A passionate boating enthusiast, Mike Loftus, president of MLE, Inc., has owned a variety of boats since the age of 18. His boats have ranged from just 23 feet to over 50 feet and he has owned two ski boats, a cruiser, and a pontoon. Mike Loftus has also owned two houseboats and hopes to retire from his work at MLE on a 65-foot boat in the future.
Maintaining a houseboat involves more than just checking for damage caused by weather, wind, and rain. Typically, maintenance issues for houseboats either result from water leaks or problems with the bilge pumps or battery banks.
Bilge pumps are responsible for keeping a houseboat above water and are normally set in low spots where water frequently accumulates. Damaged pumps prevent water from being pumped out of the boat, so it’s important that they are regularly checked for clogged intakes or damaged switches.
Similarly, the battery banks keep the boat running properly. Poor charges and discharge are the most common problems in battery banks.
When it comes to preventing water leaks, there are several areas of the houseboat that must be maintained. Windows and doors are the most prone to leaking. By checking window frames and doors regularly, houseboat owners can catch corrosion or leaks before they severely damage the boat’s interior and structure.
Hull leaks are equally as important. Most houseboats have aluminum hulls because they are resistant to rust and easy to repair. However, some houseboats may have wood, fiberglass, or steel hulls. Regardless of the material, houseboat owners should routinely clean the hull and remove any encrustations.