MillieHill20Design

Millie Hill Design Notes

Have you always wanted a waterfront getaway but couldn’t afford the luxury? This cozy retreat is our answer to the problem. Winter, spring, summer or fall imagine yourself anchored in some beautiful backwater in this little vessel. Equipped with a wood cook stove and galley you can catch or bring in the ocean’s bounty or something from Safeway. Have the guys down for a weekend of duck hunting or poker and a pot of chili on the stove. She sleeps four with the settees converting into double berths. The head has a shower and private entrance with a wet hanging locker. There is a dry locker closet near the front deck area. The galley has full standing headroom with comfortable sitting headroom in the settee area for reading, writing or card-playing. The front deck has screening for ventilation in the summer and canvas awning for covered dry storage while on board.

If you don’t want to leave Millie in the water all winter, bring her home on a flat-bed trailer and use her for a guest room during the holidays. However you use this boat, use your imagination and you’ll find that you will also long for a private little get away, easy to keep and easy to keep up.

Update – 2008: After many years and several boats with our old venerable design called the “Millie Hill”, we set about to see what might be done to improve on the older design and build the smallest houseboat/shanty boat cruiser that might be possible to live aboard… and right about that time, along came John Zummo looking for a simple live-aboard. He was living in Friday Harbor Washington at the time and needed more space than the 26 ft plastic powerboat that he lived on could provide. So drawings were dusted off and sketches flashed back and forth in emails, and before long a signed check for down payment was in my hand and was quickly deposited in the bank to start construction. A very simple boat was proposed with a deeper hull than the old “Millie Hill” design and more established room for the twin sized bed… John and his dog would be mates on the new boat and they eventually decided to reside in Olympia, very near my shop.

The new boat floated on her lines when she was launched May 4, 2008 (even with all the gear a live-aboard might have) and with a 10 hp Yamaha hi-thrust outboard, she powers at what I would guess is 5 knots top speed. The covered afterdeck will pay dividends for barbecues on nice days and simply sitting and reading without being in the hot sun… We are thinking of drop down curtains for the winter that would make the afterdeck a covered and weatherproof porch in the winter and help keep the interior dry… Home builder plans are still available for the original design and this newer version should have its plans online in the next couple of months. As per usual for me, during the whole construction process, I kept dreaming of my own “Millie Hill” with a small wood stove in it for some heat on a cool day and a lazy anchorage in some of the quiet coves nearby… That would be a very peaceful and satisfying way to spend some time! — Sam Devlin

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One thought on “Millie Hill Design Notes

  1. Greeetings from Australia,
    I am looking at a simple home build trailable houseboat. The maximum towing width in Australia is 2.5 metres but this includes the trailer wheels, therefore maximum width of the boat would be no more than 2.2 (just over 7′). If we go wider we need a permit which has strict conditions. Have you any alternative designs using flat panels to keep the build simple using stitch and glue method. We would like a simple lightweight houseboat that we can stay overnight then tow back home. Saw the Aqua Casa and like it, but not sure how much support from Berkely Engineering during the build.

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