Float Away Home: 15 Smart, Stylish Houseboats

If you're looking for your very own dreamboat, look no further. We've rounded up some of the world's coolest houseboats that you can call home for just a night or two or drop anchor forever.

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October 19, 2015

Photo By: Airbnb

Photo By: Airbnb

Photo By: Airbnb

Photo By: Airbnb

Photo By: Airbnb

Photo By: Airbnb

Photo By: Airbnb

Photo By: Airbnb

Photo By: Airbnb

Photo By: Airbnb

Photo By: Airbnb

Photo By: Airbnb

Photo By: Airbnb

Photo By: Airbnb

Photo By: Airbnb

Photo By: Airbnb

Photo By: Airbnb

Photo By: Robert Oshatz

Photo By: Robert Oshatz

Photo By: Robert Oshatz

Photo By: Robert Oshatz

Photo By: Robert Oshatz

Photo By: Robert Oshatz

Seattle’s Best

In the ‘90s Sleepless in Seattle brought houseboats back into the public’s consciousness and their popularity continues to grow. This 30-year-old vessel was once put out to sea, but was fully restored in 2013. The owner/artisan opens the houseboat to guests when he travels for business. 

Sleep Like a Baby

French doors off the boat’s bedroom lead to a deck perfect for enjoying the sunrise or watching the hustle and bustle of the marina.

Taking the Plunge

Before you go off the deep and decide to move the family onto a houseboat, why not get your toes wet first by renting one on Airbnb? This four-bedroom modern beauty floats in North Holland in the Netherlands just behind Olympic Stadium.

Dutch Treat

Flooded with natural light, the spacious multi-level living space is afforded views of the canal in what is known as the Oud-Zuid neighborhood.

Finding Netherland

This modern loft-like houseboat features large sliding glass doors that lead to a deck overlooking the Amsterdam River. The floors are heated and there's also a Jacuzzi built for two.

Sleek Interior

We love this houseboat for the 360-degree views of the Amsterdam River, the clean lines and the modern furnishings.

Let’s Go Dutch

The owner of this houseboat is an architect who opens the upstairs studio to guests from all over the world; he also designed it. Some guests enjoy watching paddlers go by on the private deck while some dive right into the clean water below.

Booze Cruise

Located in IJburg just minutes from the city’s center, the large deck doubles the living space and provides guests plenty of clean fresh air. There’s also ample seating for visitors to enjoy an adult beverage or four.

Cottage Industry

This adorable houseboat is located in Sausalito just a few minutes from the Golden Gate Bridge. The upstairs deck is the perfect spot for family gatherings or a romantic dinner for two.

Go Overboard

Located in the lively neighborhood of Zeeburg, this Holland vessel invites visitors to climb aboard and dive right in. Guests not only enjoy swimming in the harbor but also panoramic views from sunrise to sunset.

Decidedly Dutch

We like the houseboat’s sleek eat-in kitchen with its copper pendant lighting as well as the clever combination of hardwoods and stone tile.

Lull in the Hull

A steel staircase leads to the hull where guests are lulled to sleep by the boat’s gentle lapping. 

Jessie’s Girl

The poet Robert Browning dubbed the London neighborhood where the Jessie is docked “Little Venice.” It is a narrow vessel that gives visitors a slice of the sailor life. 

London Underground

The boat’s cozy living space has plenty of hidden storage underneath the sofa bed while a fold down table seats six for tea. 

Frère Jacques, Dormez Vous?

If brother John wants to sleep on a boat, now is his chance. There are very few places in Paris where one’s accommodations boast 360-degree views of the Seine and the Eiffel Tower. This romantic houseboat is the perfect spot to live like the locals do.

Rub a Dub

There aren’t many claw-footed tubs that allow you to steer a boat.

We’ll Always Have Paris

This houseboat’s hull is decorated with plenty of Parisian delights. Should the champagne go to your head, the decor will remind you where you’re docked.

Let the Sunshine In

This adorable two-bedroom houseboat is located in the Eastlake section of the Seattle waterfront. The south facing deck enjoys plenty of sunshine and epic sunsets. 

Life is But a Dream

Built in 1930, the interior was completely updated and renovated and features a charming potbelly stove. This houseboat is currently on Seattle’s hot MLS and listed at just under $700,000.

Whatever Floats Your Boat

All along the neighborhood waterways of Seattle’s eclectic Lake Union is a varied mix of architecture – everything from ultra modern to traditional Cape Cod.

Reeled In

With a sold price of just under a cool million, this Seattle Cape Cod is one of the larger houseboats located on Lake Union. We love the adorable porch, which is the perfect spot to load in and paddle off.

Playing Houseboat

This tiny 500-square-foot houseboat is located on Portage Bay, one of Seattle’s largest enclaves of floating homes.


Pardon our French. The seller of this tiny houseboat negotiated the sailboat in with the purchase price.

Houseboat Hopping

Seattle’s houseboat culture is unique as are the homes. It is not unusual to see a million dollar home floating right next to a tiny $200,000 studio. Residents say they are “watered” as opposed to grounded. 

Cut Bait

When the owners bought this Seattle houseboat they took it all the way down to the float, jargon for the home’s foundation, and built a brand new home.

Smooth Sailing

Everything in this Seattle houseboat is brand new. We love the exposed beams and French doors that lead to the dock.


Portland’s Fennell House is hands down the most jaw dropping floating home in this roundup. Designed by famed architect Robert Oshatz, the house is the jewel of the Willamette River.

Tasty Waves

Oshatz took his inspiration from the gentle waves of the Willamette River when he designed the Fennell House. The curved overhangs provide shade while the clerestory windows let the light in. 

Wicked Curves

The curved ceiling of the Fennell House is made of Douglas fir and the floors are Brazilian cherry. The floating home’s windows face west affording the open living space sunset views over the Willamette River. 

Heavenly Stairs

The staircase is not only a beauty to behold, but it also has built-in slotted shelves for storage or displaying the owner’s treasures.


The floating home’s owner said that he always wanted to sit in the tub and enjoy a view of the Willamette River. Dreams do come true.

Great Personality

Oshatz said that he met with the owner frequently in an effort to get to know his personality and made many of his design decisions on those meetings.

Love Boat

Kimo and Sarah Bertram actually rode their 128-ton houseboat underneath the Golden Gate Bridge and past Alcatraz before it docked at San Francisco’s Mission Creek. 

Sea of Love

This custom built floating home’s living room is furnished with treasures that the owners bought on a trip to Bali.

Shiny Happy People

The Bertrams said that when they pulled up to the home’s permanent slip that they were greeted by cheering neighbors in dinghies.

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