"The Pride of Buffalo" may be the future of houseboats

Mike Weekes
August 26, 2013

A geometric shaped houseboat called "The Pride of Buffalo" is being displayed at harbors around western New York for the next few weeks. The vessel's builder hopes to inspire others and transform Buffalo's waterfront.

It took Michael Weekes six weeks to build his geodesic houseboat. The
wooden catamaran is currently docked at Buffalo’s canalside for everyone to see. Weekes says he wanted to make sure it was comfortable enough for a tall person like him…

“The boat is 19 feet long by 10 feet wide, that’s the deck, and the cabin itself is 9 feet wide and 15 feet long, and it has a height of 7 feet, 6 inches. I wanted to build a boat that was big enough for a person like myself that is 6’2” without having to bend over like in a sail boat,”

Weekes says he plans to dock the vessel in different watersheds around
Buffalo until it’s time to pack up for the season. He explains its shape provides protection in all weather conditions.

“The geodesic dome is used by FEMA to house people in cases of natural
disaster. This shape has actually been found to resist high winds, even
hurricane force winds better than any other, and it’s because the shape
mimics a drop of water or a sphere,”

The design is also a tribute to architect Buckminster Fuller, who admired
and studied the geodesic shape for years. Weekes says the boat was
towed in this time, but usually moves by paddling it like an Italian
gondola.

“If you notice on the back deck I have a cleat to accommodate one of these
long oars. So by actually standing there sort of like one of the guys in
Venice you’re able to swoosh the oar back and
forth in a certain kind of manor, just like the tail of a fish,”

The cabin is equipped with a cooler, a small propane grille, and storage compartments. Weekes says it cost him less than 12-hundred dollars to build the boat. He encourages others to build one of their own.

“I dream of a Buffalo waterfront where there is dozens of homemade craft
like this, shanty boats if you will, which get my fellow Buffalonians out on
the water affordably and quickly,”