Saturday, June 30, 2012

Summer Houseboating - My Building Project

(Photo from

If you have been with 
Purple Chocolat Home 
for very long you know we love 
boating at Lake Powell 
in the summer.  
We have had two houseboats and the one that
we call our "new" houseboat is now twelve years old and
we are now ready to retire that boat and are in the process
of building a new boat like the one above.  Many of the
boat manufacturers have gone out of business with the 
changes in the economy but 
Bravada  Yachts 
which is based out
of Phoenix are still building beautiful houseboats.

Since we can easily fly in to Phoenix we
were able to visit about once a month to check on the
building process.  The hull starts with a huge piece
of aluminum which is then bent up to create the bottom
and sides of the boat.

Then floors and walls are framed in similar
to home construction.

With side walls added, it quickly starts to look
like a houseboat. Plumbing, electrical,heating and cooling
are next followed by cabinets, baths and kitchens.

Up to eight or so boats are under construction at once
and as you look back through the living room of ours
you can see other boats along the line.

The design process is fascinating as most buyers
are from out of town.  The designer Tracey (the co-owner with her
husband Jim)
sent a questionaire and some pictures to define colors and
styles and then had some options laid out to look at.
The whole process took an afternoon as we first
chose color and style, then went through fabrics, lighting
options, carpet, floors, tile, etc.  Hubby had spent quite
some time designing the basic floor plan to maximize
the number of staterooms but small changes could
be made while we were there designing the interior.

It was nice to spend a night in Phoenix and be able
to sleep on some of the picks and return, review
and change a few things.

We started the process in January and the boat was
to be in the water June 1st.  As with most building
projects, things were running a little late, and the boat
was to be in the water last weekend.

This was the boat when I saw it last weekend as we
were putting up mirrors and filling kitchen cupboards. 
There was still plenty of work to be done and she wasn't
in the water yet.  

Outdoor furniture had been delivered and the housboat
employees were opening the boxes and getting
the furniture set up.  (I was thrilled not to have to do that!)

The temperature was about 104 and there was
no air conditioning inside, so hanging mirrors in
 the staterooms was sweltering.  It isn't
finished yet as hubby and youngest son are
down in Page, Arizona working again
this weekend, but here is a sneak peek of the

As you can imagine, cooking and eating is a big part
of our boating experience and there is a great indoor
kitchen (a huge upgrade from our first houseboat where
we used a marine fridge and a camper sized stove)

And also a wonderful outdoor kitchen on the 2nd level.

These are just a few tempting shots.  I will follow up
with another post when the project is finished.

I hope that will be quickly as we have a couple's trip
planned for her maiden voyage in a little over a week.

I will be sharing this with


Chocolat - French for Chocolate. I adored chocolate from a young age when I had to sneak in the cupboard to find where my mother had hidden the Nestle's Chocolate Chips. Having read about the famous chocolat shoppes in Paris, when I finally got there I was determined to try a chocolate from every Paris shoppe. I invite you to share my adventures in creating, in travel, and in life.


  1. Congratulations, I hope everything goes smoothly for you.

  2. Oh yes!My husband and I would be tempted to make it full time houseboating.I wouldn't want to leave her.

  3. How cool! Wishing you years of fun with her, hope she's ready for your planned maiden voyage:@)

  4. Wow, Jacqueline. I've never seen the inside of a houseboat, your's is gorgeous. No wonder you like boating all summer - I could do this!
    We bought a boat when we first moved to lake country but sold it after 2 years. Storage issues, price of gas etc. and there was only a port-a-potty thingy below which I wouldn't use.
    I'm looking forward to your boating pics this summer.

  5. How beautiful! That is my first real look at the inside of a houseboat - and believe me, the ones I've seen on Shuswap Lake look nothing at all like yours from the outside. Happy Sailing!

  6. That is magnificent! Wow! I had no idea how houseboats had changed over the years. You will enjoy this beauty for years to come!

  7. Oh wow! That is a neat way to spend the summers on the lake! Love the kitchen, very nice! Can't wait to see the rest! :)

  8. Brings back many memories. One of our boats was a Blue Water Yacht, and It was such fun designing the interiors. I look forward to seeing the finished project. I hoe that you make it for that couples trip. Cherry Kay

  9. Holy canoli, girl, that is GORGEOUS!!!! I have never seen the inside of a house boat. It is fabulous and I can see why you would want to spend your summer on it. Best wishes for many years of FUN!!!! XO, Pinky

  10. Are you kidding me GURL! This is a fabulous ride!! I could live on it!!
    Enjoy and have lots of fun...take lots of photos

  11. Wowie...that must be a super-fun place for your family! It is wonderful. Enjoy your new houseboat.

  12. Wow! So nice! I can smell all the wonderful things you are going to cook. Enjoy. It is super.

  13. Wow! So nice! I can smell all the wonderful things you are going to cook. Enjoy. It is super.

  14. Jacqueline, Your boat is fabulous! Love the salon! You will have a lot of good times on your new houseboat. Congratulations!
    xo Beth

  15. What a fabulous new boat! I can just imagine all the wonderful memories you and your family will share on this beauty. It's fun to see the process. Happy cruising!

  16. Hi there! I just HAD to click on this post because it looked like Lake Powell...and it is. :) I was born and raised there and I LOVE it too. Your boat is incredible!! WOW, wow. I would be extra excited to watch a boat like that come together. It is simply gorgeous.

  17. Wow - simply gorgeous. I'm your newest follower. I have to see this home in the water. Thanks for sharing. Congratulations on your new home.

  18. Just came home from a couple of days at Lake Powell. Your houseboat is a far cry from our camping at Bull Frog!!!! The new houseboat looks like lux living to me. The water was wonderful and so was the cliff jumping. It is pretty hard to beat Lake Powell and it would be fab to be at Lake Powell in such luxury. Joni

  19. Looks like the perfect size for your growing family :) Enjoy your beautiful, new boat!

  20. This looks like so much fun! Looks like there are many days of fun ahead!

    - The Tablescaper

  21. WOW> Love your new boat. Boating here on the east coast usually means the ocean or the Chesapeak Bay. .no houseboats at all here so this was a nice treat to view yours. Thanks.


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