Monday, February 14, 2011


As if the traditional modular housing industry didn't have enough competition from the new Architect designed prefabs and people that want to turn shipping containers into houses, now the house boat industry is jumping on board.

Kentucky, the heart of house boat building of in the east, has seen a dramatic drop in both sales and production of these recreational second homes.  Where there were over 1,000 people working to build house boats, the number has dropped below 200 with some factories permanently closing their doors.

But with the help of a $1,000,000 grant, these same companies are going after the lucrative affordable modular housing market.  You heard me...lucrative!  "There's just all kinds of opportunities," said Bruce Chesnut, a partner in Stardust Cruisers.

Rendering of affordable house boat, land boat

Since they are pushing for affordable rather than the luxury side of the business, maybe they have a shot at success but if companies that produce both manufactured and modular homes are having a tough time keeping their heads above water (Palm Harbor, Champion Homes), what chance do companies with no housing experience have?

Now if they could have kitchens like this in their homes, maybe I would look into buying one.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, Okay, maybe these are the guys that built the combination house/boat/car/helicopter that is featured on The Farmers Insurance commercials. As a vendor, I would look very hard at whether we would want to sell someone like this. Don't get me wrong, if their payment history looks good with their references, and the bank numbers check out we'd probably take a shot.

It's just amazing to me that anyone without experience in the factory construction of homes would think that this is a "lucrative" business right now. Open up the financial pages and all you see are negative stories on mortgages, foreclosures, home prices, permits, material price increases, sprinkler mandates, and on and on and on...

More power to them if they think they can make a new division of their company work and "Good Luck".

Anonymous said...

Can you imagine what their slogan will be. When it rains, it floats!