largest concentration of houseboat manufacturers that you will find in the world.
While Kentucky is more famous for its bourbon and horses, it wouldn't be wrong to add houseboats to the mix since it is also home to the largest houseboat manufacturer in the world. Lake Cumberland in Kentucky also enjoys a rich history of proud houseboat owners who have called it their home for more than half a century when settlers began to arrive in the area.
The calm waters, peaceful environment, and ease of access to all of the necessary amenities for houseboat owners quickly turned Lake Cumberland into the go-to spot for houseboat owners. This became a staple for the state's economy and also helped drive tourism, with some houseboat owners renting out their vessels to curious tourists.
But there is also another reason why Lake Cumberland is considered the houseboat capital of the world. Lake Cumberland also happens to have waters that are easily navigable compared to many other states within the US. This alone makes it one of the best destinations for houseboat owners.
This is great for first-timers looking to get the hang of living and maneuvering a houseboat since they are not as easy to operate as regular boats with sails and brakes.
Keeping that in mind, the calm waters of Lake Cumberland makes for the perfect learning ground for first-time houseboat owners to learn how to travel in and maneuver a houseboat. Furthermore, even if you plan on mooring your houseboat permanently, Lake Cumberland offers some of the best facilities in the country.
A Thriving Community
No man is an island, and it can pretty much feel that way if you're living on a houseboat. Luckily, Lake Cumberland is home to a lively and bustling community. Its 1,250 miles of shoreline is dotted with houseboats of all sizes, including dozens of wooden alcoves just ready for new houseboat owners to arrive. Since the houseboat industry has seen massive expansion over the past few years, many houseboat owners have turned that success into a thriving business.
Lake Cumberland is also home to the National On Water Houseboat Expo, which is held every year. It is a three-day festival that celebrates all things houseboat; from food stalls, exhibitions, live entertainment, seminars, and even poker games, the festival has something to offer for every houseboat enthusiast.
You will also find what the locals call "boatels" on Lake Cumberland, permanently docked houseboats tourists can rent out. This happens to be a great way to find out whether or not houseboat life is for you before you commit to spending your hard-earned cash on one.
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