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Man Designs Micro Houseboat You Can Build for Cheap

In this post, I’m going to show you a micro houseboat that you can probably build yourself if you wanted to.

You know, one of my favorite things about tiny houses, micro cabins, and “alternative” structures is that you can be as creative as you want about it. You can build tiny however and wherever you want… On wheels or on the water (like this micro houseboat). Up in the trees or underground.

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A DIY Micro Houseboat You Can Build Too with Tiny House Boat Plans

I think you’ll love this little house boat (which you can sleep and adventure in) so check it out and learn more below:

Meet: Dianne’s Rose

Relatively Easy to Tow for a Houseboat

Down below you can actually watch a video of them launching it (and in action on the water, too).

RELATED: Crafty Couple Renovate 560 Sq. Ft. Houseboat into Awesome & Affordable Vacation Home

Beautiful Craftsmanship

Living Area and Cockpit

Driving the Micro Houseboat: Windows Open

RELATED: Musician Lives in 481 Sq. Ft. Houseboat That Used to be a World War II Lifeboat

Floor Plan & Design: Dianne’s Rose

More info on the plans, etc. over at Roy Designed That.

Great for Adventure Camping

And You Can Use It as a Travel Trailer Too

RELATED: Transforming and Trailerable Pipercraft Houseboat

Interior Converts Into a Bedroom

RELATED: Man Builds Solar Tiny House that Doubles as a Tri-Toon Houseboat

Video of this DIY Micro Houseboat in Action

VIDEO: Launching the Tiny House Boat

VIDEO: How to Build It Using Tiny House Boat Plans and Cut Templates

If you want to build your own version of this, you can actually purchase the tiny house boat plans from Roy over at his website.

Learn more about this houseboat- Dianne’s Rose- over at Roy Designed That.

RELATED: Blissful Living in a 550 Sq. Ft. Houseboat

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More Like This: Tiny Houses | House Boats | Modern Houseboat Cottage Right on the Water

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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!
{ 28 comments… add one }
  • jerryd
    April 16, 2014, 10:24 am

    Extremely nice and well done. The owner deserves to feel very proud. Great use of wood to look great while keeping costs, weight low. It’s a slightly more modern version of the classic houseboat/Shanty boat made for centuries and the mainstay of river, lake, bay living in the US for 180 yrs. Many free plans available but this is a excellent one using present materials easier to get.

    The layout, 2 couch/beds across from each other, head, closet in back on one side and kitchen on the other is about the best in a 6-7′ wide, 11-16′ long version. And works as a houseboat, trailer, TH, especially for towing as can be narrow and aero.

    On mine I’ll make the roof flatter with a deck, steering up there too. Also a PV canopy and water collection from the deck.

    If anyone wants one built right at a very reasonable cost I’m doing 2 soon for my property and could add another easily. Even just build the structure just needing finishing makes it really low cost as most of the labor, 60% of the cost is finishing, sanding, painting.

    The beauty of these is they can be used as a trailer, boat, guest house, food truck, studio, etc too. I believe near everyone should have shut a simple home for backup if nothing else in case economic problems, you’ll always have a home.

    And if a boat, free of rent, etc payments

    A good living have 2, 1 to live in an another a bait, fishing, drinks, food supply on the water or to rent. Having 5, 4 to rent is another way to make a nice living with TH’s.

    This is about what I’m going to build, rent on land to the around the expensive tenant/landlord laws in Fla that doesn’t apply to boats. If it wasn’t for that I’d had rented out TH’s decades ago.

    • pete
      April 16, 2014, 12:53 pm

      jerryd, what your email to discuss building a houseboat for us?

      • jerryd
        April 17, 2014, 4:28 pm

        Hi Pete, I can be contacted at [email protected]

        or 813 then 671 and 3059, I’m in and out so keep trying if no answer or email be for a talking time.

  • April 16, 2014, 9:42 pm

    Ideally DIANNE’S ROSE is intended to be home built by her owners. I will, however, also considering building to sell if time or skills are lacking. Best/Roy

    • Alex
      April 17, 2014, 10:57 am

      Thank you Roy, beautiful work

  • Ioanna
    April 17, 2014, 4:19 am

    Inspiring. Beautiful workmanship. Operates on less than 10 hp motor! Wow. Enjoyed every morsel of this article. Great videos! Left speechless.

    • Alex
      April 17, 2014, 10:54 am

      Thanks Ioanna!

  • Peter
    April 17, 2014, 12:10 pm

    Very nice work. Just a sweet, simple design. Looks comfortable as hell, no bigger than it has to be. This makes me miss living near water!

    da Vinci nailed it – “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

    • Alex
      April 17, 2014, 12:26 pm

      Thanks Peter! Glad you enjoyed this one and I’m super excited to share your new camper with everyone here (working on it now) 🙂

  • Lisa E.
    April 22, 2014, 10:30 am

    This is, without a doubt, one of the best (if not THE best) houseboats I’ve ever seen. Not only is it esthetically delightful to look at; inside and out, but it has all the convertible comforts of home. REALLY well done. Some people are just fabulously creative and talented. Kudos a plenty! 🙂

  • Marshall
    May 14, 2014, 1:13 am

    This project is absolutely beautiful! I would love to build and modify one for my use however my health issues might get into the way. I’m curious however how much a estimated base cost of this would be for one that was fabricated?

  • virginia
    September 17, 2014, 1:53 pm

    I would like to know the estimated cost of building this house boat ??Very beautiful , looks easy to haul from place to place and not be just stuck on one lake or river..and beautiful to boot..

  • Peter
    September 19, 2014, 5:50 am

    Love the boat. Very nicely done. I almost hate to be the one to ask this, but I couldn’t help noticing the absence of any registration numbers on the hull. And it appears the boat is actively used. Has the boat been registered? If not what is the plan/ requirements in your state/location to do so. I realize the requirements vary somewhat by state/jurisdiction so I’m not asking for my location I’m asking about your location since the requirements are similar. If it has been registered what exactly did you go through to get it registered. Again, I realize it varies but would like to know how you did it or plan to. I’ve been looking at tiny homes online as well – basically home built RVs on trailers – and I find all kinds of information but almost without exception no one mentions licensing/registration for legal road use. And I notice the glaring absence of license plates on the homes and in most all examples any of the required rv/trailer road lights on the exterior. I suspect people are reluctant to talk about it because they haven’t addressed it and don’t want to admit it. But, it’s hugely important or you’re not going anywhere. Yet almost no one includes any mention of it in the volumes of information offered. Sometimes they offer that registration varies by jurisdiction, so they aren’t commenting. That is being evasive because they most likely haven’t addressed it. If they had they would be willing to share their experience on that important aspect. I mention this for those that might go out and buy some wood and epoxy resin, build a nice, and sound, boat only to find they didn’t comply with the darn rules and can’t register it. Now it’s useless.

  • Adam
    November 29, 2014, 6:19 pm

    The boat is awesome. Lots of details thought of for sure! As for Peter’s question-In Texas, any home built boat must be certified and inspected by a Texas Parks and Wildlife dept. Usually, a local game warden can do the inspection and cert. The inspection will consist of making sure the required safety equipment is on board for the correct size vessel. (lights, horn, ventilation etc.) As far as the certification-they are looking for pics of you building it, materials receipts etc. to insure you are the builder. The game wardens I talked to say it’s really no big deal as long as you have what you’re supposed have. Intending on using the vessel for a commercial use (guide service, rental, boat for hire, having paid passengers) turns the whole process upside down in terms of inspections and so forth.

  • Heather
    January 3, 2015, 6:30 pm

    I see beauty and creativity!

    What I don’t see is boat number, coastguard registration stickers or running lights for the water. Are they there but I’m just not seeing them? I worry about things like that.

    If it flips in the water, are the windows easy to unlatch for possible escape?

    Can you walk on the top center ridge for better fishing?

    Brilliant build!!!

  • Rinna
    January 10, 2015, 9:03 pm

    Brilliant! Love this idea and design. Good job Roy, your a talented guy!

  • Randy
    February 17, 2015, 3:48 pm

    I like the design for the most part, but would love to see some modifications to the original design.

    first I would love to see an old air cooled vw 40 hp engine used for an inboard engine, the reason I choose the 40hp is because of lack of interest & cheap parts availability, & can make a little more with right part selections, totally reliable, & awesome on gas. if going this route, a aux generator or alternator can be powered by the crank on a seperate pulley to charge batteries, run an inverter, and provide power, when not hooked to shore power.

    I built & welded up 30 or so trailers in last 4 years, had no problem getting titled or registered & tagged, but were utility & car trailers, nothing like a house or boat.

    next we need a mini stove & range, plus a small fridge, microwave, then a small bathroom.

    do this & not increase length by not more than aprox 6 feet

  • dsrender
    February 21, 2015, 4:17 am

    I really want to build this boats. More info about plans please.

  • Pete
    February 21, 2015, 9:45 am

    Without a keel, this boat would be difficult to maneuver in a strong wind. It is basically a flat-bottom boat and would tend to blow sideways.

  • June 16, 2015, 6:01 am

    Hello All,
    I am a producer making a TV programme with the Discovery Channel about people who permanently live in off-grid homes and I would like to include a tiny home in our programme.

    It will be a brand new series – where we visit families, groups and couples throughout the year as they make additions to their homes. We have an expert on board who can offer invaluable advice.

    Please get in touch [email protected] — I would love to hear from you.

    • Alex
      June 21, 2015, 10:28 am

      Thanks Sophie!

  • AmyCat =^.^=
    September 23, 2016, 3:37 pm

    I’m very concerned about the idea of using something like this as a trailer and a boat, as this would exponentially increase the potential for inadvertently transporting invasive species to new habitats.

  • Glen
    December 5, 2016, 3:58 am

    I really love this. Living on Long Island in NY this is perfect. Trailer in the winter…water in the summer. I have friends in Rhode Island I could go see. The old lady wants to do Lake Mead. Endless opportunities to live and travel anywhere.

    Really interested in cost.

    • Natalie
      December 5, 2016, 9:43 am

      The plans start at $25 for PDFs, but not sure about materials! — Tiny House Talk Team

  • July 7, 2017, 2:13 am

    Was back to read some of the comments on your article Alex and must apologize for the the lack of answers to your reader’s questions. I’ll try to tackle two, cost to build for those who are not able to do so themselves and registration and licensing! Building for others was something I had hoped to do, however as my shop space is best suited for one build at a time any “production line” type savings would be difficult to implement. Therefor each build is essentially a custom build (also anticipating changes to suit buyers). This makes a completed boat cost in the area of $30,000 CAD or $25,000 US plus Trailer and Motor! When compared to new boats available at dealers this price is not unreasonable but I imaging that for your readers (and myself!), a professional build is out of the question. This also is why I offer plans as “Hobby” time used to build the boat is often a fun part of the process and therefor free! Lol! Regarding registration, in Canada a boat using under 10 hp and less than 6 m (20′) does not require registration. A half dozen boats are now in the water and most are registered as home built boats without any problems. Talk with your local sheriff’s office and they will inform you how to proceed as it is true that requirements vary per state! By the way we did take DIANNE’S ROSE to Texas and had no difficulties as our boat follows our local requirements and they respected this when crossing the boarder. Hope this helps and if there are any other questions do contact me at [email protected] Thanks again Alex for the great article! Best/Roy

    • Alex
      July 7, 2017, 1:44 pm

      Thanks Roy!

  • dennis nowotny
    March 16, 2021, 12:14 pm

    Step son built and lives in Juneau on a 20′. Best days of his life long satisfaction!

  • jacoso
    February 10, 2023, 5:08 pm

    Just add another level on top and it could be more functional. A double decker version would still be in tiny house territory but it would be more functional, especially for several people. Multiple such houseboats could also be grouped together to create a ”seastead”.

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