Shanty Boats

Lately while making my rounds across the internet I’ve noticed quite a bit of interest in little floating structures people dub as “shanty boats.” If you aren’t familiar with shanty boats, the best way I know how to describe one is a very simple tiny house that stays afloat. There have even been shanty boats for sale on Tiny House Listings.

Much like a tiny house, the purpose of a shanty boat varies depending on the owner. Some use shanty boats as a fulltime residence, some use them as a vacation home, while others use them as an easy way to get out on the water. The propulsion for shanty boats also varies. Some simply stay put while others are powered by small outboard engines, sails or even pedal-powered.

Want to make yourself a really simple shanty boat on the cheap? How about from one piece of plywood? Here’s a how-to video from Deek at that will walk you through it.

If you are interested in learning more about shanty boats, an excellent source that I visit often is

Here are some photos I prepared for you to give you an idea of what shanty boats look like.

What’s great about shanty boats is that there are no limits to what one can be. The only limitation is the owner’s imagination.

Shanty Boats are nothing new.

A primitive shanty boat outfitted for exploring.

Take an airstream, stick it on a floating dock and called it a shanty boat.

Pedal powered shanty boat with woodstove stoked up moving along the riverside.

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6 Comments → “Shanty Boats”

  1. Carl in SC

    Jan 23, 2012

    I like these ideas for floating homes or shantys and may one day find some pontoons on which to build one or buy an old pontoon boat and refurbish to suit.


  2. Nick Askew

    Dec 09, 2012

    Don’t need pontoons. Write and I’ll send photo


    • george

      May 30, 2013

      Hi could you please send me pix and ideas for a cheap shanty boat? Thanks


  3. Patrick Richardson

    Jan 15, 2013

    Nick please send photos.


  4. Nick Askew

    Mar 29, 2013

    Write with email address for video

  5. Been livin’ on a “Shanty Boat” for about 7 years now and even with all the fails I’ve managed to make myself comfortable on my little vessels. I say vessels (plural) because I have two now. I began with a 16′ canoe, added two outriggers and a livin’ area. A couple of years back I acquired a 27′ Buccaneer by Bayliner that I am livin’ on after havin’ to gut it and rebuild from the hull out. I am now located on the St. Johns River near DeBary, FL, but gettin’ ready for a voyage this summer. Happy and Safe Waters to all!


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