Only In America: The Amazing Boaterhome

Paul Niedermeyer
by Paul Niedermeyer
only in america the amazing boaterhome

Where else would someone take a brain fart and actually build it? Yes, combine a boat and a hyper long stretched van, and turn into the Boaterhome! Fame and fortune are just a prototype away. Actually, twenty-one were built. And now JDK Enterprises wants to revive the plan, and build an even bigger and better Boaterhome. Some brilliant ideas just won’t go away, despite the many intrinsic challenges. Here’s one: Guess which axle drives this behemoth?

I was suspicious the minute I laid eyes on it, because of that obvious four-wheel drive front axle conversion on the Econoline van. And then there’s the issue of the boat’s hull, which is right where the rear axles’ centers would be. Solution: just disable the rear output of the transfer box, and send the 460’s torque all to the front axle. Can you imagine this thing pulling up a boat ramp with several tons of 28′ cabin cruiser on the back? Or even when its empty? Maybe all 21 Boaterhomes disconnected once, never to be reunited again.

This is the only shot I could find of the two disengaging. Well, it has to be disengaging, because there’s no way that front axle would pull both out of this spot.

Here’s a more detailed look at the Boaterhome. Straight out of a James Bond movie. Since the boat alone is 28′ long, I’d say the whole rig is some 40′ overall. The boat displaces 6,260 lbs; does that mean that’s how much it weighs, marine buffs?

As I alluded to earlier, the idea didn’t die with the first Boaterhome to get stuck at a boat ramp. This concept is titled Boaterhome 2000, so its probably safe to assume that its a product of the expansive and easy-money late 1990’s.

But if you don’t want to wait for another possible Boaterhome revival Hemming’s has one advertised for sale: $29,500. What are you waiting for?

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4 of 33 comments
  • Samir Syed Samir Syed on May 03, 2010

    Why not just tow a boat using a motor home?

    • Chicago Dude Chicago Dude on Feb 13, 2012

      Because then you are towing around two kitchens, two or more "bathrooms", two or more "bedrooms", etc. The IRS counts anything as a "home" (for tax deduction purposes) if you can live in it. They think that you can live in it if it has a functioning kitchen, bathroom, and bedrooms. If you live there for more than 12 nights in a year, you can deduct the interest on the loan you used to buy it. Thus, almost all boats above a certain size will have these features to make sure the owners want to finance them (and spend more money). And if your boat has them, your motorhome doesn't need to.

  • Sandraking Sandraking on Jul 10, 2014

    The visionary that built "The Boaterhome" began as a master builder of boats and/ships and then was the first to Manufacture a camper. His name is Walt King of Sport King which began in 1945 in Torrance, California and later In Nampa, Idaho. Anyone else that claims to be the originator is untruthful and any copies after 1990 are probably not built to the standards of Walt King. If anyone would like to challenge this- feel free to contact me - Sandra King, the very proud Daughter and only child of Walt King.

    • Vkranchick Vkranchick on Aug 04, 2014

      Sandra, are they still being produced? If not, are you up to date on who makes one? I really love this concept. Thank you.

  • ToolGuy I plan to install a sink in the crawl space soon. After that I plan to put washer and dryer hookups on my roof.
  • ToolGuy "That power team adds an electric supercharger"YES!
  • Cardave5150 UAW is acting all butt-hurt that their employers didn't "share the wealth" when they had massive profits. They conveniently forget that they have a CONTRACT with their employers, which was negotiated in good faith, and which the Remaining 3 are honoring, paying them exactly what they negotiated last time.
  • Kwik_Shift That's a shame.
  • Jkross22 It looks like a dog breaking one off at the park.