Float Cabin Moving Day - Tiny House Blog

Float Cabin Moving Day

One of the most frequent questions I get about our float cabin on Powell Lake in Coastal BC is, “Does it move?

I’m sure that’s because the closest thing most people are familiar with is a houseboat. We have a few here on Powell Lake, but a float cabin is permanently anchored to the shore.  In the case of Powell Lake, there are about 200 cabins on Crown water lots leased from the BC government.  Fortunately we have a big lake, so it isn’t crowded.



Now that I’ve told you that the float cabins are permanently anchored in place, maybe I should say semi-permanently.  On rare occasions a cabin needs to be moved.  As you can imagine, moving day up the lake is a big deal.


Cabins are often remodeled at the Shinglemill Marina at the lower end of the lake.  To do this, the cabin is towed down and moored outside the marina’s log breakwater.  This makes construction much easier since our lake sites are water access only. When renovations are done, it’s moving day.


You don’t see it very often, but recently we were involved with a moving day when our friend sold a cabin and moved it to a different site.  Even though a cabin with its float is very large and heavy, it can be easily moved with a small boat.  It’s best to go early in the morning when the lake is calm.  Travel is slow, so you will see people having BBQs and picnics aboard along the way.


After the cabin is in its new location, it’s reattached to the shore.  A log boom is then moved into position for added protection from wave action. Now the cabin’s new owners, Margaret and Art, can enjoy their new floating home away from home.


For more information about float cabin living, you can refer to previous posts here on the Tiny House Blog.  You can also visit my blog at http://PowellRiverbooks.blogspot.com or read Up the Lake and Farther Up the Lake by my husband, Wayne J. Lutz. Both books have lots of information about life in an off the grid cabin. Ordering information for the books and Kindle formats is available at www.PowellRiverBooks.com.

By Margy Lutz, Powell River, BC

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liz - March 28, 2009 Reply

I am delighted to have found you blog and added it to a page I developed yesterday on Sustainable Building & Living … on my blog.

I live in a small rural town in Ireland and we are surrounded by lakes.

Unfortunately we don’t have the same kind of arrangement with our local government regarding mooring of boats … and I don’t think we have any floating homes.

I love the look of them.



p.s. I’m going to have a look at your links and see what I can add to my list. I’ve already had a lot of people click through the page I developed.

The more people that know about their housing options … the better.

Margy - March 29, 2009 Reply

Thanks for the comment Liz. British Columbia has a long history of using floating homes and camps. They were originally used as mobile residences and work platforms for logging and fishing camps. Our landscape is mostly high walled, rocky shores. It was easier to build on float structures than on land. You will find floating fish and logging camps along the coast even in present day. Our lake used to have floating logging camps, but now the cabins are recreational. So far the BC government has been supportive of float cabin owners. We are very careful to take care of the lake’s environment so that we will be allowed to stay. The Cabin Owner’s Association assists with this as well. Let me know if you have any other questions. – Margy

Clinton - March 31, 2009 Reply

I’ve been following the tiny house blog for a short period, but am rather amazed and thrilled to see this post. I grew up in the Powell River area, and a good number of my family do or have owned float cabins on Powell Lake. Unfortunately, there’s now a moratorium on cabins, so these unique getaways will slowly start to disappear. It’s sad to think that they will slowly start to disappear over time.

Thank you for the reminder of home 🙂

Margy - April 2, 2009 Reply

Actually, the moratorium only limits the number of additional cabin sites, so the existing sites can remain. Sales have been fairly brisk lately, so I don’t fear that the existing number of cabins will disappear. We were lucky to purchase our cabin in 2001. There were only two on the whole lake that were available. As you know, many are handed down through the family for generations. Lately, many cabin owners have been either remodeling or totally rebuilding their cabins. To me it looks like they will be here for a long time to come. Hope you come to visit us back in Powell River. If you get up the lake, stop by and say hi. – Margy

    plp - December 18, 2014 Reply

    hello this is a wonderful project you have there.I’m want to know if winter is a big issue with the ice and if you have to own the land where you get the house moored

obat benjolan di ketiak - October 3, 2013 Reply

Unfortunately we don’t have the same kind of arrangement with our local government regarding mooring of boats

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