Monday, September 14, 2009

Houseboats in USA and other countries

In the late 1940s when people were looking for staying on water for longer periods of time, recreational houseboating started in the United States. Lake Cumberland in Kentucky is considered the birthplace of houseboating in the USA. Seattle, Washington, is home to a large collection of floating houseboat neighborhoods, particularly in Lake Union and Portage Bay. Renting houseboats has also become very popular.

Houseboats have been used for commerce too. On the Northern Neck of Virginia, Chesapeake National Bank had a floating bank branch called the Boat 'n’ Bank. Sausalito, California, has one of the most noted collections of float homes that have been owned by famous musicians, film stars, authors and other celebrities.

Houseboating on Lake Powell is a popular vacation spot where the Glen Canyon Dam impounds water from the Colorado River to form 2,000 miles (3,200 km) of shoreline. Near Las Vegas, Lake Mead, the largest manmade lake in North America, New Bullards Bar Reservoir in the Sierra Nevada foothills near Nevada City, California, and Lake Shasta in the mountains just outside of Redding, California, are also popular spots for houseboats. Houseboating is also common in Lake Cumberland, Lake Amistad, Trinity Lake, Lake Mohave and Lake Mead National Recreation Area. In New York, houseboats have become a major feature of the Great South Bay on Long Island.

Many thousands of people live afloat in Great Britain. Houseboats, called canal narrowboats are used as homes, and also as rented holiday accommodation In the United Kingdom, mainly used for recreation. There are hundreds of converted ships, barges and boats being used as homes by many families. The various moored houseboats stretch from Broadness Creek and Benfleet Creek in the lower part of the London Port Health Authority District up to Twickenham in the upper part.

Houseboats in Canada, generally motorized and used for recreation, are popular in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec. The town of Sicamous, on Shuswap Lake, British Columbia, is said to be the ‘Houseboat Capital of the World’.

There are many motorized, pontoon-based houseboats with two or more bedrooms In Australia on Murray River and in the coastline of Queensland. They are either privately owned residences or for hire, for instance, as in the safe passages of the Coomera River and The Great Sandy Straits near Fraser Island, the world's largest sand island.

Houseboats are used to accommodate tourists on the Mekong River, Laos, where they are referred to as 'slow boats'. They are either made up of wood or steel.

Houseboating is a developing holiday activity In New Zealand. Whangaroa Harbour, a land locked harbour, on Northland's east coast provides houseboating facilities.

Some of the finest and costliest houseboats of Europe can be seen plying along the canals of Amsterdam in The Netherlands, which even have houseboat hotels.

Situated in the neighborhood La Estrella, in Maraca Ibo, Venezuela, there is a big house called La Casa Barco, built by a former captain of the Venezuelan Navy in the last century. The building, floating on water, resembles a real ship with its anchors, lifeboats, and radars. La Casa Barco has now become a city icon for tourists.

On Lake Kariba of Zimbabwe houseboats have been in use since the creation of the lake in the late 1950s and early 1960s. It is considered one of the most luxurious ways to experience the Zambezi river basin and its wildlife, as a lot of wild animals come down to the river for drinking water and to cool themselves down.

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