Tre Lost

A Houseboat Named Nomad

Well over a year ago, Scoutt and I started our first adventure in home – or rather houseboat- ownership. We had never intended to buy a boat but a serious of unfortunate events, including a certifiably crazy roommate, rising rents in San Francisco, and sky rocketing fuel and commute cost, lead us to a unexpected but all together pleasant end; Scoutt, Tre and a houseboat that could be lightly described as a fixer-upper.

Houseboat named Nomad

Houseboat named Nomad


The houseboat we bought, ironically named Nomad, is a concrete barge with a two story house – no motor, no sails and no way it would ever be nomadic – has been the forgotten project of a carpenter who had moved on to a million dollar house. Nomad has been left in the hands of the carpenter’s 19 year old assistant who lived there for 3 years without, I’m fairly certain, ever cleaning it.
Before: Stair Case?

Before: Stair Case?

In order to gain access to the boat one had to jump across what I started calling the “Great Divide” and what my good friend Annetta simply called “Doom”. At high tide we leaded from the dock to the barge and at low tide we climbed to stairs and jumped from the teetering top stair to the barge. Once inside it the safety level didn’t get much better. The front 1/3 of the boat consisted of studs outside covering, exposed wires, and electrical outlets that didn’t work accompanied by gaping wholes in the floor. The downstairs bathroom had no tile, sink, or toilet and the window, which was covered by an old thread bear towel, was held into place by two nails.
Before: The tub 1

Before: The tub 1

But it was ours – no roommates, no landlords and neighbors that actually said “Hello”.

Tile in the bathroom went into first. I refused to move in with out a shower that I could actually take a shower in, having showered outdoors for 4 and a half years at our Yurt*, the value I placed on hot water was exceedingly high.

After: Bath/slower

After: Bath/slower

Second, I spent the better part of 2 weeks scrubbing the thick layer of grime left behind by the carpenter’s assistant, the upstairs bathroom floor and walls, the living room floor, the kitchen floor, the kitchen counters and the inside of the draws, and every square centimeter of the tub which slowly turned from a brown color to shinny white. And, in keeping with our motto “Safety Third”, Scoutt and the guys at Inertia Labs built a stainless steel hinge
Hing for Ramp

Hing for Ramp

and installed a ramp eliminating the need to jump across the “Great Divide.”

Basic livability repairs done we had a blow out housewarming party and started on the long process of turning Nomad into our home.

After: Nomad with a ramp

After: Nomad with a ramp


*I feel I should explain a bit for those who don’t know us: For the first 4 and a half years of our relationship Scoutt and I lived in the Pacific Yurt he built in the middle of nowhere with an out-house and an outdoor shower.

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One comment on “A Houseboat Named Nomad

  1. Dawson
    August 31, 2009

    Lovely! Fixer-uppers are the way to go. By the way, I can attest that despite some rough edges, Tre and Scoutt’s houseboat is possible the neatest living arrangement I’ve ever seen.

    Nothing like living on the water!

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This entry was posted on August 31, 2009 by in Houseboat and tagged , , .
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