The Heidi-Ho is one such solution. Not content with being just a nice tiny that offers freedom of movement and a more compact layout for downsizing, or a houseboat you can casually sail away with, it’s a beautiful and well-executed combination of both. Heidi-Ho is a tiny houseboat, seemingly the one thing that brings together the best of both these worlds, by bridging the gap between them.
Heidi-Ho was completed in late 2019, on a design by Scott Cronk and with help from F&S Houseboats. Speaking with the media that year about how the idea for it came to be, Scott revealed he had sold his house in Santa Rosa, Northern California after the wildfires of 2017, relocating to the Palm Springs area in Southern California. He built the Heidi-Ho as a temporary residence for himself, so he could still visit with the friends he had left back home, a sort of home away from his newer home.
These technicalities aside, the Heidi-Ho stands out as a beautiful example of alternative housing, which further expands on the sense of freedom either a tiny or a houseboat offers on its own. It’s perfectly road-legal with some adjustments and a towing vehicle, and can smoothly sail on calm waters as well. It might just be the perfect solution for an adventurer, or anyone in general looking to go remote and mobile.
Aesthetically, the Heidi-Ho is a typical tiny house, with its wood and black metal siding. It sits on a single-axle trailer which, in turn, sits on a 30-foot pontoon (9.1-meter). In road mode, you simply unhook and unload the trailer from the pontoon, and tow it as you would any other towable, including a tiny house. The deck of the pontoon, which is 11.5 feet (3.5 meters) in width on the water, can fold down to 8.5 feet (2.5 meters), so it can be placed on a trailer too, for easy transport on the road.
In water mode, the Heidi-Ho is powered by a Suzuki onboard engine developing 115 hp. Further details were never made public, but like most houseboats, it’s unrealistic to expect it to hit speedboat speeds. A 175 W solar panel array helps with onboard hotel functions.
Since you can’t speak of a house, be it tiny or not, floating or not, without a toilet, the Heidi-Ho has it. There’s a small bathroom on board, with a composting toilet and a shower, and some space for storage. Interior styling is simple, with certain rustic vibes: wooden countertops and cabinetry, plywood-clad walls, and versatile, multi-purpose furniture. Heidi-Ho is unpretentious, but not in the least cozy or pretty because of it.
Perhaps the highlight of Heidi-Ho, aside from its dual-travel-mode capabilities, is the open deck. When traveling on water, the tiny opens up completely at the rear, giving access to the deck, which has been equipped with DeckMate lounge chairs, so you can effectively add an al fresco living room to the short list of amenities available. At night, mosquito nets should keep the interior pest-free for a restful night’s sleep. A swim ladder turns this exterior lounge into a beach club.
Entertainment options are included – besides those usually afforded by tiny house ownership, like intentional living and more opportunities to enjoy an outdoorsy life. Scott made sure to put in a stereo system with four ceiling speakers and a digital TV antenna. After all, as much as we all like to get away from it all every once in a while, it can get tiresome after some time.
Update, January 3, 2023: We've heard from Scott, and the story has been updated accordingly. Heidi-Ho is off the market.