Do Houseboats Rock? Here Are The Facts (Two Houseboat Types)

In Boating by Morten Storgaard

Many people who live on houseboats are faced with the question about whether or not they can cause seasickness. Do they move a lot in the water, and can this cause you to get queasy?

Do Houseboats Rock?
Houseboats will rock and move along with the surface of the water. Stationary floating homes are built on a platform and will rock less than houseboats that are made to be moved around. 

This article will answer some of those questions.

Stable Mooring Makes A Difference

Some houseboats are more like floating homes. They are built on a platform and they are not built to be moved. Other houseboats are more like ordinary boats that can be moved using a built-in engine or they can be towed.

When we’re dealing with floating homes that are stationary homes they will be less likely to rock.

When they are docked safely in a marina, there is minimum movement as they are not on the water.

Other types of houseboats are basically just boats with a large living area. Most of the time, these houseboats won’t be on the waves, which can cause seasickness.

Many boats are secured to shore, which will prevent too much movement from happening. Even with severe winds, it’s unlikely that the boat will rock very much.

Another thing to keep in mind is that houseboats are really heavy. The average weight will depend on the type and size of the boat. This heaviness means that they won’t be rocked as much.

Weather and Seasickness Issues

In really severe weather, it is possible that the boat will rock a lot and you can feel seasick. Most of the time, when they are docked at a marina, you won’t see that they are rocking too much.

Taking out a site in sheltered water will do a lot to prevent you from feeling too seasick.

Dealing with Seasickness On A Houseboat

After about the second day on the boat, you will feel better and more adapted to the conditions. It depends on the person. If they get seasick on smaller boats, then they might be more likely to get sick on larger ones as well.

Look into where your cabin is as well.

The ones that are more level and on the lower floors tend to be more stable and to rock less. Higher up cabins might rock more, and this can cause feelings of seasickness. You can try either going outside and getting fresh air. Spending the majority of your time outdoors will help to combat the feelings of being seasick or nauseous.

Also, try getting a spot that is closer to the bottom of the boat so you can prevent seasickness. Try out different spots on the boat and see which one works out better for you and your stomach.

Of course, there are some people that won’t get nauseous onboard houseboats, while others will no matter where they are, but it’s important to test out different areas.

The closer your cabin is to the center and the bottom, the better.

If your cabin has a bunk bed in it, try to sleep in the one that is lower.

Staying closer to the center of gravity can help your body to maintain a feeling of balance. Try not to be at the far end of the boat, so as to avoid the pendulum effect if it is rocking.

Ways to Prevent Seasickness

There are a few ways that you can take preventative measures to try to stop the possibility of getting queasy while using a houseboat.

The first is to take medication.

There are also certain beverages that you can take to help to reduce seasickness. Gingerale and Coca Cola are two of them.

Natural Remedies for Seasickness

One method to reduce seasickness is to tilt your head to the side. Another one is to close your eyes, and this will prevent your eyes from sending mixed messages to the brain. On the other hand, some say to keep your eyes open and to stare at a far off target to help to steady the feelings of seasickness.

This is a good thing to do regularly if you are feeling seasickness as you enter a houseboat. If you plan on living full-time or part-time on a boat you need to figure these things out first.

Another natural method to help to combat seasickness is to take really deep breaths. There is a Chinese acupressure method used that applies pressure to the inside of wrists to redirect blood flow and help to ease symptoms of nausea.

If the weather permits, stepping outside the boat and getting fresh air can help a lot. Where you’re on the houseboat will make a big difference in whether or not you get seasick.

There are pressure bands and battery-operated bands available that will help you to ease the symptoms of nausea.

Your diet can play a big part in how you experience nausea. Bland foods help you to absorb stomach acid and to reduce feeling nauseous. Some people swear by the BRAT diet– that is, Bread, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast.

Foods that are fried, greasy, overly sugary or too heavy can take longer to digest and make you feel nauseous. Salty foods such as saltines or crackers can help you to feel less nauseous.

Crystallized ginger is another kitchen pantry remedy that is delicious and effective in quelling nausea.

You can also take the helm to help against the feeling of being seasick. Having control of the boat as well as looking at the horizon can help you not to feel seasick.

Preparing For Seasickness

Taking a few precautions before boarding a houseboat can make a big difference in preventing the amount of seasickness that you experience.

The first one is to avoid taking too much alcohol the night before or even while you’re aboard the boat.

This helps you to stay properly hydrated and helps the part of your brain that renders balance to be working correctly.

About Seasickness

Even the most experienced people will get seasick from time to time. Preparing for your trip beforehand with the right cabin placement and medicines will go a long way in helping you to prepare for your trip and make it more enjoyable.

For the most part, in fair weather, houseboats do not rock. However, if you have nausea, you can help remedy it.