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1-of-1 Boaterhome Emerges After Years of Neglect. This Man Will Bring It Back to Life

Heavy D. tracked down and bought a unique Boaterhome he plans to restore 48 photos
Photo: YouTube/HeavyDSparks (Composite)
Heavy D. tracked down and bought a unique Boaterhome he plans to restoreHeavy D. tracked down and bought a unique Boaterhome he plans to restoreHeavy D. tracked down and bought a unique Boaterhome he plans to restoreHeavy D. tracked down and bought a unique Boaterhome he plans to restoreHeavy D. tracked down and bought a unique Boaterhome he plans to restoreHeavy D. tracked down and bought a unique Boaterhome he plans to restoreHeavy D. tracked down and bought a unique Boaterhome he plans to restoreHeavy D. tracked down and bought a unique Boaterhome he plans to restoreHeavy D. tracked down and bought a unique Boaterhome he plans to restoreHeavy D. tracked down and bought a unique Boaterhome he plans to restoreHeavy D. tracked down and bought a unique Boaterhome he plans to restoreHeavy D. tracked down and bought a unique Boaterhome he plans to restoreHeavy D. tracked down and bought a unique Boaterhome he plans to restoreHeavy D. tracked down and bought a unique Boaterhome he plans to restoreHeavy D. tracked down and bought a unique Boaterhome he plans to restoreHeavy D. tracked down and bought a unique Boaterhome he plans to restoreHeavy D. tracked down and bought a unique Boaterhome he plans to restoreThe world's most famous Boaterhome is looking for a new owner, will sell at auctionThe world's most famous Boaterhome is looking for a new owner, will sell at auctionThe world's most famous Boaterhome is looking for a new owner, will sell at auctionThe world's most famous Boaterhome is looking for a new owner, will sell at auctionThe world's most famous Boaterhome is looking for a new owner, will sell at auctionThe world's most famous Boaterhome is looking for a new owner, will sell at auctionThe world's most famous Boaterhome is looking for a new owner, will sell at auctionThe world's most famous Boaterhome is looking for a new owner, will sell at auctionThe world's most famous Boaterhome is looking for a new owner, will sell at auctionThe world's most famous Boaterhome is looking for a new owner, will sell at auctionThe world's most famous Boaterhome is looking for a new owner, will sell at auctionThe world's most famous Boaterhome is looking for a new owner, will sell at auctionThe world's most famous Boaterhome is looking for a new owner, will sell at auctionOnly 21 units of the Boaterhome were produced and some are still being used todayOnly 21 units of the Boaterhome were produced and some are still being used todayOnly 21 units of the Boaterhome were produced and some are still being used todayOnly 21 units of the Boaterhome were produced and some are still being used todayOnly 21 units of the Boaterhome were produced and some are still being used todayOnly 21 units of the Boaterhome were produced and some are still being used todayOnly 21 units of the Boaterhome were produced and some are still being used todayOnly 21 units of the Boaterhome were produced and some are still being used todayOnly 21 units of the Boaterhome were produced and some are still being used todayOnly 21 units of the Boaterhome were produced and some are still being used todayOnly 21 units of the Boaterhome were produced and some are still being used todayOnly 21 units of the Boaterhome were produced and some are still being used todayOnly 21 units of the Boaterhome were produced and some are still being used todayOnly 21 units of the Boaterhome were produced and some are still being used todayOnly 21 units of the Boaterhome were produced and some are still being used todayOnly 21 units of the Boaterhome were produced and some are still being used todayOnly 21 units of the Boaterhome were produced and some are still being used today
Fairy-take unicorns are rare and notoriously attention-shy, but this one is even more so. This would be the equivalent of a unicorn of a unicorn of the auto industry. A 1-of-1 Boaterhome has been discovered after years and is now in the process of being brought to life.
YouTubers and influencers are often considered the bane of modern life, not that this is doing much in terms of making them go away. They abound in the auto enthusiast community as well, where they often make headlines for doing the dumbest, most destructive vehicular stunts for clicks. This isn't one of those cases.

HeavyDSparks, aha Heavy D. and David Sparks by his real name, has discovered and is now the owner of not just one of the rarest vehicles in the world but a one-of-one edition of it. It's a truly special, singular Boaterhome boat and motorhome combo that has seen much better days but is hopefully on its way to making a big comeback. The fact alone that it exists and still presents in decent condition is outstanding on its own.

The Boaterhome is often described as the strangest yet most awesome vehicle ever created. Considering the wacky inventions of decades past, which include the functional prototypes that we now call "icons" or "legends," that's quite telling. The description is accurate, though: the Boaterhome is a boat and motorhome combo that rides on a donor van chassis with an integrated trailer, offering unmatched functionality.

Heavy D\. tracked down and bought a unique Boaterhome he plans to restore
Photo: YouTube/HeavyDSparks
Making matters all the more intriguing is the fact that the history of the Boaterhome is murky. Records show that two different companies made a Boaterhome along the years, with no apparent relation to each other.

Sport King from Idaho, U.S., was the first to introduce it in the late '70s and continued selling it until the mid-'80s, while Boaterhome Inc. from Ontario, Canada, presented the Highwave Boatorhome 2000 in 1996. In between these two, some 21 units were produced, according to various reports online.

The Boaterhome Heavy D. traced and ultimately bought was one of them, but it's also unlike any other. According to the seller, this is a 1-of-1 that was built by the U.S.-based maker in 1976. It has three axles in the rear, on the trailer that carries the boat, and uses an FWD Dodge Ram van chassis. This unit also has a wider boat than the others, and it's powered by twin Mercury engines.

Heavy D\. tracked down and bought a unique Boaterhome he plans to restore
Photo: YouTube/HeavyDSparks
The other Boaterhomes still in existence, only a couple of which are still functional units, all ride on double axles at the rear, are based on Ford Econoline vans and came with 8-foot (2.43-meter) wide boats with a single Mercury engine, later replaced by a Mercury Marine 200 hp DFI outboard.

The seller claims that, after they built this one unit with twin Mercuries, each developing 260 hp, they realized that it was simply too much power for what the boat needed and they decided to take one engine out. That sounds like this was more or less a prototype of the production model.

His claims can't be verified because, according to Heavy D. who is now the current owner, the Boaterhome doesn't come with documentation. But the fact that it's different from any other out there is clear and visually verifiable. No wonder then that he's so giddy about the purchase that he can't stop thinking out loud about how he's going to tackle the project.

Heavy D\. tracked down and bought a unique Boaterhome he plans to restore
Photo: YouTube/HeavyDSparks
In all fairness, he needs to do as much thinking as he can before he embarks on what he describes as a potential sum of money pit jobs: fixing an RV, fixing a trailer, and fixing an old truck. Though the Boaterhome presents in decent condition (the dated upholstery fabric is almost intact!), the vehicle has severe water damage, and most importantly, a towing vehicle that is most likely "toast."

Heavy D. also bought a Dodge Sportsman van as a potential donor for the Boaterhome, but he's yet to decide if he wants to fix the cab or replace it with a new, modern one. The latter isn't an idea that he's very fond of, but it seems an easier and wiser decision than trying to fix the original cab.

While he's musing on which option to take, Heavy D. is also planning to get the boat part to water to see if it floats. We're guessing that this will be the factor that will determine whether the project undergoes actual work or is abandoned altogether in favor for another. There's no sense in trying to restore and improve a Boaterhome if the boat part doesn't work as it should.

Only 21 units of the Boaterhome were produced and some are still being used today
Photo: YouTube / Barcroft Cars
Unlike the Boaterhome we've all seen online, which has been so far the most famous and best-maintained example of a Boaterhome, this unit doesn't have a pass-through between cab and boat. Instead, the rear of the cab is closed up, which impacts its usability as a road-going RV.

The appeal of the Boaterhome, described as "the equivalent of a Swiss army knife" with "everything the modern outdoorsman could ever want," was that it could double as an RV and boat trailer at the same time while offering accommodation for as many as 8 people and all the creature comforts of home. Another advantage to the unique build was that launching the boat part at the ramp became much easier, as you simply backed into the water and let the boat slide off.

It was, according to the U.S. maker, "the first motorhome for land and water," and it was priced to match this description. Gas mileage was also a lot, and the two probably worked against the concept of an all-in-one family RV.

Here's to hoping Heavy D. can bring this one back to life.

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Editor's note: Photos in the gallery also show other Boaterhomes.

About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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