Located on the East side of Lake Union, mostly on Fairview Ave E, the Seattle neighborhood of Eastlake is comprised of single family homes, townhomes, condos, and houseboats – the floating homes and housebarges variety. In fact, Eastlake has the largest concentration of Seattle houseboats on Lake Union. It also is home to The Log Foundation which is one of the oldest and most established cooperative of floating homes on the lake. You can find Seattle houseboats for rent or for sale in Eastlake. There are many with rooftop decks and views of the city as well as the Space Needle. Eastlake is also home to The Floating Homes Association.
Located on the West side of Lake Union, the Westlake floating homes community is significantly smaller than Eastlake, but hugely iconic. In addition, there are many liveaboards in Westlake at the various marinas. Westlake is best known as the home of the Sleepless in Seattle houseboat.
Northlake is as the name describes on the North side of Lake Union. This community can also include some of the more northern Seattle houseboats along Westlake Ave N. Floating Homes owners located on docks like Westlake Cove sometimes describe themselves in Northlake rather than Westlake. Across the Fremont Bridge to the North of these is a few docks including Lees Mooring for floating homes and other various houseboat docks. In addition, further to the East is the Seattle Marina and Gasworks Park Marina where you will find the largest concentration of vessel type houseboats or Floating On-Water Residences as they are now officially categorized as.
Around the corner to the West from Westlake is a few docks with vessel type houseboats – like the Nickerson Street Marina. These tend to be the most affordable and smallest of the Seattle houseboats, but should not be overlooked when going over locations of Seattle houseboat living.
The University of Washington actually owns the dock at Boat Street where a few nice floating homes are. They only have a few years left on their lease at this point, so this location may be temporary for floating homes.
Portage Bay is directly South across the Ship Canal from the University of Washington. It is located on the Northern side of Capitol Hill just west of the Montlake Cut. This is the second largest concentration of Seattle floating homes after Eastlake. There is an interesting mix of organized docks as well as one owner docks. A lot of the shore lands have very cool over the water homes on pilings and docks attached to the land with floating homes. Many have been remodeled over the years. There are also a few extremely derelict houseboats in Portage Bay in the less organized areas of the neighborhood. It is exciting for floating home owners to watch the parade of boats going through the Montlake Cut on their way to and from Lake Washington. It is equally exciting for the boaters to take in the sites of this amazing community.