Jump to content

Selling Houseboats! I have no clue where to start!


Stef
 Share

Featured Posts

Right here goes.

My brother in law lives in Poland and his father in law owns a furniture factory. He has made a wonderful job of building a houseboat. 
He has asked me if I could sell those in the UK and France. I'm half British/French so language is no issue.
I have literally no idea where to start! Brexit implications, who to target, marketing etc.... These clearly need targeting to a particular audience- not something I can just sell on ebay- not initially at least.

He's indicated that transport is fine and not to worry about that side of things.

Can anyone on here give me any pointers, ideas etc?

Link to the product:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxwxAPTo_o8

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A houseboat, to me, is a static structure, one which floats but has no means of propulsion.

It needs a permanent place to moor, and these will be very limited in the UK, due to planning restrictions. So the market would be very small. 

Most of the current demand for floating housing is met by large Widebeam Boats which are up to 70 ft by 12 ft,  these cost anything over £100"000 when fitted out, not easy to steer, but they provide housing solutions in London where house prices are extremely high. They are manufactured, in steel, by boat builders, who usually fit the engine and steering, the boat is often then fitted out by specialists or even by DIY. Again, the market is limited. 

I would say that some knowledgeable design input would be needed to avoid mega mistakes in construction. 

To sum up, I don't think it's worth investing in houseboats, But I think there is a market for something to meet Airbnb demand. I have seen Shepherd Huts, and also some little beehive shaped cabins which are, essentially, in pub car parks. 

Edited by LadyG
  • Greenie 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also look into the EU Recreational Craft Directive, and the UK equivalent.  The boats will need to comply with these.

 

N

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, BEngo said:

Also look into the EU Recreational Craft Directive, and the UK equivalent.  The boats will need to comply with these.

 

N

Do these apply to unpowered static craft, which I assume these boats are?

Polish workmanship is well thought of: to the best of my knowledge, Polish-built boats have found a ready market over here in recent years.

Stef, you could try contacting Aqualine Boats for guidance; their build theirs in Gdansk, so they have experience of marketing Polish boats in the U.K.

Edited by Athy
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, LadyG said:

A houseboat, to me, is a static structure, one which floats but has no means of propulsion.

The video the OP gave shows what I call a houseboat, rather than a boat, but there looks to be a Haswing electric outboard fitted, so they are movable to a limited extent. I am guessing that the RCD and UK version apply, but if his brother in law is building these in Poland, then these rules apply anyway. I've embedded his YouTube link below. They look rather nice. Won't fit on many UK canals, but if you can get past the planning system, then a lot of lakes, rivers and larger canals that would suit. If the size of the market is worth it for them with the Brexit hassles I don't know. Best of luck with the venture.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are hire boats similar to these on the Thames, based near Wallingford. Popular when the weather is warm but very difficult to control and steer. Underpowered when there is a bit of a flow - easy to end up going downstream sideways.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, Jen-in-Wellies said:

I am guessing that the RCD and UK version apply, but if his brother in law is building these in Poland, then these rules apply anyway.

 

Unless he/they have elected to not build to the RCD but are selling the boat prior to the 5 year rule.

 

The RCD does not show 'houseboats' as being excluded from the requirements.

 

There is also the matter of VAT to pay (20% of purchase price + 20% of shipping price) now we are no longer in the EU.

 

I'd suggest that we do not really know enough about the build details to be able to make any useful comments.

 

 

 

1 hour ago, Stef said:

Right here goes.

My brother in law lives in Poland and his father in law owns a furniture factory. He has made a wonderful job of building a houseboat. 
He has asked me if I could sell those in the UK and France. I'm half British/French so language is no issue.
I have literally no idea where to start! Brexit implications, who to target, marketing etc.... These clearly need targeting to a particular audience- not something I can just sell on ebay- not initially at least.

He's indicated that transport is fine and not to worry about that side of things.

Can anyone on here give me any pointers, ideas etc?

Link to the product:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxwxAPTo_o8

 

 

There is already a marina group selling equivalent house boats - maybe worth contacting them to see if they would change to 'yours' or, sell them in addition to the existing ones.

 

Floating Homes | Buy a Floating House | Aquavista

 

 

Floating Home Priory

 

Edited by Alan de Enfield
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would suggest that an electric outboard with just one solar panel makes them only suitable for use close to a charging point. I can't see it being anything more than a  dayboat unless permanently moored with a shoreline connected.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 minutes ago, Tony Brooks said:

I would suggest that an electric outboard with just one solar panel makes them only suitable for use close to a charging point. I can't see it being anything more than a  dayboat unless permanently moored with a shoreline connected.

That would be its main market, I think - permanently moored in a marina or leisure park, certainly not for serious navigation.

But, for people wanting a weekend retreat with a nice view, it could have appeal.

   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, Jerra said:

The shot 19 seconds in doesn't match the look of the other roof shots.   Is the roof in that one covered on solar panels?

 

I thought it might be but then who would happily sit and walk on solar panels. The table and chairs would cast shade and  reduce the output considerably.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Tony Brooks said:

 

I thought it might be but then who would happily sit and walk on solar panels. The table and chairs would cast shade and  reduce the output considerably.

The roof in the ones where they are sat on top is a different colour.   I assumed it was a choice a solar roof or extra space.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the responses so far, very informative!

 

Yes, I feel Brexit is not going to help matters- I am still hoping it is viable here and I will call boat selling companies to ask their opinion. Being built in Poland means that the manpower is cheaper but exporting it could well be a challenge.

 

Challenge it may be but I'm very much hoping that it could be viable!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Suspect your main market is marinas and leisure parks on lakes, as it doesn't look ideal for navigation in the UK (too wide for most canals, and not really optimally shaped for rivers with significant flow either). Looks like its natural habitat is that lake it's floating on in the video.

 

You do see a few "floating homes" like this in the UK and this solution looks more mobile than most of them, but the market for lodges on the ground is bigger 

  • Greenie 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.