Hero 33

A Freighter Houseboat

An emphasis on roomy living at dockside, or cruising coastwise or intracoastal in a freighter styled vessel.

This 33 foot long by 10 foot wide "freighter" was sketched for a gentleman who wanted to know if we could find him a tug or other workboat type for four people to live aboard. In his case primarily at a dock. Unfortunately real commercial tugs, even ones so big the monthly dockage would be outrageous in most marinas, would have far less accommodations than you would want for four people to really live aboard.Other types like sardine carriers and Chesapeake Bay Buy Boats have a hold which could be converted, but the costs of repair and conversion would be well out of the specified price range. Hero probably has twice the usable space of a 65' tug in half the length. This means your dockage is in effect costing one quarter as much for the given living space.

The unique aspect of this vessel is the interior. A sketch of one possibility is shown on the next page. She would be all one level inside with full standing headroom from the bow all the way back to a bulkhead, to shut off the engine room, right at the aft end of the wheelhouse. I would put in an oak floor in lifting sections throughout and then put oiled or varnished pine partitions in wherever you wanted privacy. Originally I thought we wouldn't use "built-in" furnishings. I figured we'd just use standard household furniture. However when I came to draw it up I found that this just wasted way too much space and would end up costing you more than just building in the joinerwork you needed. To have it make much sense to have household furniture she'd have to be a fair amount wider and longer to get the same useable space and the cost starts to go up. As a compromise I have used household size mattresses and a household size bath tub thus hopefully giving all the comforts you could want in a coastal cruising yacht.

Usually I like to put the galley in the wheelhouse in cruising powerboats so that the cook doesn't miss anything. However in this vessel I think I'd put it below since we're stressing living aboard over traveling. The wheelhouse I'd make sure had plenty of lounging area for reading books and sipping cocoa.

More on the Freighter's Interior and Use / Back to Idea Designs