Frequently Asked Questions:
- Is the MetroSHIP a boat or a floating home?
- Is the MetroSHIP suitable for cold weather conditions?
- Is the MetroSHIP suitable for hot weather conditions?
- Is there property tax on a MetroSHIP if I live aboard?
- What sizes are the MetroSHIPs?
- Is there space for storage on the MetroSHIP?
- What options are available for the MetroSHIP modern houseboat?
- Are MetroSHIPs wheelchair accessible?
- What are the MetroSHIP wall panels made from?
- Do the MetroSHIPs provide privacy when inside the boat?
- Can I use a Murphy Bed in a MetroSHIP?
- Can I use my own furniture and personal items on the MetroSHIP?
- Are there preset floor plans for the MetroSHIPs ?
- Can a second level be placed on a MetroSHIP?
- Is the roof usable on a MetroSHIP?
- What are the hulls made from?
- Is the MetroSHIP suitable for salt water?
- Is steel a good option in water?
- What is the best hull for lake / river water environments?
- What is the life expectancy of a MetroSHIP?
- Is the MetroSHIP sea-worthy?
- Does the MetroSHIP have an engine?
- What if I don’t need an engine?
- What engines are available?
- Why does MetroSHIP use outboard engines?
- Where do I steer the MetroSHIP from?
- Where can I dock my MetroSHIP?
- Tell me more about Marina’s …
- Can the MetroSHIP be converted for commercial / hotel use?
- How many people can fit on a MetroSHIP?
- How is the MetroSHIP delivered?
- I’m thinking about renovating an older houseboat, why would I consider a MetroSHIP?
- How long does it take to build a MetroSHIP?
- What makes MetroSHIP different from its competitors?
- Where are MetroSHIPs built?
- Who owns MetroSHIP?
- When was MetroSHIP started?
- How do I insure a MetroSHIP?
- What is the process to purchase a MetroSHIP?
- Still have questions?
- Shipping Delivery Videos & Images (x16)
Is the MetroSHIP a boat or a floating home?
The MetroSHIP is a boat with a HIN (Hull ID Number) used for registering the boat. It can be used as a floating home; though the classification of a floating home to a marina means a floating home with no engine.
Is the MetroSHIP suitable for cold weather conditions?
Yes, the MetroSHIP is insulated unlike a regular boat. All MetroSHIPs come equipped with thermal wall panels, full roof insulation and double glazed energy efficient windows and doors. We use a mini-split ductless heat / AC unit that is ultra efficient for climate control, standard remote controlled included.
Is the MetroSHIP suitable for hot weather conditions?
Yes, the MetroSHIP is not only insulated, but the AC units are more powerful than needed and provide cooling in hot climates.
Is there property tax on a MetroSHIP if I live aboard?
No, in the majority of cases, if the MetroSHIP has an engine it is considered a boat and no property tax is applicable.
What sizes are the MetroSHIPs?
Our most popular sized MetroSHIPs:
- 35ft x 12ft – Fiberglass hull
- 43ft x 12ft – Glass Houseboat steel hull
- 48ft x 12ft – One Level steel hull
- 48ft x 12ft – Two Level aluminum hull
Typical MetroSHIP sizes include:
- 25ft x 8ft – Trailerable (coming soon) aluminum hull
- 30ft x 8ft – Trailerable (coming soon) aluminum or fiberglass hull
- 35ft x 12ft – Fiberglass hull
- 40ft x 12ft – Aluminum, steel or fiberglass hull
- 42ft x 12ft – Aluminum, steel or fiberglass hull
- 43ft x 12ft – Glass Houseboat steel hull
- 48ft x 12ft – One Level aluminum or steel hull
- 48ft x 12ft – Two Level aluminum or steel hull
- 70ft x 16ft – One Level aluminum hull
- 70ft x 16ft – Two Level aluminum hull
- 110ft x 24ft – Three Level Mega MetroSHIP (ocean going) steel hull
Is there space for storage on the MetroSHIP?
Yes, most of our MetroSHIPs have very large open spaces in the hull for storage.
What options are available for the MetroSHIP modern houseboat?
There are many options given the customizable nature of the MetroSHIP. Some options include:
- Engines – new Honda or Suzuki or pre-owned outboard engines
- Roof deck – can have outdoor kitchens and bimini tops
- Kitchen appliance – Gaggenau, Viking, LG, Kuppersbusch, Haier and GE
- Kitchen cabinets and countertops – WilsonArt, Corian / Avonite
- Bathroom shower / faucet – Kohler, Sloan and Grohe brands
- Closet – sizes vary and multiple placements available
- Washer / dryer – LG SteamFresh and Haier combo ventless space saving units
- Bed / mattress – full, queen and king – W Hotel mattresses
- Hunter Douglas Blinds / Shades – manual operation and remote controlled motorized window treatments for the windows and doors
- Fireplaces – side vented
- Deck Enclosures – curved glass sliding doors and / or zippered canvas screens with windows
- Hoists for personal water craft, kayaks, canoes, rowing shells etc.
Please contact us to get details on how we can further customize your MetroSHIP.
Are MetroSHIPs wheelchair accessible?
Yes, a wheelchair can easily move through a MetroSHIP and can be fitted for an elevator if there is a second level.
What are the MetroSHIP wall panels made from?
Each wall panel is made up of a mixture of recycled crush glass and a polymer which creates an opaque / translucent panel that is corrosion resistant. The wall panels are then sandwiched between a grid of aluminum that creates structural integrity. The panels are self-cleaning, and virtually maintenance free (rain water in most cases will clean the panels effectively.)
Do the MetroSHIPs provide privacy when inside the boat?
Yes, the wall panels will only be truly translucent when something is against the panel (for example a sofa would be seen if the sofa is touching the wall panel). If you move objects away from the panel you will have privacy inside the space. The exact placement of lighting works to defer shadows away from the wall panels. Window treatments are always recommended for the windows and doors, so curtains or blinds can be used to create complete privacy.
Can I use a Murphy Bed in a MetroSHIP?
Yes, a Murphy / fold-up style bed can be used as long as it’s against a solid interior wall in the boat.
Can I use my own furniture and personal items on the MetroSHIP?
Yes, many items can be integrated into any MetroSHIP design. Examples include: furniture items, televisions, mattresses, wine refrigerators and fireplaces. Please contact MetroSHIP to see how your personal items can fit into the MetroSHIP.
Are there preset floor plans for the MetroSHIP?
We have set a few variations of floor plans to give you an idea of how the MetroSHIP can be designed. However each and every MetroSHIP is designed specifically to our clients specifications. Each client works directly with the MetroSHIP designer to create a MetroSHIP that fits their ideal living space.
Can a second level be placed on a MetroSHIP?
Yes, a second level can be added to half of the length of a MetroSHIP as long as the freeboard (the depth of the sides of the hull) is deeper to accommodate the extra weight when it sits in the water. A second level is an extremely popular choice because your dock space cost is based on the length of your boat, NOT the height. Dock space is always calculated on the length of the boat and rarely on the width if it’s 16 feet or under.
Is the roof usable on a MetroSHIP?
Yes, the MetroSHIP roof is structural and can be used as additional outdoor space. A safe ladder and railings around the roof area are necessary for safety.
What are the hulls made from?
MetroSHIP hulls are manufactured from steel, recycled steel, aluminum, recycled aluminum and fiberglass. Our most common MetroSHIPs are steel (for use in the Northeast). Any metal hull requires sacrificial zincs. Zinc plates are attached to the metal hulls so that they corrode instead of the hull (they are typically replaced 6 to 9 months – dependent on the water conditions). A diver is available at most marina’s and most commonly will clean the hull / outboard at the same time. Regular maintenance like this is considered to be like changing the oil in a car.
Is the MetroSHIP suitable for salt water?
Yes, we recommend steel or fiberglass hulls for long term salt water use.
Is steel a good option in water?
Steel is excellent in water – problems can occur when the boat is taken out of the water when oxidization occurs … with the proper care steel is the best option for colder climates that suffer from freezing waters. Steel also is very heavy and provides a lot of stability and strength in rougher waters or where heavier wakes from other boats are an issue.
What is the best hull for lake / river water environments?
Aluminum or fiberglass is a popular choice for lakes / rivers. For freezing waters steel is a good choice or aluminum / fiberglass hulls can be used with ‘bubbler’ systems (underwater fan that circulates water around the boat so the water directly around the boat doesn’t freeze.)
What is the life expectancy of a MetroSHIP?
About 35-50 years and more if maintained properly each year (dependent on water conditions and maintenance.)
Is the MetroSHIP sea-worthy?
Yes, we have a variety of hull options that create a larger raked bow to the front of the boat’s hull. The majority of hulls are flat on the bottom – which provides more stability for live aboard use and more comfort on board. The majority of MetroSHIPs are rated by insurance companies for use within 75 miles of the coast. As with anything – boating safety is of paramount importance and we suggest only venturing out into any waterways when the weather conditions are ideal for the size, material and type of vessel you’re on.
Does the MetroSHIP have an engine?
Yes, the MetroSHIP can have engine brackets on the rear – either one bracket or two…for a single outboard or twin outboard motors.
What if I don’t need an engine?
In most cases it’s best to have an engine on the MetroSHIP – even if it’s just to get docked safely. If you do not require an engine the MetroSHIP can be easily towed to its dock space. In certain States if a boat has no engine it does not require registration, however in some States if you do not have an engine it could be classified as a floating home and be subject to property tax. Check with your State’s requirements.
What engines are available?
We use new Honda Marine 90HP motor(s) (5 yr. Warranties) or new Suzuki 90HP outboard motor(s) (3yr. Warranties). If you DO NOT plan on moving your MetroSHIP often you can opt for a pre-owned Yamaha, Mercury, Honda, Suzuki, Nissan, Johnson or Evinrude outboard motor. If you DO plan on moving your MetroSHIP often or for long distances, Twin motors are recommended for longer range safety (if one motor fails the other will continue, and is easier to dock with twin outboard motors). Honda offers a new 90HP with 60 degree turning motion that makes it easier to dock with just a single outboard motor. We also have a bow thruster option for the front of the boat that enables improved control over docking of the MetroSHIP.
Why does MetroSHIP use outboard engines?
We have always wanted the MetroSHIP to be as efficient and easy to maintain as possible. Outboard engines are easy to work on and easy to maintain. By using an outboard it does not take room away from the living space on the MetroShip. We’ve also found that there are many more marine technicians that are available at a more inexpensive rate to do any necessary maintenance.
Where do I steer the MetroShip from?
Options for the helm/steering station can be place on the Front Deck, Rear Deck, or Roof of the MetroSHIP.
Where can I dock my MetroSHIP?
We have several resources to help with dock space for the MetroSHIP. We have available dock space in almost every State – including in New York City, New Jersey (Hudson River), Washington DC, Boston, The Hamptons, Florida, Texas, Georgia, Connecticut, South Carolina, North Carolina, California, Kentucky, Maryland, Tennessee, etc.
Tell me more about Marina’s …
Live aboard dock space is available for year round use. The more popular the marina the harder to get dock space. Many popular marinas will have a wait list in order to get dock space. MetroSHIP has established available dock space at some of the best and most desirable marinas. Dock fees are payable to the marina every season. Dock seasons are split into two 6 month segments. The Spring / Summer season is usually more money than the Autumn / Winter season which is usually less expensive. Living in a marina can be very cost effective as most will provide free water, free Wi-Fi internet connections and free cable TV hook up. Electric usage is typically metered at a marina like it would be in a home on land. Live aboard communities are exceptional places to live. There is a true sense of community, with people genuinely looking out for one another. Most marina’s are safe / secure with the majority of live aboard communities having gated access and / or 24hr security and / or security cameras. Live aboards use the address of the marina as their mailing address and are usually given a mailbox within a main office. Larger facilities will offer parking, a clubhouse, washer / dryer facilities and vending machines. Most marinas are pet friendly and provide pet designated areas.
Can the MetroSHIP be converted for commercial / hotel use?
Yes, the MetroSHIP is ideal for use as a floating hotel and can provide a lucrative source of income in popular vacation places. We can create a multi-room hotel on one hull, or individual floating hotel rooms. Other commercial uses include a floating bed and breakfast, entertainment space, floating office, floating retail space, exercise room, wellness spa center, reception rooms for waterfront hotel resorts. Fractional ownership is also a possibility – where multiple buyers purchase a ‘share’ of the MetroSHIP for their own personal use typically 2 weeks out of the year.
How many people can fit on a MetroSHIP?
The MetroSHIP can hold up to 12 people as long as you have life jackets for everyone on board. Size and weight of the boats engines and furniture / appliances should also be taken into account.
How is the MetroSHIP delivered?
A transport company can move most MetroSHIP with ease. The majority of MetroSHIPs are just shy of 12ft wide and therefore require only a simple transport permit to move the boat. If the MetroSHIP is over 12ft a special permit is required and can take longer to move and only happen during certain hours of the day. MetroSHIP has their own in-house transportation specialists that can answer any transport questions you may have.
I’m thinking about renovating an older houseboat, why would I consider a MetroSHIP?
Renovating an older houseboat comes with many seen and unseen problems (trust us – we’ve done it many times and it’s one of the reasons MetroSHIP was created!) The simple answer is that if you’re looking for something reliable for the future you can spend almost the same amount of money (and sometimes a lot more) fixing something old than building something new (especially when you consider transport costs, demolishing and the time spent to work out what is salvageable and what needs to be replaced). However, if you like the MetroSHIP look but want it built on a tried and tested hull you already have – we can certainly discuss it and see if the electrical / plumbing components work out.
How long does it take to build a MetroSHIP?
Typically production of a MetroSHIP is between 6-10 weeks with materials in stock and ready to build. During our production process we build approximately 6 houseboats at a time to reach economies of scale to keep costs low for a houseboat of this size and quality.
What makes MetroSHIP different from its competitors?
Many houseboat companies and brands have failed in the past 4 years as a result of the economic downturn that started in 2008 and in part due to the boat industry’s artificially high prices that couldn’t be sustained. Did you know the average price of a Houseboat under 60ft in 2010 was $441,954?! Compare that to a VERY well equipped MetroShip at around $180,000. In 2006 the average price of a Houseboat was $793,912 (and the majority were between 60-84 feet). In addition to offering a great product at a great price … MetroSHIP has been the only company to re-invented the houseboat and provide a quality product for reasonable cost. The designer and owner of MetroShip took 7 years to restructure, design and plan out details of how the boat is built, wired and plumbed. Materials were sought out to create a better functioning houseboat with a better quality of living resulting in a “green” built houseboat (from water-conserving faucets to the use of recycled glass and metals).
Where are MetroSHIPs built?
We build MetroSHIPs just northeast of Atlanta (about 45 minutes from the Atlanta Hartsfield Airport) and about 20 minutes from downtown Athens. The 110ft Mega-MetroSHIP can only be built at a custom boat facility in Albany, NY on the Hudson River due to issues transporting the vessel across land.
Who owns MetroSHIP?
MetroSHIP is owned by GDM Limited Inc., a Florida manufacturing corporation that owns MetroSHED (www.metroshed.com), MetroCABIN (www.metrocabin.com), MetroSOFA (www.metrosofa.com), MetroART and MetroMOTORBIKE (www.metromotorbike.com.)
When was MetroSHIP started?
The process of designing and building the MetroSHIP started in 1998 when the founder, David Ballinger, was at the University Of Westminster in London and living near The Thames River in East London and thinking about how living on the water would provide a cheaper more spacious alternative to his small “shoebox” London apartment. The team that is responsible for building the MetroSHIP have been building and renovating Houseboats for the past 25 years and involved in the production of the MetroSHIP since 2006.
How do I insure a MetroSHIP?
Many insurance companies will insure a MetroSHIP under 50ft. Rates will vary dependent on boating knowledge, value, docking location, engines etc. etc. We have found Markel Insurance to be a good company to start with for your insurance needs – they also provide content insurance for personal possessions on the boat.
What is the process to purchase a MetroSHIP?
If you require financial assistance – please contact your local credit union or bank. We have some helpful resources on our website for financing options – typically you will require a deposit and the term of the loan will vary dependent on credit status. If you do not require financing we can start the process by determining how you will use the MetroSHIP and what kind of space you require. Once you decide on the size of the boat and docking location we start the process to create the interior layout. Once agreed upon we start production of the MetroShip. Payments are usually in four equal sums during the build process. We can offer a ‘Flex Pay’ option / layaway plan to make ownership of a MetroSHIP more manageable and based on your schedule / ability.
We are committed to making the ownership of the MetroSHIP an option for as many people as possible.
Still have questions?
For more information about MetroSHIP please complete the form at top left or call (818) 357-4000.