Living in a Houseboat – Lake Travis Edition

Houseboat Life

Houseboats are a common scene on Lake Travis for vacationers, weekend warriors, and retirees alike. For hundreds of patrons, however, houseboat living is their way of life all year long. They have chosen to give up the standard land-lover abode for the adventure and tranquility of houseboat living on beautiful Lake Travis. Perhaps this is an idea that you have entertained, but you don’t know where to begin or what to expect. Rather than jumping in head first, let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of houseboat living to see if it’s right for you.

Houseboat living requires planning and responsibility for your craft. Keen awareness and respect for the four elements is a must. Proper planning affords you the ability to access those memorable areas and events unreachable by land. Alternatively, twenty miles offshore in an unexpected thunderstorm is not the time to learn a fire extinguisher doesn’t work, and you don’t want to drift off course with a dead engine and no nautical maps.

Houseboat Maintenance & Upkeep

Your houseboat will require daily maintenance, unexpected repairs, and routine servicing to ensure that your daily adventures will remain carefree and momentous without incident. Repair costs vary depending on age, style of houseboat (manufactured or hand-made), and type of repair needed. Learn the ropes and get acquainted with service venues in the area. Get friendly with the staff and community, as they know the area best.

Houseboating consists of life on the water and in port — there will be times when you either can’t go out of port, or you just don’t want to. On a houseboat, fresh water and fuel are as much of a necessity as food. It’s important to remember that not every port will have these, nor will all ports be able to accommodate your vessel size. Plan ahead for supplies, and find adequate ports that will sustain your craft.

Where Will I ‘Park’?

Slip fees are a necessity and can vary depending on size and service. Do you want a full-service, high end marina, or a no-frills slip? Finding a reliable and well-maintained marina fully staffed with an astute, friendly, and knowledgeable staff is worth its weight in gold. Northshore Marina at the Hollows offers covered boat slips with amenities including;

  • In-slip Electric

  • On-site Shower

  • Pump Out Station

  • Pump Out Barge

  • Fresh Water

  • Trash Service

  • Fuel Dock

  • Ship Store

Just as you would with home or auto, you will require insurance coverage. Whatever you do, don’t skimp on the coverage or make the mistake of thinking you don’t need it. While it may be an expense, it’s an invaluable asset.

The bottom line is that living on a houseboat is incredibly rewarding. It leaves you with a spirit of freedom like no other. In addition, houseboaters have their own unique, close-knit ‘community’ that gives you a sense of belonging to something special. Fun excursions, non-stop fishing, and days of tranquility await at your bow and stern. What are you waiting for?