By Justin Julian - Upper Peninsula, Michigan - USA

Hi Chuck,

Our family wanted to enjoy our local remote lakes, with five people and a dog our 21’ Lake Superior boat wouldn’t do the job.  We looked at houseboats but couldn’t find anything trailerable.  So with the Upper Peninsula of Michigans long winters and our large heated shop we decided to build what we wanted.

Our plan was to start on the hull.  After doing research on hull designs we found an old production boat manufacture (Yukon Delta).  The hull design was just what we were looking for and just happened to find one on Ebay.  This would save two to three months of construction time.  A call and 1,800 miles later we had our hull.  What a wreck!

The boat when we bought it in W. Virginia

We stripped it down to bare glass, ground and glassed new stringers, floor supports and transom to handle the new outboards, previously had I/O.  Power was decided to be two Yamaha high thrust T-60 four strokes.  The boat was originally rated for 250 hp but it’s a houseboat not a ski boat.  For the floor we used ½”marine ply., then 1” holes were drilled every foot and filled with USCG app. foam from hull to floor then encapsulated in glass.

hull stripped and sanded ready to apply stringers and floor ribs
The bottom of the hull after sanding and painting
Top of floor after foam, glass and paint


The walls, cabin top and fly bridge were made with ¾” ply. for studs and joists then ¼ Baltic birch ply. was glued and screwed and 6 oz. cloth was applied to the exterior with West System epoxy.  All wood was sealed with epoxy.

Our son Jared with rear cabin wall
Assembly of walls
Fabing of cabin roof
Roof, fly bridge and front wall installed
fitting engines
Front deck after application of non-skid, note anchor closet, live well and step
Rear live well

Once the boat took shape after all the filling, faring, sanding, sanding and more sanding. Finally PAINT!

Rigging and electrical was a job with dual helms and dual power with hydraulic steering.  The boat was set up to be self-sufficient, with inverter, converter, 2000 watt generator and 80 amp solar panel, 3 way fridge/freezer, furnace, hot water heater, 20” LCD HD TV, lower helm rear camera, two livewells, color underwater camera, upper deck has enough space for three kayaks and seating.  Just too much stuff to list.

The upper helm with foldable windscreen
Lower helm controls
Upper helm and solar panel
Blue LED lights installed all around exterior for night light (looks neat too)

Last summer we launched it, with sparse interior (incase we needed to change something).  Wow it floats! And where it should.  After firing up the engines, unbelievably quiet.  Cast off, we’re on our way!  The boat performs even better than I hoped.  The rest of the summer was spent fishing and cruising lakes.

Maiden voyage on Lake Gogebic...
... which is in Gogebic county in the Upper Peninsula of MI

This past winter we finished the interior.  We designed and constructed the cabinets that were made from black ash and black walnut from my uncles.  Wallpaper, trim and the final touches were added.  Now all we need is a name.

Lower helm seat with shelves for underwater camera, Xbox, boat manual, and propane shut off valve
Galley cabinets
Head storage and access to dual motor controls
Magazine and DVD storage
Looking forward from rear cabin door

We all look forward to this summer, we thought and dreamed all winter about our next adventures.  The time and memories spent with family building her will not be soon forgotten.  I think any family should find some project to put together.  This has furthered our children’s knowledge and brought us closer together.  We enjoyed it so much our next will boat will be Brian Dixen’s Alaskan, coming soon.

On Lake Victoria in Ontonagon county in the UP

Here is my Email in case someone has a question. -

Justin, Brenda, Jared, Justine Julian and Andy Zogg


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