The Norcal Nomad

Traveling in Northern California

Floating Homes Formerly Known as Houseboats

Written By: Deborah Linnekin - Jul• 05•14

There is a certain romance associated with life on a houseboat, now called floating homes. Until the 1970s many of these residences, especially those near Sausalito, were free floating and home to a diversity of people: elegant or artistic, and occasionally dangerous creating a good cross section of humanity.

Life changed in the 80’s and floating homes required moorings and rent. They also acquired sewer lines, a refreshing change for those upwind of these free floating residences.

San Francisco Bay is home to a large community of floating homes in Sausalito and there are regular tours of the area that is open to visitors without an official tour as well. The renowned Forbes Island was built in Sausalito by Forbes Kiddoo and was purported to host some wild parties its early days. Now, it is moored in San Francisco near pier 39 where you can dine aboard the floating island watching fish swim past the below deck portholes. For a video tour of the island: http://www.oursausalito.com/forbes-island.html .

Another fairly famous floating home is named the Taj Mahal and, you guessed it, it’s a miniature version of the famous one in India. It can be seen in Sausalito near Bridgeway and Johnson streets in Sausalito or on the floating home tour.

If you’re in the market for your own floating home, be prepared to pay for the location as well as the house. While there may not be land associated with the purchase you do need a place to dock. The houses in Sausalito start around $1 million. There was just one listing less than that and it appeared to be quite rustic.

The Floating home tour is scheduled for September 20, 2014 from 11am-4pm; costs $40.00 per ticket and it’s advised that you purchase a ticket in advance to make sure you’ll be accommodated.

I think it’s time to go to lunch in San Francisco. How about you? See you at Forbes Island!

Forbes Island, Floating Restaurant at Pier 39

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7 Comments

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