Verified Review icon check navigate-up navigate-left navigate-right expand mail svg-lightning svg-24hr svg-house svg-sleeps svg-bedrooms svg-bathrooms svg-stay svg-toilet calendar svg-report-flag pet-dog svg-multiunit Default Owner Icon heart-filled Family icon
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-829-7076
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-829-7076

A Warm and Cozy 50' Houseboat in a Quaint and Peaceful Marina near the city

Bedrooms 1
Space 350 sq. ft.
Property type house boat


About the property

Built as a small and comfortable condo inside with sun and shade decks outside

The James River can be an awesome place to spend your time during the fall and winter months of the year. With days ranging generally in the high 40's to the mid 60's and nights generally in the 30's/40s. With color spreading from shore to shore, it is hard to find a more beautiful and peaceful place to spend some time or to lay your head. As for the vessel, she is a 50' Chris Craft Houseboat that has been completely remodeled inside and out in order to give our guests a home like atmosphere without losing the feel of being on an old riverboat. It is modern in every sense of the word. It has been reconstructed to have a large bathroom with a full sized vanity, a 4' designer shower, ventilator fans, and its own USCG certified sanitation system. It comes complete with a queen eleven inch memory foam mattress (Sleep Innovations) and high quality bedding, a small but complete galley and a large salon for relaxing. Outside you will find a very large upper deck for morning coffee or sunning that offers great views and a lower covered bow deck.

See attached pictures. But it is not just the GiaMaria that you will enjoy. It is also about her unique location.

The Richmond Yacht Basin is a gated facility for members and guests, yet there is nothing stuffy about it, and it is only 9 country road miles from downtown Richmond. It also has the distinction of being the oldest marina on the James River and its setting cannot be duplicated because it is surrounded by a beautiful island, the Richmond National Battlefield Park and a well kept privately owned farm. It is also only one mile from Osborne Landing, a county owned facility including a new fishing pier, a Bass Master's boat launch, great walking trails along the river, canoe and kayak launch ramps, pavilions for picnics/cookouts, bathrooms and wonderful playgrounds for kids, and it is always kept in tip-top shape, and yet it is all free to the public.

As you approach the marina after a beautiful canopied drive thru the Richmond National Battlefield Park, you will look through very old trees to the marina and river below. You will be on sacred ground from the minute you enter the park because it is a land where so many people and events shaped our nation's history. Some of the historical characters who lived in the nearby Indian settlement of Arrohateck included Chief Powhatan's son, Tanx or (Parahunt) and Pocahontas his daughter, who married her English born husband John Rolfe. Pocahontas and John Rolfe after marriage made their home here as well, and with the aid of many nameless slaves, (black, Indian and white) they saved Jamestown and the first English colonists by producing a type of "Varina" tobacco that would have tremendous economic value in many European countries. It is a spot where Captain John Smith found his "sweet water" during his explorations of the "wilderness" and in later years of sail the area surrounding those springs became a local stop over known as "Sailor's Tavern". People like George Washington, Patrick Henry, Abraham Lincoln, Anne Hill Carter, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Marshall, Susannah Bowling, the Marquis de Layfayette, Benedict Arnold, Gen. Cornwallis and many other great men and women passed thru this oxbow in the James River on their way to transform our nation. Battles on land and in the river were fought here too, during both the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. For example, Benedict Arnold sank the Colonial Fleet in January 1781 before burning Richmond within eye site of the GiaMaria during the Revolutionary War with England. And Union Ironclads like the Monitor and Galena fought other Ironclads like the South's CSS Virginia while trying to pass Drewery's Bluff, the confederate "Annapolis" in order to subdue Richmond, but that never happened.

And Just around the river's bend east of Richmond Yacht Basin is Henricus, the London Company's second settlement after Jamestown in the New World. Unfortunately the original "citie" was destroyed by Opechancanough, Chief Powhatan's successor "brother" during the Indian massacre of 1622.

Today however it is a thriving reconstruction of what it was like in the days of Sir Thomas Dale's early 1600's "town", and many of my guests who have visited there say it is on par with Jamestown.

And just down the road heading east along Route 5 (our Virginia Bi-Way) are plantations like Shirley, still owned and operated by the same family since its beginning in 1613, Berkley, where Taps was first composed and played, and where the first Thanksgiving was held, (probably no turkey included). Westover, the home of President William Henry Harrison (Ole' Tippecanoe), Sherwood Forrest, the home of President John Tyler ("His Accidency") and Evergreen, the birthplace of Edmund Ruffin, who is considered to be the father of modern agriculture and the southern firebrand who is credited with firing the shot that began the Civil War lived nearby too. And these are just a few of the historical events or attractions to be found within a few minutes of the docking space of the GiaMaria, and we haven't even touched on the historical attractions going west on Route 5 into Richmond such as St John's Episcopal Church where Patrick Henry told the King of England, to go to hell, OOPS! I meant to say, "give me liberty or give me death", or Hollywood Cemetery where a great many historical figures are buried like the Presidents Monroe and Tyler a Confererate favorite, JEB Stuart. Within minutes too, if you are Civil War buff, then you are in luck because you will be set squarely in the middle of where the Battle of the Crater took place, as did Cold Harbor, Malvern Hill, White Oak Swamp, Deep Bottom, Chaffin's Farm, Pamplin Historical Park and City Point (Gen. Grants headquarters during the siege of Petersburg) among many other well known and not so well known battle sites and fortifications.

Much about our old and dusty beginnings causes us to be proud and at the same time ashamed of it, but because of the lessons learned from our past, the Richmond area today has become a bright and shiny area said to be set like Rome on seven hills.

For example, there are many and varied museums, river rapids to be enjoyed by those brave enough to take the plunge, sports events of every kind, major universities and hospitals like Virginia Commonwealth University's Medical College of Virginia, world class car races (Richmond International Raceway )and cycling (the UCI world championship 2015) as well as the Richmond Marathon (rated the 18th largest in the nation). There are also restaurants galore from local favorites to world class dining. Richmond is fast becoming a gourmets delight and the Craft Brewery Capital of the South. Chic shopping districts like Carytown, River Road, Short Pump or Stoney Point are all within a short distance, as are outlet malls and several large shopping centers.

Watersports and tours of many kinds are offered in several nearby places. Major garden tours (voted one of the best in the country) like Lewis-Ginter Botanical Gardens or Maymont Park as well as national, state and local parks are all within minutes of the GiaMaria. And in one to two hours by car you can be in the Blue Ridge Mountains or Charlottesville or Virginia Beach or Washington, DC, or Williamsburg or Jamestown, or Yorktown, or Petersburg, or Kings Dominion, or Busch Gardens, and several major outlet malls.

We even now enjoy the Virginia Capital Trail. It is a cycling/walking, running hard surfaced path of 52 miles between Richmond, the Capital of Virginia, and the colonial capitals of Williamsburg and Jamestown. And all of this is only a sampling of what you will find within a stones throw of the GiaMaria.

The area though is also a wildlife lover's delight. There are many native species of plants and animals such as rare Lady Slippers, Bald Eagles, ancient swamps of Cypress and Junipers, Running Cedar, and Song Birds galore. There are Foxes, both red and silver, and occasional Bobcats, beavers and otters. We are also a flyway for many species of animals, such as Butterflies, Ducks, Geese, Humming Birds, Robins, Northern Bald Eagles, and fishes spawning in the spring such as Striped Bass, American and Hickory Shad, eels, and in the fall the ancient Sturgeons that jump out of the water weighing more than 500 pounds.

And if you like fishing, we have both Large and Small Mouth Bass, several species of Catfish, record sized Crappie and several local guides will guarantee that you will catch a catfish of 40 pounds or more during late fall and throughout the winter.

And on a totally different note, if dancing is your thing, then the tobacco company is just down the road where you can party late into the night or we can hook you up with a lively Argentine Tango group for some lessons or a Milonga.

One thing is for sure concerning our area, you will not be hard pressed to find something of interest to fill your time, because it is all here.

So..., come and join the fun. You can relax on the water or go out and explore our wonderful slice of the good ole USA.

More Details


Richmond House Boat Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house boat
Accommodation Type:
  • Bed & Breakfast
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 350 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Check-in: Flexible / Check-out: Flexible
  • Max. occupancy: 4
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters ...
  • pets considered
  • Events Allowed
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only ...
Location Type:
  • Beachfront ...
  • Downtown ...
  • Monument View ...
  • Rural
  • Village ...
  • Water View
  • Waterfront
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Air Conditioning
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave ...
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster ...
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 4 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , shower
  • It is Lipstick red with chair rail, a four foot ceramic designer shower with shampoo, conditioner and body wash furnished. It has a US Coast Guard approved electric toilet with it own sanitation system (no sewage is kept aboard the vessel). The GiaMaria's bathroom also has a large vanity, hot and cold pressurized water, lots of light, exhaust fans, night light, hair dryer outlets, heat, outside view window, and a ceramic tiled floor. You will also find ample towels, etc. in the vanity.
  • 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 4
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 queen
    Main Salon - 1 sleep sofa /futon , sleeper sofa in main salon can accommodate 1 couple
  • The Master's quarters has an eleven inch Sleep Innovations memory foam mattress, high quality bed linens and a seven foot window with a view of the river and the island across the channel. It is carpeted, has heat and air conditioning a small closet, plenty of drawer space, and a bedside night table with a soft glow reading lamp. It is also equipped with a separate 12 volt lighting system. The room is decorated with personal pictures and art from my private maritime collection.
  • Books
  • Stereo
  • Television ...
  • Deck / Patio
  • Kayak / Canoe
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • wheelchair inaccessible
  • autumn foliage
  • botanical garden
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • coin laundry
  • festivals
  • forests
  • library
  • live theater
  • marina
  • museums
  • playground
  • pond
  • recreation center
  • restaurants
  • ruins
  • synagogues
  • theme parks
  • winery tours
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • horseback riding
  • outlet shopping
  • paddle boating
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • basketball court
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • ice skating
  • jet skiing
  • pier fishing
  • rafting
  • sailing
  • swimming
  • water skiing
  • water tubing
  • whitewater rafting
Private river tours are discounted for stay aboard guests. Canoe sailing and kayaking easily arranged as are fishing tours. This is a great place for those who want to paint, write or commune with nature. You are in the country, yet only fifteen minutes from the Governor's Mansion in Richmond, the capital of Virginia.


Excellent! 4.7/5 -
(56 traveler reviews)

80% Complete
16% Complete
0% Complete
1% Complete
1% Complete
A Warm and Cozy 50' Houseboat in a Quaint and Peaceful Marina near the city
average rating of 4.714286 based on 56 reviews
Yorktown, VA

Awesome !!!!! Great place to stay

  • 5 of 5

If I could give this unique spot a 10 star review I would. The boat had plenty of room for myself and my husband and we enjoyed every minute of our stay. It was very clean, decorated well and had the most comfortable bed. The kitchen had everything we needed and the shower was perfect too. Capt. Ron was so very kind and made sure our stay was perfect. I would highly recommend this to anyone wanting something unique and different. The city isn't far and the park that is close by was perfect for riding our bikes to the capital trail. Great job Capt. Ron for making a great place for people to come and visit Richmond.

  • Submitted: Jan 30, 2018
  • Stayed: January 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: One of the many pleasures that i am blessed to receive from providing this unique stay aboard the GiaMaria is knowing that my guests have found at least a moment in time to just relax and take a break from our many stresses. Thank you Mary and Paul
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

Ron is an excellent host and me and my girlfriend enjoyed a great early valentine's on his hiuseboat

  • 5 of 5

We really loved the houseboat, bed is so comfortable, full kitchen, stereo. We saw large flocks of geese, ospreys, deer, ducks. The battlefield park near by has great trails and the river was so soothing.

  • Submitted: Feb 12, 2018
  • Stayed: February 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

Relaxing, comfortable and more than we expected!

  • 5 of 5

Ron was so great to work with, very responsive and friendly. The location of the houseboat was so easy to get to, not too far from 295 with a nearby grocery store and a couple of places to eat if you want to order out. Ron met us at the dock, showed us around, and shared a lot of laughs. My boyfriend and I decided to get food to cook for dinner and take in the view, the boat itself very clean, comfortable and has everything you need. We are thankful Ron accommodated a little bit of a later checkout for us, the bed was SUPER comfy. We were already planning a weekend back before we even left!

  • Submitted: Feb 7, 2018
  • Stayed: February 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

Excellent experience

  • 5 of 5

We loved our stay! Unique, quaint-we cooked our Christmas dinner aboard the GiaMaria-and Captain Ron is most hospitable! All needs are met!

  • Submitted: Dec 26, 2017
  • Stayed: December 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

Awesome and unique.

  • 5 of 5

Captain Ron is a wonderful host. He met us at the boat and shared interesting history about the area as well as himself. The boat felt like home. Very comfortable and had everything we needed for the weekend. It was the perfect location for celebrating my husband's 50th birthday.

We will definitely go back!

  • Submitted: Dec 17, 2017
  • Stayed: December 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

Wonderful, cozy houseboat! We loved it!

  • 5 of 5

We enjoyed our stay on this adorable houseboat! In this quaint marina! Captain Ron was the the best host and we can’t wait to come back!

  • Submitted: Nov 12, 2017
  • Stayed: November 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: ...and I cannot wait for this wonderful family to return.
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

Property Manager

Ronald M. Blaha
Member since: 2015
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within an hour
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
February 15, 2018

About Ronald M. Blaha

I am a retired tugboat company owner/captain who cannot get the James River out of my system, I began going on tugs with my dad when I was just four years old and that was more than 7 decades ago.

Throughout those years I was blessed to meet and befriend people from many seafaring nations and from all walks of life. Sometimes I wondered how some ships ever made it across oceans to come and load cargoes. The Captain's entire family would be living aboard with chickens and goats and dogs and dried fish hanging from many places on the outer decks.

At other times the officers would be in full dress and sail spotless ships into the harbor.

Stories that were told to me I have tried to document in a yet to be published manuscript, (Chosen River) because they were often told from the heart of men who seldom saw their loved ones or who escaped their homeland and probable death for a better life as was the case of a wonderful skipper who told of the atrocities committed by Mao Tse-Tung after the end of WWII.

During those years, I raised a family, built some homes/restaurants, earned a degree from Richard Bland College of the College of William and Mary, with continued ed at Virginia Commonwealth University and University of North Florida.

In 1987, I was appointed by Governor Gerald Balliles as the Maritime Commander for Central Virginia in the Virginia State Guard with the rank of Lt Colonel.

I am currently married to my beautiful wife, Ruth Christiane Rawlings, a Rocky Mountain girl turned Queen of the James who at t age of 60 received a Master of Teaching degree. Ruth has enjoyed a colorful background that spans from raising kids to skydiving as a student with the Golden Knights, to acting as the lead in many plays and musicals such as South Pacific, Zorba, Scrooge, Wait Until Dark and she also has starred in Brigadoon and Pajama Game and later she sang alto with the Richmond Symphony Chorus for seven years.

Ronald M. Blaha purchased this house boat in 2012

Why Ronald M. Blaha chose Richmond

As an older man not ready to sit in a rocker, I decided to buy the GiaMaria and make her into a very unique vessel that would be not only safe and comfortable, but a fun boat as well. I have known this boat all of her life. She was originally built by Chris Craft and now re-built by me. She is a roomy boat and unlike most houseboats she does not rock and roll because she is built on a hull with a vee shape rather than a flat bottom.

I have spent many hours on her and found her to be solid and comfortable and I think you will find the same.

What makes this house boat unique

Each of my guests seems to have found something that they liked about the GiaMaria. For some it has been the comfort of the memory foamed mattress and high quality linens, for others it is the upper sun and viewing deck, still others like the large ceramic shower, some, the shaded forward deck or the large living quarters for lounging or reading. My guests book is filled with interesting things that some guests have shared with me. Read below my latest note from Al and Mary Ann from Pittsburg. It is dated October 24, 2017.

Dear Captain Ron,

"This has been a very memorable experience. We have traveled extensively throughout the world and this overnight stay ranks as one of our most unique. Would love to have spent more time hearing about your life. My only regret is that our children and grandchildren were not here with us. They would have loved it. It would be great if you could plan a trip to Mon River and visit Pittsburg."

Warmest regards,

Al and Mary Ann


Nearest Airport
10 Miles
Richmond International Airport
Nearest Barpub
2 Miles
Lily Pad
Nearest Ferry
30 Miles
Nearest Golf
10 Miles
Rivers Bend
Nearest Train
10 Miles
Nearest Motorway
20 Miles
Richmond International Speedway
Nearest Restaurant
3 Miles
Portabella's - excellent Italian
Nearest Ski
75 Miles
Nearest Beach
5 Miles
Hadad's Beach
Car: necessary

I feel certain that the initial strategy to locate Richmond in its present location was fairly thought out by its original founders.

Being located at the last possible point on the James River where commercial vessels could conduct worldwide trade as well as collect goods from the far interior of the country, was by no means a stroke of luck. On the contrary, it must have been a stroke of genius.

It is about 80 miles from the major ports of Norfolk/Portsmouth and Hampton/ Newport News or the Chesapeake Bay/Atlantic Ocean.

Richmond is also strategically located about 100 miles from Washington DC or the Blue Ridge Mountains and 85 miles from Charlottesville or the North Carolina border.

We are fortunate to have major highways going north and south (I-95), east and west (I-64), circling (I-295 to the east and Rt 288 to the west) and other freeways cris-crossing through Richmond. These routes are Rt 895 (Toll) just south of Richmond and the expressways are the Powhite (Toll), (east to west) and the Richmond Expressway (Toll) that runs through the middle of the city (north to south).

There are also other major routes that cross the city as well including Routes 250, 60, and 360 (east to west) as well as

Routes 1 and 301 (north to south).

With so many major roads leading in and out of the city it is no wonder that we have such a diverse community of people, businesses, religions, educational opportunities, medical facilities, museums, sports events, nightlife and so on.

Richmond has also become a hot spot for fine dining, and craft beer lovers. And there is no shortage of festivals at almost anytime of the year.

Richmond is no longer a backwater town because there is something here for everyone.

Note: if you want to get a feel for the James River, check out the internet video: "On Board With The Henrico Marine Patrol" June 8, 2015. As the longest living professionally licensed captain on the James River, I was honored to give opening comments, mid-video comments and closing comments about our beautiful river.


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Cleaning Fee $20

Rates are subject until reservations are confirmed.

Manager's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if canceled at least 7 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.

You might like these similar properties