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Unique Houseboat with Floating Garden and Open Water Views

Bedrooms Studio
Property type house boat
Minimum Stay 30 nights


About the property

House Boat, Studio + Convertible bed(s), 1 Bath, (Sleeps 2)


This jewel of a houseboat offers the perfect retreat space to get away and relax, to drink in the sunlight shimmering off the water that is a step away from your door. In this peacefulness, you will sleep like never before, rocked gently by the Bay and serenaded by the gentle sound of birdsong and halyards chiming in the marina across the way.

Situated on the quietest of the houseboat docks, this unique home is an actual boat; a historic WW2 Landing Craft cleverly converted, not a floating home on a flat concrete hull like other houseboats. So you will feel her move gently underfoot as you make yourself comfortable here. Her bright yellow walls, whitewashed wainscoting and cheerful Provencal fabrics make her feel like a floating Beach Cottage. Her surprisingly spacious open plan interior (she's 12 feet wide at the beam, and 35 feet long) is comfortably appointed with soft cream carpet, and warm wood floors. There is a cozy sleeping berth at the stern, with windows looking out across a gaily planted window box. Plenty of closet space behind crisp white canvas curtains.

The bathroom has a shower stall and basin, toilet etc (all plumbing and electricity aboard is just like a regular home, you don't need to 'pump the head'). The kitchen is remarkably roomy and equipped with everything you need to make yourself at home, whether brewing a simple cup of tea or creating dinner for four. All the china and glass are high quality owner's favorites. There are stocks of tea, olive oil, and other kitchen supplies so that you can just make yourself right at home. No need to buy up the grocery store before arriving.

The Main Cabin has stunning views across a quiet inlet of the Bay, and you can step right out of the Dutch door to the garden float, into another world. The plantings will make you think you are in England, while the proximity to diving cormorants, geese and ducks swimming by and curious seals surfacing just feet away will make you think you are IN the Discovery Channel.

You can dine in the boat, outside in the garden, or there is a community area at the top of your access ramp with dining table and chairs, plus benches, which you are welcome to use, and enjoy the beautiful sunset views of Mount Tamalpais. The neighbors are friendly and from all parts of the globe, so you will find yourself feeling at home within moments of arriving.

Sunbathe on the back deck on the luxury teak chaise lounge, curl up with a good book on the comfy built-in sofas, or wander the neighboring docks. Explore the extensive bicycle paths surrounding the houseboat community on the bike provided. Rent kayaks from the neighboring beach and explore your waterfront neighbourhood. Swimming Pool in Mill Valley (10 mins by bike) and a Gym at the end of the dock. Enjoy the numerous world class restaurants of Sausalito, many of which are in walking distance.

Across the street from our parking lot is the bus to San Francisco which is a 25 minute ride,or connect to the ferry, just a few minutes away in downtown Sausalito and take a 30 minute ferry ride across the Bay. Drive to the wine country in 30 minutes. Drive to Mill Valley (5 Mins) and up Mt. Tamalpais (15 mins). Muir Woods is 15 minutes away and Stinson Beach is about 1/2 hour away. For delicious pictures of our waterfront way of life, check out the Sausalito Gallery at the web address buoyantlife dot net

Please be aware that the maximum number of guests is two, and that the boat is not suitable for children. THERE IS NO SMOKING ANYWHERE ON THE BOAT OR THE OUTSIDE DECK AND DOCK AREAS.

Please note that Waldo Point Harbor lease does not allow rentals of less than 30 days.

If you are interested in making a booking, please write telling me a little about yourself and what you are looking for in your stay and I can let you know whether the boat is likely to be a good fit e.g. the boat is not suitable for people with mobility issues (steep ramp at low tide) or those suffering from motion sickness. I do this out of respect for my neighbours- We are a quiet community of long term permanent residents. Thank you for understanding and I look forward to talking with you.

Keywords: Houseboat

More Details

Vanda Marlow
Member since: 2009
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within a day
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
May 3, 2017

About Vanda Marlow

I am originally from England - my friends call me Brit by the Bay. My business card says 'Coach:Muse:Freedom Finder' and I feel blessed to get paid to do work that I love.

Vanda Marlow purchased this house boat in 2003

Why Vanda Marlow chose The Bay Area

I fell in love with life on the waterfront here in this unique houseboat community when I was traveling through California, taking a sabbatical from my hectic life in London. And now I am lucky enough to live here full time. I love my little boat, and its history, which I am happy to share with you; she is a converted World War Two Landing Craft (although I don't think she actually saw action on the beaches of France - she seems in too good a condition for that!). Initially I rented her from her previous owner, Marta, who had lived aboard for almost thirty years. Marta and I became good friends - she was full of tales from the early days of people settling these docks. When Marta died I was able to buy the boat from her children and do some substantial upgrading, while keeping all the charm of the original intact. I live with my husband on a nearby dock, and on a sunlit morning when he drops me off here by Boston Whaler, to write, putter in the garden and daydream on the chaiselounge, my heart is filled with gratitude for this extraordinary gift of a floating life- it's a far cry from the chilly north of England where I was born!

What makes this house boat unique

Among all the houseboats here in the community, the floating garden that I have created here, and the wide open water view is unique. To sunbathe on the chaise with a good book, or to curl up there with a cosy blankie and a glass of wine and watch the moon rise over Angel Island and the Forest of Masts (that's my name for the marina in the distance) is to enter another world. In the distance is the historic steamer Vallejo, where Alan Watts lived (British writer/teacher- among the first to bring zen teachings from East to West in 50s and 60s) and you can see the pilot house in which he did all his writing). And the gentle rocking of the boat is so soothing- all the modern houseboats are built up on a concrete hull, so you don't get that feeling, and you are further from the water surface - there are only 4 boats left in our community in this original condition.

Guestbook comments from the owner

It is Sunday morning and the sunlight is streaming in through the windows here on the houseboat. The air is fresh and the water is rippling. Flowers are nodding and cats are dozing. This is glorious peace! We have sat out in the floating garden and seen rainbows. We have enjoyed cozy meals in the sweet main room. The bedroom and bed are a cozy little dream nest. All is well.Thank you and thank you for creating and sharing your little slice of heaven on earth with us. It feels as though a good friend has offered up her home to us. We leave restored and very content!
Jul 2009
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Sausalito House Boat Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house boat
  • Guests provide their own meals
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 2
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters
  • not suitable for children
  • pets not allowed
  • non smoking only ...
Location Type:
  • Mountain View
  • Waterfront
  • Away From It All
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Broadband Access
  • Fitness Room / Equipment ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Parking Off Street
  • Towels Provided
  • Wireless Internet
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Refrigerator
  • Dining Area
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 -
  • 1
  • Studio, Sleeps 2
  • Double Beds (1), Sleep Sofa or Futons (1) Queen size
  • Books
  • Music Library ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • wheelchair inaccessible
  • cinemas
  • health/beauty spa
  • live theater
  • museums
  • restaurants
Leisure Activities:
  • boating
  • horseback riding
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • fitness center
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • hiking
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • sailing
  • surfing
  • swimming
  • tennis
Large Floating Garden attached to boat,Bicycle,iPod docking station with ipod,Poetry Books,Local History Books,yoga mat, bolsters and blocks.


Exceptional! 5/5 -
(12 traveler reviews)

Unique Houseboat with Floating Garden and Open Water Views
average rating of 5.0 based on 14 reviews

Magical! Magical! Leave the rest to your imagination because this floating abode is llike no other

  • 5 of 5

Magical! Magical! Leave the rest to your imagination because this floating abode is llike no other place on earth!

  • Submitted: Nov 5, 2016
  • Stayed: Oct 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you Debbie, I'm so glad that you enjoyed your stay, you were the perfect guests!
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Gorgeous little houseboat with heaps of character

  • 5 of 5

Loved our stay... we used to sit on the little deck and watch the comings and goings of boats and seals... Good restaurants within walking distance and bus or ferry to San Francisco. A definate goer for anyone who wants time out, but still the option of coming and going to tourist attractions. Not luxurious, but quaint and an unforgettable experience. Vanda is a wonderful hostess, she stocked the fridge with gourmet treats and even some bubbly!

  • Submitted: Aug 31, 2016
  • Stayed: Aug 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: I am so glad that you enjoyed yourselves so fully, and thank you so much for leaving the boat in such pristine condition- truly, it was a delight to enter after you left, and find it so clean and clearly so loved. Best guests ever!
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Special little houseboat

  • 5 of 5

My husband and I feel blessed to have been able to stay on this very special little houseboat. From the moment you step onboard you feel it's serenity. It is well stocked with everything you need. You are a short drive to Muir Woods, the coast, San Francisco and the wine country. The floating garden is a wonderful place for morning coffee or happy hour in the evening. We loved staying there and will be back!

  • Submitted: May 10, 2016
  • Stayed: Apr 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: It was lovely to meet you both, and thank you for enjoying and taking such good care of the 'little boat'. I hope you'll come and stay again next time you are up this way. Best wishes, Vanda
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Stanwood, Wa.

Peaceful, Quaint , Relaxing Houseboat

  • 5 of 5

My husband and I rarely get to spend time together and we were in heaven relaxing in Vanda's amazing little houseboat ! Beautiful scenery, quiet , yet close to San Francisco, and a short drive to the coast. The decor and amenities make you want to stay forever! We will be back!

  • Submitted: Apr 11, 2016
  • Stayed: Mar 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Nancy, I'm so glad you enjoyed your stay, and thank you for taking such good care of the boat and the flowers in the garden- you left it pristine!
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San Rafael, CA, USA

A wonderful and unique experience

  • 5 of 5

My fiancé and I were lucky enough to spend 4 months on this magical little boat and are so much the better for our time there. The boat itself is an incredible space where you can access relaxation and comfort the minute you walk in the door. Everything you could need is in the boat, including a spectacular garden on the back float that is an escape within itself. The feeling of being surrounded by other houseboats, open water, and a variety of aquatic life (seals, ducks, herons) is certainly one that will stay with us. Whether for months or just a night, I would really recommend at that find a way to stay here.

We also really enjoyed forging a friendship with Vanda, the owner of the boat and a resident of one of the neighboring docks, in our time there. We will certainly be in touch for years to come and it was a joy getting to know her and staying in this space that she lovingly cares for.

Hard to describe what a wonderful place this is, so I would go and see for yourself :)

  • Submitted: Apr 6, 2016
  • Stayed: Dec 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you Emma and George! It was a pleasure to rent to you- you were super nice and considerate guests! and I am so delighted that you are now going to be permanent neighbors on the waterfront- it is addictive isn't it? To others reading George's review, I am very happy to welcome you to this very special place, but sadly you cannot come for 'just a night' because of the Harbor regulations regarding length of rental period:-) Contact me for details.
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Magical... that's the only word that appropriately describes how awesome this place is.

  • 5 of 5

My wife and I had the opportunity to stay at this location for our 2-year wedding anniversary. We wanted to stay somewhere romantic, somewhere close to TONS of great restaurants, and great hiking. This place totally fits the bill. We arrived early and couldn't believe how impossibly cute the place was. The impeccable attention to detail in the decorations, the warm welcome message from Vanda, the view from the back deck, it all was... well... MAGICAL. We coined the place #magicalhouseboat whenever we posted about it, because that's what it was. A magical house boat. We really couldn't have been more pleased with the accommodations and endless activity possibilities in the area. We were sad when we had to leave but decided we'll most definitely be back next year. This is a true gem, an exceptionally romantic and adorable experience. We loved it.

  • Submitted: Aug 7, 2015
  • Stayed: Jul 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: I am so happy that you enjoyed your stay aboard, and delighted to share this beautiful slice of paradise with you- I look forward to welcoming you back. Thank you for being such super guests and for taking such good care of her!
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Car: recommended


Rates & Availability

Sausalito House Boat Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event
My Standard Rate
30 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

Refundable damage deposit $250
cleaning $100

Refundable Security Deposit (against Damages) of $250 is required.
$100 Cleaning fee
No Children or Pets
No Smoking anywhere on the property or environs

payment by Paypal

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.

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