Cold feet for renting a houseboat in winter season?
A wide spread misunderstanding is that houseboats would not be a pleasant place to stay in the winter. And we can understand this too: a boat laying in cold water, or even in ice, does not seem to be the most comfortable place to be. In this article we’ll take a closer look at this matter and you'll find out that the winter period is actually one of the most cosy periods of the year to stay on a houseboat, for various reasons.
The first question we should answer is: do all houseboat owners have cold feet as soon as the temperature drops? The answer is pretty simple: no, of course not. The reason for this is that these floating homes are designed to accommodate people all year round. Let’s have a look at Amsterdam, home of over 2.500 houseboats and a place that can get really cold from November till March. It’s not rare that all the canals freeze up and people are ice skating all through town.
Cosy concrete barges
Overall there are two kinds of houseboats to be distinguished: concrete barges and steel former freight ships. To start with the first: concrete barges are basically just like modern houses. The structure of the house, in general a wooden frame, is built on the concrete barge and has all the benefits of a normal house. First of all good insulation to keep the cold out and keep the warmth in. The Dutchmen, well known for saving on costs wherever possible, are real kings when it comes to insulation. Also the government subsidies insulating houses and houseboats. Most boats have central heating and floor heating is getting more and more popular, as you can see on the comfortable houseboat 'Hendrik's Cow Ferry' for example.
Cosy steel ships
Steel boats are well insulated too and in general are equipped with central heating too. However, some owners prefer old school gas heating or even a wood stove or fireplace such as the 'Loftboat Kralingen' in Rotterdam, in the southwest of the Netherlands. The warmth given by the wood stove is more concentrated then with a central heating of course. But sitting around the stove with friends and family after a great day downtown is a thing that actually can’t be beaten by any modern central heating system.
Hot winter houseboat tip: Lake Havasu
So if you’re considering staying at a houseboat in the winter months, we can reassure you that there’s no need to be scared for cold feet. In any case, if you still hesitate, always ask the owner if he can assure you on this. And if you’re still not convinced, you could consider renting a floating home in a place that’s warmer in winter. For example Houseboat Lake Havasu, Arizona, where the temperature can be in the 70’s on average around Christmas too.
Whatever you choose, we wish you a nice, warm and comfortable stay at any of our houseboats!