‘Build Me a Boat To Go Chasing the Whales’: Shel Silverstein’s Houseboat Could Be Yours

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While it certainly won’t take you to catch whales, the historic World War II balloon barge that was once the houseboat of the poet Shel Silverstein is now up for grabs.

Realtor Dianne Andrews with Engel & Völkers Sausalito said that the opportunity to own the home in Sausalito, California is “once in a lifetime.” 

SFGate.com reported that the 1,200 square foot home was originally built in 1965 on top of a World War II balloon barge, and still boasts stained-glass windows, unfinished wood paneling, and worn hardwood floors. 

The top floor has an atrium of glass, and the current owner added even more windows, making for a light, airy common space for the two-bedroom, one-bath floating home.

The new owner also crafted a more modern kitchen with white cabinets and stainless steel appliances, and updated the bathroom with white subway tile and a soaking tub (but still kept the stained-glass windows).

A staircase leads from the common areas upstairs to the bedrooms downstairs.

Silverstein owned the houseboat from 1967 to 1981, and when he died in 1999, his friend lived there for many years.

“It’s a perfect home or pied-à-terre, or perfectly amazing long term rental, or for Airbnb,” said Andrews.

And it would likely be a profitable short-term rental option, too. Sausalito is a day trip to San Francisco, which would make it appealing on that alone, but it also offers a fair amount to do within the confines of the city, too.

“Other landmarks in the city’s northern industrial zone include Heath Ceramics’ low-slung factory (don’t miss the discounted “seconds” at the outlet store) and the redwood-clad building that housed the now-defunct Record Plant, where the likes of Prince, Metallica, and Fleetwood Mac once laid down tracks,” says VisitCalifornia.com. “Or, check out the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Bay Model, which is just what it sounds like: a working hydraulic model of the entire San Francisco Bay that covers 1.5 acres and is very popular with kids.”

Want to see more of the home, which is listed for $783,000? Click here. Want to see more celebrity homes? Click here.