By Matt Claiborne
Harbor Cottage Houseboats
Sun Tracker Party Cruiser
One of the most recognizable brand names in the business is Gibson houseboats. These beefy vessels are common on coastal waters where folks want the comfort of a lake-style houseboat but need something more seaworthy than pontoons.
Over the years, the company made boats from 35 to 70 feet long, all made with a traditional motor yacht configuration but with added living space. Unfortunately, the company was sold to new owners in 2011 and doesn’t appear to be in operation.
Destination Yachts makes party boats, houseboats, and floating condos. Their focus is on lake boats. The V-series boats are their largest, with an 18-foot beam and lengths ranging from 55 to 100 feet. Their vessels have an open floor plan and focus on maximizing outdoor “party” space.
The company prefers the term “catamaran” since the hulls are fiberglass and have hard chines like planing hull power boats. They cut through a chop better than rounded aluminum pontoons.
Harbor Cottage boats are built on barge hulls and can be powered by small outboard motors. The house is a Cape Cod-style two-level cottage in three sizes: the Two-Story Houseboat, the Five Bedroom Houseboat, and the Tiny Boat. The company also makes the more traditional Summersun Houseboat.
Trifecta is the Kentucky-based parent company of three leaders in the USA houseboat market: Thoroughbred Houseboats, Stardust Cruisers, and Sumerset Houseboats. The company builds and restores yachts on a custom basis for maximum customer satisfaction.
Sun Tracker is known for its trailerable aluminum pontoon boats. The company has in the past built small houseboats, however. They were known as the “Party Cruiser.” These small, trailerable houseboats better qualify as a pontoon boat with bathroom.