If you love houseboats or floating homes, you may want to make a walking tour of the famous Sausalito Floating Homes part of your next trip to the San Francisco Bay area. I thought I would profile these particular floating homes because the community is maintained by homeowners and individuals rather than city officials. This makes this waterside neighborhood unique in that the designs of these homes, that are docked in Richardson Bay, are up to the owners.
The famous Sausalito floating homes community has a history that stretches over a century. During the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s improvised floating homes made from scrap wood, old tugboats, elegant ships and even old Pullman cars were built by professional artists, and since the dock areas were so small, most of the floating homes stayed small. Some of these homes are now offered as vacation rentals and there are usually a few for sale. Some of the homes have names including the Taj Mahal, the Train Wreck and the Pirate.
A paid walking tour of the houseboats in the Liberty Ship shipyards area and the yacht harbors of Sausalito is offered on Saturdays and Sundays by a local guide. During the tour you’ll also see a few of the battered survivors from the old era of improvised houseboats. Some docks are lined by beautiful flowers in containers that are tended by the owners as their “front yards”, and many of the homes are decorated with ship’s bells and wheels, barometers, compasses, fishnets, flags, pennants and ensigns, colored buoys, paddles and oars, decoys, and other nautical paraphernalia.