Star Houseboats is truly a custom boat builder. New Houseboats range from under $200,000 to as high as your imagination and budget will allow. Our most basic boat has the same quality basic components and craftsmanship as our high-end custom projects. Star is known for building boats that are far ahead the industry and more closely resemble a yacht than a typical houseboat.
As the oldest continually operating houseboat company, we have gleaned the most experience in the industry and have delivered over 1,500 custom houseboats. Our President, Terry Aff, is a licensed Mechanical Engineer. Our systems are designed and tested for optimal performance and ease of operation. Our principle of engineering every element of our boats leads to a boat design that is constantly improving.
Star Houseboats emulate the style and class of Super Yachts while maintaining the functionality and affordability of a houseboat. Our designers will discuss the individual client’s intended use of the vessel and together determine the floorplan and systems for the most stylish, functional and economical solution.
Differentiating Features of Star Houseboats
Patented No-Wood Wall System and Web Frame Design
This consists of an aluminum structural frame wall that is welded the entire length of the hull and a new web frame that ties the entire structure together from the hull up the wall and across the roof. The wall is then sprayed with closed foam insulation. The outer skin of the wall is manufactured at Star. It is a fiberglass and foam panel which is attached to the web frame. The bottom of the wall is shaped to overlap the flange of the hull that is typically screwed to the Fiber-Tech wall. This creates a wall that cannot leak at the hull. We believe this is the most important option that you can choose. No wood means No rot. It creates a boat that will last a lifetime. The finish is a much smoother high gloss finish and the gel coat is more UV resistant. It also allows us to mold in recessed areas for Solid pane windows if selecting that option.
The hull is the foundation of your boat. Star Houseboats features all aluminum hull and framing. Stringers are placed on 2′ centers, with liberal use of secondary reinforcements. The deck is constructed using integrated 2″ X 3″ tubing in addition to the more standard plate and bracing systems. On larger boats, additional aluminum trusses are placed to run the length of the hull to further strengthen and reinforce the frame. If choosing the wood free wall, the wall system further reinforces the strength of the hull to provide unprecedented strength and rigidity.
Star Houseboats features the deepest standard hull in the industry. Just because a competitor offers a “6 inch deeper than standard” hull doesn’t actually mean anything, as there are not any industry standards for hull depth. However, the hull is the foundation of the vessel and therefore is extremely important and in most cases the deeper the hull the more rigid the hull. Our standard hull is 32 ½ inches deep measured from the top of the stringer to the top of the floor, most people choose the 38 ½ inch deep hull which provides additional rigidity and more headroom in cuddy cabins and lower beds in the upper bedrooms. The deeper hull also allows better access to the mechanical equipment and a more commanding stance in the water.
Starplex Computer Control System
Star Houseboats has pioneered the “smart boat” concept and has a fully developed computer control for the vessel. This optional system provides monitoring and control of all onboard electrical systems such as tank levels, engine data, battery levels, lighting, etc. A unique feature available with this computer control is the “all off” and “exit” buttons that eliminate the job of going in all rooms to turn off lights when leaving the boat. This system also allows for remote access for control of onboard systems. For example, you can change the thermostat setting in preparation for your arrival, review hull and cabin cameras, and the boat can call your phone or email you if the bilge pump comes on. The possibilities with this system are endless.
Star Houseboat’s cabinetry is the best in the houseboat business. We are the only houseboat company with our own in-house cabinet shop. We have the ability to custom fabricate cabinetry to fit the most intricate spaces created in a boat. We can create custom shapes, curves, counters, and finishes to the customer’s desires.
Star Houseboats offers a painted hull. Unpainted aluminum hulls oxidize. Within a couple of years, they begin to show their age. An older looking houseboat loses its value more quickly. Cosmetically, a painted houseboat looks more like a yacht. It costs a little more, but it looks like it costs a lot more. We utilize a 2 part urethane paint over an etching primer with a professionally sprayed finish.
Star Houseboats uses high-quality vinyl that will outlast and outshine paint. If you ever need to replace or change the graphics, they are easily removed. Painted graphics are almost impossible to remove without leaving an impression where they have been.
Star Houseboats offers an angled, smooth, high-profile fiberglass roof edge that gives a sleek, finished appearance. Other companies have straight, low profile edges that are left unfinished with the texture of the fiberglass matting.
High Bow Splash with Front Seating
Star Houseboats have a standard higher bow splash which improves appearance and provides the correct height on the front deck for our standard custom seating at the bow of the boat with large lockers below.
Star Houseboats features our own in-house custom fiberglass shop. We make our own bridges, bars, arches, euro roof, and other custom pieces. We have the added flexibility to make specialty pieces that are unique and found only on a Star Houseboat. We have the only bridge in the industry with a walk-through access to a king-size sun pad lounge. Additionally, we offer the industry’s only fiberglass top rails and custom designed couches and bars.
Star Houseboats utilizes through-hull fittings with slotted pickups for all engine, generator and air conditioning water intakes to avoid plugging from debris and costly repairs. Most competitors weld a pipe to the bottom of the hull which is the most common site for leaks and does not prevent debris from entering the systems.
Manifold Water System
A manifold water distribution system is standard on all Star Houseboats. These manifolds are located centrally in a closet in the cabin, and allow easy access to individual control of all water supply lines. The number of connections in the hull is greatly reduced, water pressure is equalized and winterizing the boat is more convenient. In addition, we utilize Pex tubing that resists freezing and can expand up to 300% of its size without breaking. Pex tubing carries a 25-year manufacturer warranty.
All wiring meets ABYC, NMMA, and CE standards. We utilize custom marine panels that are centrally located in a closet within the cabin. Most of our competitors use residential panels. Marine panels are much more expensive but provide increased protection of onboard circuits. Through our experience in the demanding rental boat environment, we have modified our electrical systems to enhance performance of the inverter and 12 volt systems to eliminate system failure. Each of our boats is equipped with an ELCI “Equipment Leakage Circuit Interuptor” which will disable the electrical system if leakage is detected to eliminate the risk of electric shock drowning to swimmers in the water. Each boat is also equipped with a Galvanic Isolater to protect the hull from galvanic corrosion of the hull.