Bonnie Vanasse Cover

My fascination with houseboats really started when I saw a video tour of Bonnie's houseboat, the River Den, on the Exploring Alternatives YouTube channel. I've been trying to get her on the show ever since. It turns out I had no idea that Bonnie was a talented entrepreneur who has multiple houseboats and unique Airbnb stays. In this interview, we go through the ins and outs of what it takes to actually build a floating house on the water and also some insight about how Bonnie thinks about designing these homes and her philosophy on building.

In This Episode:

  • Can a boat be a 4-seasons abode?
  • Doing what you love with people you love
  • The River Den: an overview
  • Sometimes you have to tap into your inner pirate
  • Recycled materials and innovation
  • Greywater and toilets on the water

Links and Resources:

Guest Bio:

Bonnie Vanasse

Bonnie Vanasse

Bonnie is the daughter of a Quebecois log driver and she grew up on the river driving boats and living on islands. She's passionate about artistic living and designing dens. Her full-time job is taking care of her boats for your enjoyment and designing new spaces to mesmerize you. She can also be found working on a construction project of her own, an island meditation retreat.


This Week's Sponsor:

Tiny House Decisions Cover

Tiny House Decisions

Tiny House Decisions is the guide that I wish I had when I was building my tiny house. And it comes in three different packages to help you on your unique tiny house journey. If you're struggling to figure out the systems for your tiny house, how you're going to heat it, how you're going to plumb it, what you're going to build it out, then tiny house decisions will take you through the process systematically and help you come up with a design that works for you. Right now I'm offering 20% off any package of Tiny House Decisions for podcast listeners. Head over to and use the coupon code tiny at checkout!


More Photos:

The River Den

The River Den terrace

There are special floats that allow the River Den to float on the ice


There are many homey accents that make the River Den look cozy




The sleeping loft has 5-ft ceilings


Bonnie Vanasse 0:00

Yeah, we had this awesome project together. And so it's partly because I was in love and partly because I wanted to something that would earn some money. And for me, it's always like wrapped up these projects. It's, it's about doing things that I love with people I love.

Ethan Waldman 0:17

Welcome to the Tiny House Lifestyle Podcast, the show where you learn how to plan, build and live the tiny lifestyle. I'm your host, Ethan Waldman, and this is episode 164 with Bonnie Vanasse. MYy fascination with house boats started when I saw a video tour of Bonnie's House boat, the River Den, on the Exploring Alternatives YouTube channel, and I've been trying to get her on the show ever since. It turns out, I had no idea that Bonnie was a talented entrepreneur, multiple houseboats and unique Airbnb stays. In this interview, we go through the ins and outs of what it takes to actually build a floating house on the water. And also some insight into how Bonnie thinks about designing these homes, and her philosophy on building. It's a really cool conversation, and I hope you stick around.

I want to tell you about something that I think will be super helpful as you plan, design and build your tiny house. Tiny House Decisions is the guide that I wish I had when I was building my tiny house. It comes in three different packages to help you on your unique tiny house journey. And if you're struggling to just figure out the systems for your tiny house, you know, like how you're going to heat it, how you're going to plumb it, you know what construction technique Are you going to use like sips or stick framing or steel framing, tiny house decisions. We'll take you through all these processes systematically, and help you come up with a design that works for you. Right now I'm offering 20% off any package of Tiny House Decisions for listeners of the show, you can head over to slash/THD to learn more, and use the coupon code tiny at checkout for 20% off any package. Again, that's slash/THD and use the coupon code tiny for 20% off.

All right, I am here with Bonnie Vanasse. Bonnie is the daughter of a Quebecois log driver and she grew up on the river driving boats and living on islands. She is passionate about artistic building and designing dance. Her full time job is taking care of her boats for your enjoyment and designing new spaces to mesmerize you. She can also be found working on a construction project of her own an island meditation retreat. Bonnie Vanasse, welcome to the podcast.

Bonnie Vanasse 2:52

Hello, Ethan.

Ethan Waldman 2:54

Thanks for being here. This interview I feel like has been in the works for maybe years. You're hard to pin down.

Bonnie Vanasse 3:04

Yeah, I don't have very good cell phone reception at most of my locations.

Ethan Waldman 3:08

Yeah. So you're actually we're catching you in the airport, because you get better cell reception there. So I really appreciate it. And I guess I want to jump right in. There is a video tour of your houseboat, the River Den, that has been viewed over 3.8 million times. I just want to start congratulations on that.

Bonnie Vanasse 3:14

I would like to say congratulations to Exploring Alternatives on that. That Matt and Danielle did an awesome job on the video and they have a great following of people so really kudos to those guys and they have brought so much publicity to the boat. It's awesome.

Ethan Waldman 3:48

Yeah, that that they have and they've actually I'll link to an interview that I did with them on this show a couple years ago now but Yeah, I agree they are wonderful people and their their YouTube channel Exploring Alternatives is just a wealth of tiny house inspiration. How has How has that affected has that affected you like having being that public or like being out there so much on the internet?

Bonnie Vanasse 4:15

Um, I'm sure that a lot of bookings have come through people seeing the video but also because of our success through Airbnb, which kind of I guess, I'm not sure if it's really from the video I'm sure it definitely helps. But I think the video has been viewed like a lot around the world and not so much like for people coming to visit this area of Canada, but I think it's inspired a lot of people so that I'm really happy about.

Ethan Waldman 4:41

Yeah, I mean, as somebody who lives very close to a body of water. You know, I'm in Vermont very near Lake Champlain. When I first saw the video, I was like, I want to build a houseboat and put it on Lake Champlain. Yeah. And then I found out that it wasn't that easy to do here from a legal perspective and also The lake freezes. And so you know, it would be a seasonal thing, But enough about me. So I'm curious, you

Bonnie Vanasse 5:09

know, but just just a little side note that actually my boats are foour season - they stay frozen in the ice. They're built with special floaters that that can handle the the impact of the ice and that are actually built for it. So it's possible.

Ethan Waldman 5:24

So cool. I agree. It's possible, logistically, but it's more finding. Yeah, you know, or a place that will allow you to keep your boat in the winter.

Bonnie Vanasse 5:35

You really have to be a pirate. Yeah, there's there's not much infrastructure for. Yeah, or like a framework and in most municipalities, rural rural municipalities. Anyway, there's, you know, there's marinas in bigger cities, but then you're living at a marina with, you know, right bunch of dock neighbors. It's not the best.

Ethan Waldman 5:53

So I'm curious if you can take us back to before you built the River Den, was this something that you did as an entrepreneurial project? Like you knew you were gonna rent it out? Or was it something that you built thinking that that you were going to live in it full time?

Bonnie Vanasse 6:11

Well, I've built it as an entrepreneurial project in part. But also just because I wanted to do something cool with the guy I was dating at the time, who was like a full on pirate, he had built these crazy boats, and I wanted to have a connection with him. And I wanted to do something together. So right around that time, I bought an island, and I had started the construction of a meditation center. And I knew I needed some extra revenue to pay for the construction project. So I had the idea of building a floating tiny home. And I hired him and his crew, and we designed and built this while they've really built it. I designed it with them. But yeah, we had this awesome project together. And so it's partly because I was in love, and partly because I wanted to something that would earn some money. And for me, it's always like, wrapped up these projects. It's, it's about doing things that I love with people I love.

Ethan Waldman 7:04

Nice. I like that so much. In the River Den I will link to the tour on the show notes page. It is it actually like it, it seems like it was made with such love. Like there are so many handcrafted details and kind of whimsical things about it that it just, it looks like it would be a really fun place to be with somebody that you love.

Bonnie Vanasse 7:27

Yeah, we have a really awesome guest book. And it's so fun to go in and read all the notes of the people who are so inspired staying there. It's really something special as

Ethan Waldman 7:37

well, um, maybe you could just tell us some basics about the River Den, you know, like, how big is it? How much did it cost to build? You know, just some kind of basic stats?

Bonnie Vanasse 7:49

Sure, yeah. So it's 33 feet long. It's a two story. There's a sleeping loft upstairs, which has a five foot ceiling. And it has some pretty cool designs to be able to move and be within the legal limits on the road. So there's like the roof drops down. There's all these little features so that we could have got we were able to get it from the boat yard to the launch. Get under the wires and everything. Yeah, so it has some pretty cool design features in that way. Yes, 33 feet long, 10 feet wide. There's a rooftop deck, we actually just had the week - this last week calendar was blocked off because we did a whole re structuring of the roof and added on a porch. So now there's a really big terrace upstairs. It's pretty cool. Nice. I don't actually know how much it costs to build. But I could tell you that the floats were $12,000 roughly. So there's five custom built floats that are 30. I think there's 31 feet long. Okay. There are these special floats that are they're built all over the place contractors have have have deals with the manufacturer, you know, to make them. So we had ours from a company that was in come back here. And yeah, the floats are pretty expensive, but it's like the foundation of the house. So it's right. It's all relative, right?

Ethan Waldman 9:12

Yeah. And so you are these the floats that you mentioned a little earlier that they they are designed to be frozen? And yes.

Bonnie Vanasse 9:20

Yeah. So they're built, it's, um, there's foam, and inside, it's filled with foam. And then the outside is ABS plastic, which is not actually enclosed. So there's, they have the capacity to expand and the ice and water actually goes inside of them. And it kind of stabilizes things that it holds things pretty steady in the water. Okay. Yeah,

Ethan Waldman 9:40

I was I was wondering about that because I'm, I'm the kind of person who can get a little motion sick on a on a boat, you know, especially if it's really choppy. So So it sounds like this boat is maybe a little sturdier than, than like a boat that you'd go cruising around in.

Bonnie Vanasse 9:56

Yeah, I mean, when you're in the boat, it's pretty stable, but when you're walking onto the boat from the gangplank, the all the weight is cantilevered. So then like when you're walking on and off the boat moves quite a bit. But once you're on the boat, you're contained within, you know, the balance point of it pretty much So yes, yeah, the center of gravity, you're close to it, so it doesn't move that much. But in the waves, it moves and you get the feeling like I've been on the boat all week doing the renovation. And this morning, I woke up in my bed, which is not an a boat. And I felt like I was still moving. So like, if you spend enough time on the water, you kind of have this feeling. It's like this kind of motion in your body gets used to it. And it's pretty neat.

Ethan Waldman 10:37

Yeah, yeah, exactly. I've experienced that feeling before I'm not. I've long time ago, I was really into surfing. And I remember like, if I did a lot of surfing in a day, that night, you know, you're lying in bed and you feel like you're lying on that surfboard in the ocean, like bobbing up and down.

Bonnie Vanasse 10:56

I love it. It's such a nice rhythm. Yeah.

Ethan Waldman 10:59

What? What are some other so you've you've shared that the pontoons are very expensive. And that's, you know, people who are building a tiny house on wheels kind of also have it in their head. Okay, my trailer, my special tiny house trailer is going to be really expensive. What are some other considerations that you would share? Maybe some advice? If you could go back in time and give yourself advice on you know, what are some things to look out for? What are some considerations if you're thinking about building a houseboat?

Bonnie Vanasse 11:28

I guess, like you were saying, about finding a place to put it, it's actually really easy to build. It's just like building a little tiny house on a on a floating deck. It's like just to build it on a barge or dock, whatever. So it's like you build this like this really kick ass barge. And then you just build a cabin on it. And you run a wire, you put a motor mount and then you have a motor and a helmet inside. And then it's a houseboat. So it's really it's very similar to building a tiny house like you'll have all the same considerations like you need proper flashing, you know, proper roof, proper siding, Windows doors, it's kind of pretty straightforward.

Ethan Waldman 12:06

Is there any like special upkeep that's required? I would imagine that being literally on the water. Things like the siding and the flooring, they have to be able to get wet.

Bonnie Vanasse 12:20

Not really, actually, I mean, the siding. The siding doesn't really get wet from the water that it's sitting on from the body water, which is the river. I mean, it gets rained on like a regular house, but there's no special No, it's I spent the winter down south this year and I actually bought a houseboat and I saw a sailboat and I lived on the boat for a little while and I got to know like saltwater vessels of it. And all this fiberglass and like special boat stuff. It's in saltwater. There's a lot of things to consider with having a boat. Yeah, but in freshwater it's it's very straightforward.

Ethan Waldman 13:00

Well, that's, that's good to hear.

Bonnie Vanasse 13:02

Yeah, I highly recommend it. There's no property tax on the water.

Ethan Waldman 13:05

That's that's pretty awesome too. And now you've said that you kind of have to be like a pirate. So you know, any tips on on finding that place to park?

Bonnie Vanasse 13:16

Well, okay, so in the beginning I had my boats parked in a village and for three years I was able to stay until I guess there was just too many complaints of excetera I'm not even sure what they were but I was asked to leave and I ended up going to the Supreme Court because there was no neighbor that on the adjacent land it was the municipality who wanted and it was a park it was like a gray area so we finally ended up going to court and figuring out that indeed I did have to leave so I did leave but unless you just have to like just start and and then like ask questions later I wouldn't recommend doing this in a major city but in a small town and you know the neighbors and you just have to like feel it out and and then when I had to move I ended up just going door to door pretty much people who lived on the river and asked him if I could rent a place and I finally found someone who rented his spot

Ethan Waldman 14:11

nice nice so you're so you're renting a spot now you have a second houseboat now the Nellie or they

Unknown Speaker 14:20

actually have the second house what is the River Zen? Oh, Nellie is the third house boat. Oh, okay. And there's another one actually called the Dragon.

Ethan Waldman 14:30

Wow. Okay, so you're like a houseboat like you've got an empire?

Bonnie Vanasse 14:37

A fleet.

Ethan Waldman 14:37

A fleet? Okay, that's Yeah,

Bonnie Vanasse 14:39

I also have a team of people I have I have a group of people I work with now we all work together and share the responsibilities and share the income and share the lifestyle. That's pretty cool.

Ethan Waldman 14:50

That's Yeah, super cool. I love I've spoken to a I don't know if you you've ever met her Kristie Wolfe. She also he's got The, I think the most favorited, Airbnb in the world. It's a treehouse in Hawaii. And she also has the Idaho potato house. She does like interesting, unique stays on Airbnb. And it sounds like you're you kind of are doing something similar but with your own with your own spin.

Bonnie Vanasse 15:19

I don't know her, but I was very inspired by I think her name was kitty and Michael. But these guys have the mushroom dome in California in the redwood forest, okay, and their place used to be the most popular Airbnb, it might still be actually okay. And I guess it was about six or seven years ago, I was going for a trip on the west coast. And I there was one day they had available on their calendar, and I booked that and I arranged my whole trip, my whole road trip around the one day that the mushroom dome was available. And I stayed there and was completely inspired. And I read the guestbook. And I saw that everyone who stayed there was just as inspired as me. And that planted the seed for the river. then two years later, I built the boat. Nice,

Ethan Waldman 16:03

nice. And so the River Den is there was the first one.

Bonnie Vanasse 16:06


Ethan Waldman 16:09

I'd like to tell you a little bit more about Tiny House Decisions, my signature guide and the resource that I wish I had when I was building my tiny house. It starts with the big decisions, which is, you know, should you build a tiny house yourself or with help is a is a prebuilt shell a good idea is a house on wheels better than on the ground and what works better for you deciding on the overall size, deciding on whether you should use custom plans or pre made plans, different types of trailers and more. Then in in part two, we get into the system so heat, water showers, hot water, toilets, electrical refrigeration, ventilation, and we're only two thirds of the way through the book at this point. From systems we go into construction decisions talking about nails versus screws, sips versus stick framed versus advanced framing versus metal framing, we talk about how to construct a sub floor sheathing, roofing materials, insulation, Windows flooring kitchen, I know I'm just reading off the table of contents. But I just want to give you a sense of how comprehensive Tiny House Decisions is. It's a total of 170 pages. It contains tons of full color drawings, diagrams and resources. And it really is the guide that I wish I had when I was building my tiny house. Right now I'm offering 20% off any package of Tiny House Decisions using the coupon code tiny when you head over to that's THD for tiny house decisions. Again, that's coupon code tiny when you check out at

Is there anything that you've changed along the way like kind of learnings from the first one like okay, we're not going to do X on the on the rivers? And we're going to change this and make it easier for us?

Bonnie Vanasse 18:06

Yes, so, building floaters, we've learned how to make our own floats these these boats that are so expensive. So on the Zen, which was the second boat, I thought there would be enough floatation with the base that it had originally because I bought one of the knee which is my former partner, the pirate guy I bought one of his small house bullets, which was just a daytripper boat and I pulled it out and rebuilt a small four season cabin on a cold represent. And I really thought that the base that it would had was going to be good enough. So anyway, when we went to launch it in the water, the the center of gravity was so high in the middle because we added extra float in between the existing floats. Like we added some foam in between which really brought it high up and it was super tizzy and we ended up taking it out right away. I thought it might even flip over. Really, really scary moment was like What have I done like this whole investment is potentially going in the drink water. We hauled it out and inside of my driveway for like three weeks. And then finally, my good friend Andrew took it upon him like he took the project on to figure out how we're going to how we're going to solve this problem. And he built these outriggers. And yeah, so we basically built some new floats for the first time, and then we put it back in the water. Everything worked really well. So yeah, I guess like having the bass larger than the boat itself is a really important thing. The higher you go, the wider you want the bass to be. Okay. And for the nalli we we did another pilot project of a new design for floats, and it's working so well. So the base of the nali was originally what we called the Luigi boat because I bought this older houseboat which was one of the nice first boats that he built. I bought it from the guys who owned a pizzeria called the wages and I had it on the river just as my own little floating house and then a couple years ago I rebuilt the roof and it was still just mine And then last summer when once the COVID travel ban lifted my places were booked so solid that I was like, Okay, I have to put my personal boat on Airbnb I just can't say no and people were asking you and the money was so good. It was like Okay, fine. So I put the Nelly on Airbnb and it was a super hit. Last fall we decided we were going to build a start building a new house but we decided we'll wait a bit. We'll just really tighten up all the ones we have. And so we decided to pull the Nelly out and totally give her like a revamp of the base and rebuild the entire cabin on top. Wow. And this is where we we practice for the first time building these new floats which are actually like 55 gallon barrels like all of barrels these those plastic barrels Do you see often people use for docs, we cut them in half and we did some magic and filled with foam and different bags and like a sealed top and ice and water sealed and there's interesting framing and so now the Nelly is lines on both catwalks which are like the bridges that go around the boat. They're lined with these barrels these half barrel system as super stable now and I think we're going to build the next houseboat with only this nice you're you're reusing something which is so cool. Yeah, we like to use garbage or whatever we

Ethan Waldman 21:27

have. We have really creative. It's pretty cool is now is this half barrel thing, something that like people can learn more about if they wanted to try to build it themselves. I don't know the process that you've come up with.

Bonnie Vanasse 21:45

Yeah, they'll come if they come and stay on The Nellie. Then I'll give them a real tour of the insides of the barrel system. Okay,

Ethan Waldman 21:52

they'll come down The Nellie. They can bring a snorkel mask and they can get down underneath and check in.

Unknown Speaker 21:57

Yes. It'll be part of our Feral Ventures. We're starting a tour company we started last year carrying people out on adventures. Yeah, feral ventures love it.

Ethan Waldman 22:07

What are the walls in the Nellie? They look, I love the texture of them.

Bonnie Vanasse 22:13

Right? Yeah, it's actually acrylic tile glue. So like Finn said that you would use for gluing tiles to the floor. Yep, we use that on the wall. So we use a darker one in the back. So just plywood creates plywood. And then one coat of just a gray regular like uncoloured just gray, acrylic tile glue. And then once it sets up a bed, we just like really burnish it with the towel and then we put a lighter, we put a white on top. And then again, you got to work it. Andrew, my business partner is an amazing, my guy is amazing with any kind of plaster. Okay, it's like his his real like, line of work now before. Yep, before he joined the fleet. And so I'm learning so much from him. And I'm really excited about being able to do this new application in the next creations. Yeah, it's such a beautiful vibe in there. It really

Ethan Waldman 23:07

it's like got a warm kind of almost earthen wall field. Exactly. Yeah. And then just paired with the then all the looks like a lot of reclaimed wood. It just they go really nicely together. Yeah. Are you working? So it sounds like you are always working on the next the next project? Is there anything you're working on right now that you can share with us?

Bonnie Vanasse 23:32

Yeah, so for the last few years, I've been making little sketches of a fox building that I thought might go on land. And then I thought might go on on the river. And I was looking at buying some some floats last year and decided against it and I so it's just like waiting. It's it's like a long gestation period. Okay, but the fox is, is coming closer and closer. And I'm actually on my way down right now to meet up with a friend who has a lot of experience building really interesting things at Burning Man festival. And he also has a lot of experience building treehouses. So my friend in Nashville and I have invited this gentleman to come meet with us in hopes of doing a partnership and doing a pilot project and building a fox on a hillside and seeing what develops after that. So it might not be a boat. We'll see it might it might be a treehouse, the next project is going to be shaped like a fox.

Ethan Waldman 24:33

I cannot wait to see it. Just looking at the other. The other buildings that you've you've created, I'm sure it's going to be amazing. Thank you. So these houseboats that you have are set up as rentals but do you think that it would be you know, if assuming somebody could find a place to put one would it be reasonable to live in in one of these type of structures. full time.

Bonnie Vanasse 25:01

I think if you were like a pretty accomplished Yogi, and a very very easygoing person, yes. But for the most part, I think our habitual tendencies of wanting a lot of luxuries, drives us so much that it might be really hard for most people to do that.

Ethan Waldman 25:21

I mean, somebody who already wants to live in a tiny house is,

Bonnie Vanasse 25:25

yeah, it's the same thing he's just have to forego, yeah, sure that it's the same thing. But you have the freedom of being on the water and being able to move around easily. Or turn your boat around to catch the sunset? Yeah. Oh, yeah. No, it's very, it's very much like a tiny house. Yeah. The only consideration is the graywater system, which tiny houses when they're parked on land is pretty easy for the water just to go outside. Whereas on a houseboat, you would need to have a holding tank or you need to be filtering your water, which is a really interesting idea. Because we have been chatting Andrew and I have been chatting about making a greenhouse, a floating greenhouse water treatment thing. So basically, the gray water passes through plants, and by the time it comes out, it's clean and then go back into the river. Yeah, what possible?

Ethan Waldman 26:14

Actually, that's, that's a great question because you are on the river. So what what do you do with your gray water currently? And also, you know, what are the toilets in the house? Are they are they compost toilets? Or how do you have Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 26:26

their compost dry toilets. So in the beginning, when I started Airbnb in the RIver Den, I invested in a super expensive composting toilet, it was like this, you know, super nice model called the Separett and it works really well. But basically, it's just like having a dry composting toilet with like, it's um, in the sense you pee and poo in different areas. Yep. That's when I say dry. That's what it is. So it basically like you can just pee in one, part number two, and all the toilet paper goes in another part. So it's, it's really like the most basic idea, you know, when it comes to plumbing. And it works really well. And we still have to step right on the River Den. But on the other boats, we just have to a two bucket system. Okay. So pee in one, and then number two, and the other one was solids and we bury the compost the solids in the woods, and the pee we go and we put it in the woods as well.

Ethan Waldman 27:20

Okay, so you just, it's just kind of a manual process. And do you ask? Yes. Did the guests have to do that? Or do you take care of that? No, that's that's why we get paid the big bucks. Yeah, yeah, exactly. We we deal with your pee and poo. Exactly.

Unknown Speaker 27:33

But on The Nellie we have like a dry composting toilet set up in the forest, because the boat is parked stationary on land. Okay, so you just go off off the boat to use the bathroom.

Ethan Waldman 27:45

Got it? So these boats all have a little little outboard motors attached to them. Do you ever I guess I'm guessing the only time you you drive them or move them on the water is when you're launching them and then bringing them to where you're going to dock them. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 28:03

so the River Den has been parked ever since we moved to there which is about three years ago and then nalli we're going to be driving down a little more because we won't leave her parked at at Nellies knock all winter, we bring her back in the fall so so when that when the ice freezes, people can still come rent it, you know, they can park right beside her. So right now that for the Nellie, we have an adventure option. Well, it's it's not an option. It's an adventure package. So you have to get there by a boat. You can either rent a canoe, or you can bring your own boat or canoe or we can give you a ferry ride on our pontoon boat to get to the valley because it's only accessible by boat. Cool.

Ethan Waldman 28:44

Yeah, that that really adds a lot. I'm sure that means feel more remote more. Mm hmm. And it sounds like there's no cell phone service to so you really are actually. Ah, okay. Well, one thing that I like to ask all my guests, I know that you you have a plane to catch soon. What are two or three resources. So this could be like books, or YouTube channels or anything you know, that has inspired you that you would like to share with our listeners, it could be related to building houseboats or tiny houses or not.

Bonnie Vanasse 29:22

As I was saying before, it's about the people you're working with. And so that's one aspect of just like looking. So I used to work in a community organization and one of the guys on the committee, he brought this permaculture format for some kind of a business meeting and he said, basically, you look at what's there. You look at what's there available, and then you just start with that. So look at who's in your circle and what the resources are on the information and then just see where you know, you can work with that. So I think just like you know, networking skills and communicating is is like a big part. And this, I guess applies to any kind of onshore enterprise. Yep. And another thing is, when you're doing something new like this, not many people are going to hold this idea that's so precious to you. Not many people are going to be able to really like support that in the in the embryonic stage. So I would just recommend, like, you know, you choose people that you really trust with your precious ideas, and you share with that, because you need to be able to let the vision grow before something is built, it needs to have time and you need to bounce things off of people and see where it's going to take shape. Yeah, so that's, that's one recommendation I have for anyone doing anything that's a little bit outside the box is, is Yeah, like hold it close. And like, leave a time to adjust it. And when it's ready, then you feel confident to to own it, and to say, Well, this is what I'm doing. And when people say, Well, how are you going to do that? It's like it's okay. You don't have to necessarily answer the question, but you know, you feel a little stronger. The thing is, is strong enough to, to to meet the resistance. Nice.

Ethan Waldman 31:12

I love that advice at any anything else before we go?

Bonnie Vanasse 31:16

No, I really hope more people build houseboats and spend more time in nature. Yeah, I think it's it's something that we all need. And I'm really happy to continue offering this service to people. It's a it's a huge ask for service. That's about it, I guess.

Ethan Waldman 31:34

Awesome. Well, you've reignited my desire to build a houseboat so great. I don't know. I don't know if it'll happen. But I keep looking out at that lake being like, "Man, what a great place for a houseboat." So I'm gonna look around again. Keep in touch. Awesome. Well, Bonnie Vanasse, thank you so much for being a guest on the show and safe travels today. Thanks for connecting with us.

Bonnie Vanasse 31:59

Alright, take care. Bye.

Ethan Waldman 32:02

Thank you so much to Bonnie Vanasse for being a guest on the show. You can find the show notes including photos of the River Den, the River Zen and Bonnie's other house boats at Again, that's Well, that's all for this week. I'm your host, Ethan Waldman. And I'll be back next week with another episode of the Tiny House Lifestyle Podcast.

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