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Marco Island Floating Cottage (Southwest Florida)

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Have you ever considered staying in a houseboat or maybe even living in one? Well, this floating cottage near Marco Island could be someone’s chance to try it out.

It’s an off-grid getaway houseboat in Southwest Florida called Jumana – the Silver Pearl and it’s available to book on Airbnb via Genevieve. What would be your favorite part about staying in a place like this? For me it’s easy. It would be the nature. Getting to watch the birds, pelicans, dolphins, and of course, the sunrise and sunset.

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Marco Island Houseboat Experience

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Images via Genevieve/Airbnb

A private floating home surrounded by nature.

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Images via Genevieve/Airbnb

Smart TV for movie watching.

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Images via Genevieve/Airbnb

Electricity and water are limited!

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Images via Genevieve/Airbnb

Comfortable queen size bed.

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Images via Genevieve/Airbnb

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Images via Genevieve/Airbnb

Look at those views!

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Images via Genevieve/Airbnb

I can see the beauty in waking up with a coffee/tea here with these views. 🙂

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Images via Genevieve/Airbnb

The bathroom with its oversized sink.

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Images via Genevieve/Airbnb

The upstairs deck. Another place to enjoy nature and wildlife.

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Images via Genevieve/Airbnb

Sometimes you may see pelicans diving for breakfast.

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Images via Genevieve/Airbnb

Or you may even get to see dolphins and manatees.

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Images via Genevieve/Airbnb

A 12′ skiff is provided to get yourself to the houseboat.

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Images via Genevieve/Airbnb

What do you think of doing something like this?

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Images via Genevieve/Airbnb

A houseboat experience in Marco Island, Florida.

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Images via Genevieve/Airbnb

There’s a rear patio with a grill too!

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Images via Genevieve/Airbnb

Would you stay here or in any other houseboat? Have you done it before?

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Images via Genevieve/Airbnb


  • Marco Island, FL
  • Bookable on Airbnb
  • 12′ skiff with electric motor provided
  • Fully off-grid experience
  • Surrounded by dolphins, birds, and fish
  • Queen size bed with organic sheets
  • Bamboo infused pillows
  • Fully equipped bathroom
  • No air conditioning
  • The solar panels are for a warm water heater
  • Sectional sofa converts into a double-bed
  • 40″ smart TV
  • Propane-powered cooktop
  • Stainless apartment size fridge/freezer
  • Full-size propane grill on the porch
  • Screened front porch with seating
  • Watch osprey, heron, pelicans, dolphins, and more
  • Access to houseboat is via 12′ skiff provided

Quote From Genevieve/Airbnb on Off-Grid Living

There are things to consider that aren’t an issue when on-grid: you must monitor your electricity use. You are dependent on the sun and batteries. Leaving lights on, or the TV or running the water pump, for extended time will deplete your batteries, and they will not be recharged until the sun comes out the next day. The battery box has an easy to read screen that will let you know just how much you are using and what percentage of power you have left and/or if the sun is adding to the charge. Water: onboard there is a 60 gallon water storage tank and a pump to ensure water flows at all taps. You will know when you are using water as you will hear the pump running and you can see the physical water level fall as you use water. Drinking water (no charge) is separate from this non-potable water supply. The toilet: while very much like your home toilet there are additional considerations. The toilet can accept human waste and provided toilet paper, nothing else! Toilet usage requires both water and electricity and a limited storage tank. Being mindful of these parameters will be very beneficial to the comfort of your stay.There are simple tips to reduce your overall water and electricity usage that your host, Genevieve will gladly share with you based on personal experience.

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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!
{ 16 comments… add one }
  • jerry dycus
    May 18, 2021, 7:37 am

    This really brings the house to houseboat!
    Living on the water is a great low cost way to live though generally you want as small a boat as you can as costs are by the ‘ to run a boat.
    Like a TH, Houseboats should be small with excellent ones in the 14′-26′ range.
    I suggest a 16’ barge hull style can have everything including a shower you need that is cheap to build for 1 or 2. And I’d build in the furniture as watertight 16″ high open tops into a fair number of compartments so if any leak it’ll be confined. If on pontoons they should be like in the photo just with another ‘ of hull higher and separated into at least 5 compartments each. Don’t use round pontoons that are more than 25% in the water or just don’t use them
    And with a trailer or it as the trailer, used as a land home too. But living anchored out is free so if low cost is your goal is the way.
    I love the rooftop deck that with a large solar shade for living and propulsion power assuming you are going slow, is a wonderful place to hang out up in the breeze. It should be designed to lower for a storm or smaller and over the rear of the deck making the boat bow into the wind when anchored..
    There are many free plans online, just put in DIY houseboat and all kinds of wonderful and some that are not pop up.

    • Steve in Micco
      August 8, 2021, 12:11 pm

      Jerry, hard to argue with your ideas. My only caveat is the seasonal weather in Marco, or for that matter, the entire Gulf Coast of Florida. Stinkin’ hot for about 9 months out of the year.

      • jerry dycus
        August 8, 2021, 9:03 pm

        It’s not that bad and some people like it. It’s only bad about 3 months and the rest of the yr people pay dearly for it.
        And we get rain most afternoons when that hot, cools things off.
        And if not for those 3 months, Florida would be over run with people never wanting to leave so for Floridians, a blessing.

        • Genevieve Ross
          August 8, 2021, 9:35 pm

          The heat and humidity is a challenge this time of year but like anything you find ways to deal with it. As for water to use for cleaning and bathing we collect rainwater and store in rain barrels but don’t count on an endless flow. Conservation is key! I am most grateful for a new found appreciation of fresh water. When it’s not rainy enough we have access to a tap and garden hose on shore to top up. Sadly, we had hoped to filter rainwater for drinking too but the nitrate levels in the rainwater (from all the fertilizers used on the commercial fields and people demanding the perfect lawn) makes that not possible. There are filtration systems available: expensive and/or electricity hungry. There is a new one that pulls water from the air using solar power. Quite intrigued by that concept. Definitely plenty of moisture in the air around here 😊

        • Stephan of Arkansas
          August 9, 2021, 1:04 am

          Lovely! Beautifully done! Good for you-all! Do U have hurricanes in that part of Florida? If so, what precautions do U take when a hurricane/major tropical storm approaches your part of Florida? In my part of the USA, we have devastating tornadoes from time to time, so old-time Southerners like me (I am now 72) have a protocol to follow should a tornado approach. Our local weather sources with Doppler weather radar are a God-send during tornado season. These comments/questions are respectfully submitted. Stephan of Arkansas

  • Theresa Perdue
    May 18, 2021, 12:34 pm

    I have questions. Like why does the bathroom sink and faucet look like a better fit for doing dishes than the kitchen 🤔 and why is water limited when you are surrounded by it🤔 and is that a real bed or a fold out couch 🤔 Of course whatever the answers are it looks like it would be a fabulous place to stay 😊

    • James D.
      May 18, 2021, 2:41 pm

      There’s a difference between water in general and it being drinkable/potable water you can use. The later is a tiny percent, less than 1%, of all water on the planet. So you can be surrounded by water but that doesn’t mean you can use it for anything besides taking a swim or possibly bathing or cleaning cloths…

      While that also answers the question between the kitchen and bathroom, as you’d need the potable/drinkable water for the kitchen, as it involves things you will be eating and drinking with or even drinking water directly from, but water for the bathroom doesn’t have to be potable/drinkable. So you’re free to use a lot of water in the bathroom but have to ration what you use in the kitchen…

      Can’t be sure on the bed, but it’s a dedicated bed as they have a separate couch for sitting…

      • Marsha Cowan
        August 8, 2021, 10:55 am

        You are right, James. The bed is beside the sofa with a long table or counter separating them.

    • Genevieve
      May 24, 2021, 1:13 pm

      Hi Theresa, Genevieve here!
      Jumana-the SilverPearl is surrounded by water but it is salt-water so unusable for bathing, dishwashing or drinking. There is a 60 gallon holding tank (under the queen size bed) that is filled by transporting water via the small boat, in totes from the (city) water supply at the dock (garden hose) before guests arrive. For drinking (or cooking) water jugs of drinking and/or spring water are on-board.
      The queen size bed is a real bed. The sofa in the sitting area is from IKEA and opens out to a double size bed. There is also a chair that folds out to a single bed. And quite a few guests have pushed the furniture components, on the screened porch, together to use it as a double.
      The reason for the big sink in the bathroom is for a couple of reasons: if you need or want to rinse an article of clothing or instead of a full-shower use the larger sink to sponge bathe the important bits. As for doing dishes conservation is the key. There is a plastic container in the kitchen sink so that every time the tap is turned on the water does not just run away. You can rinse a dish in the soapy water and then when you rinse it add that water to the basin. By the end of the day you will want to empty the basin and start over the next day. Water and power conservation is key when off grid. But that said, you are totally right it is a fabulous place to stay. All the necessary comforts of home are met, while at the same time you get an opportunity to spend time in a truly natural setting. Warmest regards, Genevieve

      • jerry dycus
        August 8, 2021, 9:14 pm

        That salt water isn’t useful for washing dishing and bathing is not true. How cruisers wash dishing is put them in a net bag and hang them overboard a few hours works well. Many larger boats have both running fresh and salt water in the sinks, cockpits.
        One can certainly wash your body, hair with salt water with some dish soaps or shampoos with a final rinse or washcloth of fresh water depending how much water you want to save.

    May 18, 2021, 7:55 pm

    Awesome! But I’m really surprised the local government hasn’t found a way to sink this.

    • Genevieve
      June 20, 2021, 5:32 pm

      As long as you are meeting marine safety, registration and health & eco requirements no government agency will try to sink you.

    • jerry dycus
      August 8, 2021, 9:23 pm

      They try but the first laws they passed as a new country made free passage, anchorage on any waterway a canoe could get up as our first highway system.. The most they can do is try to make you re-anchor every day and restrict where you can come ashore but that is doubtful and impossible to enforce.
      I find is ironic most places trying to get rid of them the first pic in their tourist, town promotions is a pic of boats anchored in the bays, etc.

  • Nathaniel
    May 28, 2023, 9:50 pm

    The Airbnb link to rent this place says “website not found” 😢
    Soo sad because I REALLY want to rent this place! I sure hope the link gets fixed soon, looks amazing.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      May 29, 2023, 6:05 am

      Sorry Nathaniel! It must not be on Airbnb anymore.

  • Genevieve
    May 29, 2023, 8:09 am

    I took the SilverPearl off of Airbnb after Hurricane Ian.

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