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LaMar Alexander’s 8×12 Stealth-boat Tiny House Design

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LaMar Alexander, of Simple Solar Homesteading, is sharing this awesome 8×12 stealth-boat tiny house design as part of our 2015 8×12 tiny house design contest. But he is just sharing it for fun and inspiration so he is not accepting any prizes. Thanks for sharing, LaMar!

“This is an 8×12 Pontoon Stealth-boat designed for recreation or could be used for permanent living. The pontoons are filled with unsinkable foamular rigid board. The Stealthboat deck is 8×12 with ample room on the nose deck for fishing. There is a storage compartment under the nose deck for fishing and camping gear.

There is a 4×8 diving platform that can also be used for a sundeck or storage for transporting stuff to your campground. There are headlights and rear lights and there is a 100 watt solar panel on the roof and two or more deep cycle batteries under the platform bed.

The steering compartment has two seats that can be rotated around to use for eating at the slide out tables. There is a small kitchen galley with propane stove and microwave or toaster oven. There is a wardrobe closes with pull out desk on the opposite side. The bed is large enough for two people and under the bed storage for a camp toilet, ice chest or 12 volt fridge and two or more deep cycle batteries.

The front and rear windows are hinged and are used to enter and exit the boat. There are deck cleats for anchoring the boat or used for securing gear. A small electric outboard or trolling motor would power the Stealthboat.”

LaMar Alexander’s 8×12 Stealth-boat Tiny House Design


Images © LaMar Alexander/Simple Solar Homesteading

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Images © LaMar Alexander/Simple Solar Homesteading

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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 31 comments… add one }
  • Ralph
    April 3, 2015, 4:22 pm

    Built something very close to this damn near 40 years ago and heard it’s still being used. Simple, very cheap to build and was gteat on the water with low power to push it along. Nice part was beaching it.

    • Alex
      April 3, 2015, 4:38 pm

      Awesome Ralph!

  • LaMar
    April 4, 2015, 4:30 pm

    Thanks for including my design Alex! I have always wanted a houseboat but lakes in my area are kind of small and I couldn’t use a big houseboat (or afford one) so came up with this simple to build design that would be great for fishing or just relaxing. I haven’t built it yet and I am working on plans for this. If anyone builds one please send me pics and I will send you some of my ebooks in return and put your pics on my website. -LaMar

    • Ralph
      April 6, 2015, 2:00 pm

      When I designed mine Lamar I drew the framework first and thats the first time I realised if you stared at it, blinked, the frame turned inside out. (Thats called someting technical but I call it and neat fun thing to do). Anyway I found by doing that I found a lot of nooks and crannies to put in storage space that I wouldn’t have elsewise realized. I do that all the time now and it turns out to be quite an asset. if anybody didn’t know about that, there’s a little tip.

      • LaMar
        April 6, 2015, 2:09 pm

        Hi Ralph, in Sketchup they have an X Ray view that allows you to see all the bones and space inside a structure. Also used for finding defects in designs or showing hidden features without a cutaway. very useful!

      • Ralph
        April 6, 2015, 2:22 pm

        Thanks Lamar.

  • Robin Latham
    April 4, 2015, 4:45 pm

    Designs are nice and fun, but it is nicer to see real existing builds rather than just plans on paper or auto af. Just sayin’

    • LaMar
      April 4, 2015, 5:38 pm

      Hi Robin, these 8×12 designs are for a contest. Most houses start out as a concept design before they can be built and building everything I design would not be economically feasible for me but others might want to build them.

  • Joyce
    April 4, 2015, 10:59 pm

    The first image suggests the person is taller than the rooms. What is the approximate depth, floor to ceiling area, within the living space? It is hard to judge how much of the houseboat is under the waterline.
    During good weather, one could erect a bug net and sleep on the rear deck. Nice simple concept.

    • LaMar
      April 4, 2015, 11:05 pm

      Hi Joyce, pic #2 shows the dimensions and there is 6 feet of headroom. That could be changed for a taller person but the avg person is 5’8″.

      • William
        March 29, 2020, 6:44 pm

        Your dimensions show your interior Height from the bottom of your pontoons. You might want to rethink that. Pontoon boats genrerally build a platform on top of the pontoons. Taking your floor down to the bottom, means building a watertight hull between your pontoons. Not a practical project.

  • Rae Rickman
    April 5, 2015, 4:33 am

    This is an awesome design! Very innovative. I love it.

    • LaMar
      April 6, 2015, 2:18 pm

      Thanks Rae!

  • Debra VS
    April 5, 2015, 12:05 pm

    Would the solar be able to support a laptop computer plus an air conditioner-heater combination? Where I live, the air conditioner-heater would be necessary at times… sometimes in the same week. Plus, if I’m living in this, I’d need my computer, too.

    • LaMar
      April 6, 2015, 2:13 pm

      You could run a laptop and small fan off a 100 watt panel but not air conditioning or a heater that uses much more power. For heating a propane heater like the Mr. Buddy heaters would be more than enough in a small structure.

      • Ralph
        April 6, 2015, 3:03 pm

        Last summer I purchased a 54 watt sysem from walmart. Comes with two very bright lights. I have two 12v scooter batteries and run those lights, when required two dc fans just about all day, charge my computer, two phones, a 12v car booster charger and a couple of multi gazillian flashlights. Not all at the same time of course but whatever needs to be charged whenever, I just plug in, often with a couple of things going. Works great.

        Re your calm water use Lamar, on my boat I put two 4 inch keels along the bottom and it seemed to work beautiful. I had mine on Paint Lake near Thompson MB, no such a thing as calm water for long out there. You hit on a little number that works pretty good Pal.

  • Tom B.
    April 5, 2015, 1:50 pm

    I really like your wee houseboat. I remember using several houseboats back in the 50’s that weren’t much bigger and served very well sometimes for a couple of weeks at a time for multiple people. A couple of minor points: if anyone rides on any of the outside decks while underway the law requires a railing of some description depending on state law; the headlights need to be either under the front deck or on the very front edge of the deck else the glare from the deck will kill your vision; if you put grab rails along the topside of the cabin the side deck can be much narrower for more room inside; also make sure the ladder at the back will fold down and reach at least 3-4 feet under water. Keep up the good work.

  • Marsha Cowan
    April 5, 2015, 4:27 pm

    Cool! As much as I like to fish, and as much as I like tiny houses, this design suits me perfectly! Well done! My son and I might give this one a go, and if we do, I’ll send the pictures along. Ok?

    • Alex
      April 6, 2015, 11:34 am

      Thanks Marsha! We’d love that!

  • Hank Burroughs
    April 5, 2015, 11:36 pm

    The coast guard or other water patrol entity will have a cow over those lights. There are very strict rules in the navigation world relating to what lights a vessel must display at night. Also think sleeping over the batteries might be a bad idea unless they are sealed units. Otherwise sounds like a fun project!

    • LaMar
      April 6, 2015, 2:17 pm

      Hi Hank, this is designed more for calm water lakes but of course people should use lights that meet local regs for your area of use. I would recommend sealed AGM batts for this purpose which are what I use in my cabin.

  • Eric Williams
    April 6, 2015, 10:39 am

    Cool boat! I would want to be really sure I was fully awake before grabbing something out of the cooler though with the camp toilet so nearby….

    • Ralph
      April 6, 2015, 2:11 pm

      LOL Eric. You get to know the difference really fast when living in close quarter’s about a lot of things. Especially in the bivy department. I use PB jars to store a lot of things and a lable maker very valuable. Takes training. Surprises are always part of the adventure.

  • Bebe
    July 1, 2015, 4:34 pm

    Love the Stealth Boat. Please fininsh your 332 Skidoo Gypsy Wagon.
    and 48 Caboose. We want to build and it has been a long time now
    and they aren’t finished so we can. Please,Please,Please
    LaMar. They are so cute and practical.

  • February 28, 2016, 8:14 pm

    I really like your vision for this craft. What did you have in mind for the cabin walls perhaps 2″ x 2″ studs with foamboard filler? Also curious about the thickness of the plywood used for the pontoons and for the sole? Keep up the great work. Glenn

  • Caleb Roushar
    May 22, 2019, 12:03 pm

    I am a person aspergers and am interested in a similar boat idea but longer. See i would lime a boat just like yours but 8×14 just no microwave but camp stove or hot plate and ventalation cap.maybe run the cabin 6 1/2×8ft. How do i raise the money to build her and test her?

  • Mark
    May 28, 2020, 7:52 am

    It’s been awhile since this was originally posted. Has anyone built it? Any pics or links to share? Love the design, would love to see what kinks got worked out in an actual build.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      May 28, 2020, 1:21 pm

      Let me ask LaMar!

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