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 Barge Converts Trailer Into Sportsmenís Houseboat

By A.T. Williamson
From the 1938 edition of How to build 20 boats.

'Any ambitious trailer enthusiast can convert his trailer car into a unique houseboat for summer vacation use by building this simple Trailer barge. Driven by an outboard motor the barge is capable of travelling at speeds of six- miles- per- hour on smooth waters. Shallow-draft construction permits it to be floated in three feet of water without danger of the hull striking bottom.'

I realized that ideas are sometimes older than that we think when a good friend of mine gave me an American news magazine printed in 1934, titled: "How to build 20 easy boats" which presented a revolutionary approach at that time.
The article proposed wooden surf boards, fast revolution car engines converted into marine engines, houseboat barges and the first lines of an ice sailor. This struck me, as my father evolved the ice sailor concept into the DN class, currently very popular with thousands of users. Among all these plans and ideas the one that stood out for me was a caravan boat titled "how to convert a trailer in to a sportsman boat". As far as I know, this caravan boat had not yet become a popular reality, like the surfboards and some of the other ideas in the article. The idea to further develop the concept of the caravan boat intrigued me. After all, there are plenty of caravans on this earth, but no boats to carry them as yet.

Imagine you make a long trip of several days or weeks. You use your caravan during the trip, on the camp side, rest for a few days and then you rent a caravan boat and go on tour for a few days on the water. Or you have bought a piece of lakeside ground or maybe even an island. You can easily moor your comfortable floating house alongside and enjoy it. The idea of floating your caravan opens a whole new dimension to explore.