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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Leave a Reply

  1. Karen Joyce

    Awesome pics!! Want to buy/build one!!!!!

  2. Michael Kingsbury

    Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Last time I built one I bought a 7 x 2 flat bottomed fiberglass hull in need of repair for 2K, glassed it and built a cabin on it. The whole thing probably cost about 5k all up and of course a lot of man hours. I pulled it out of the water a few weeks back, after 5 years in the water. It needs some hull repairs where the leading edges of the hull have rubbed on the river bank. I’m going to pull the cabin off, scrap it and redo the cabin with more space and better attention to detail and materials. Best of luck with your plans! I found that having relatives in the country with land, resources (forklift, trailer, boat ramp etc) made all the difference, but really, if you want to do something, you’ll find a way.