We love tiny houses here at MNN. A tiny home is just that — a house that cranks down the square footage in exchange for lower energy needs, clutter potential and overall costs. Tiny homes are used as weekend cabins, backyard office space, full time residences and even hotels.

Orange house boat

This curved steel boat is tied up in Amsterdam. (Photo: FaceMePLS/flickr)

Houseboats have all the advantages of tiny homes and have the additional advantage of being movable by water. Houseboats can often be docked cheaply in cities where comparable space on land can run you more than a million dollars. (Check out this guy living cheap on his sale boat in pricey San Francisco.) Houseboats give you waterfront views, by definition.

As with tiny homes, you can spend a little or you can spend a lot on a houseboat. Those with lots of spare cash to drop and with a sci-fi visual aesthetic might find the Sealander camper trailer appealing. The Sealander can be pulled behind a car, slept in, and used as a boat. Those looking with a smaller budget might like this boat that was designed to be inexpensively built DIY-style.

We took some time and assembled a collection of photos of fun houseboats to get your imagination flowing. While you might not be able to buy a houseboat and move to the water fulltime yourself, there are countless opportunities for houseboat rentals in places all over the world. Find a boat, start saving your pennies, and mark down your calendar until you can spend a night under the roof of a houseboat yourself.

Happy boating!

House boat docked near

A houseboat docked in Cornwall, England. (Photo: Martin Pettitt/flickr)

Black & white photo of old school houseboat

A lazy day on the river back in 1936. (Photo: Alberta Armstrong/flickr)

Houseboat in Seattle

This is the famous house from the movie "Sleepless in Seattle." (Photo: TDlucas5000/flickr)

Houseboat in Sausalito, California

It's helpful to boaters that Amsterdam is such a bike-friendly city. (Photo: Jukka/flickr)

Houseboat in Sausalito, California

A two-story wooden houseboat in Sausalito, California. (Photo: Daniel Hartwig/flickr)

Houseboat in Sausalito, California

Another Sausalito houseboat. (Photo: Daniel Hartiwg/flickr)

Houseboat in Sausalito, California

Houseboating in Sausalito used to be a relatively cheap way to live but no longer. Slip fees alone can run close to $1,000 per month. (Photo: Daniel Hartwig/flickr)

Narrow boat in London, England

Thousands of people live in narrow boats in the U.K. Boaters have to move on from moorings every two weeks to stay on the right side of the law. (Photo: Tomasz Dunn/flickr)


Pastels are popular in Sausalito. (Photo: Daniel Hartwig/flickr)


Another in Sausalito. (Photo: Daniel Hartwig/Flickr)

Student housing on houseboat

Houseboats aren't always tiny. This floating house barge stacks up small individual units of student houses. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Dog house boat

Dogs never want to be left out of the fun. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Tiny House Talk has a good section with lots of posts about houseboats. Swing over there if you'd like to read more.

This documentary gives a peak into what life is like living on one of the thousands of "narrow boats" sharing the banks of London's Thames River.

Want to read more about tiny homes and houseboats? Check out these posts here on MNN:

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Shea Gunther is a podcaster, writer, and entrepreneur living in Portland, Maine. He hosts the popular podcast "Marijuana Today Daily" and was a founder of Renewable Choice Energy, the country's leading provider of wind credits and Green Options. He plays a lot of ultimate frisbee and loves bad jokes.

Houseboats combine the best of tiny (on land or water)
Step on board and check out what life is like in these confined — but not confining — houseboats.