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Lazy Days Houseboat

Started around the early 1950’s, houseboating has grown into a huge hobby and way of living today. Houseboats were first created close to Somerset Kentucky in 1950 by the Army Corp of Engineers.

By the end of the 50’s houseboating started to become increasingly popular and more houseboat companies started appearing. Beginning in Buford, Georgia 1960, the Lazy Days houseboat was first created along Lake Lanier.

By the late 1980’s, the Lazy Days houseboats were extremely popular. This company had begun making what was known as the “Cadillac of Houseboats”, and offered a lot of competition to other companies. Unfortunately, this is where it goes downhill for Lazy Days. James Sharp, the owner of Somerset Marine, decided to buy the assets to the Lazy Days Company after having a stroke of misfortune. In Kentucky he opened a new facility in 1987 for Lazy Days houseboats. This was the beginning of the last true Lazy Days boat and the start of LazySummer boats. In the 1990’s, the Lazy Days line was stopped and assets sold. The focus turned to Sumerset Houseboats. James Sharp ended up selling his part of the Sumerset stocks in 1996.

So, what does all this have to do with Lazy Days houseboats? Also, why is a Lazy Days so important in today’s house boating world? Well, besides the fact that Sumerset Houseboats are now the biggest house boating company in today’s world, it started when houseboats found aluminum.

The move from steel hulls to aluminum hulls was huge for houseboats. Lazy Days was the first company to use and come up with a design for aluminum hulls. Being so, James Sharp made a smart move when he bought Lazy Days in the 1980’s. With their aluminum hull designs and the huge houseboating boom in the 90’s, Sumerset Houseboats are now number one in the world.

The Lazy Days houseboat first started in 1960 by Jack Beachem in Georgia. Characteristic of the time, a steel hull was used on houseboats by Lazy Days. With the invention of Reynolds Aluminum, a whole new era in houseboats was beginning. With the help from Jack Hargrave, a naval architect, Lazy Days was able to build the first aluminum hull. Later, Jack Hargrave was placed in the hall of fame for Marine Manufacturers.

Lazy Days houseboats first produced their aluminum hull in 1967. Lazy Days decided to catapult their aluminum hull design with a huge publicity stunt. This stunt would jumpstart the Lazy Days Company and put them in houseboat history. They entered the Miami to Nassau powerboat race. With a fifty foot houseboat they raced 184 miles, making about 20mph the entire race. Lazy Days managed a feat that was not easy back in the day.

Unfortunately for those looking for a Lazy Days designed houseboat, there are only a limited few of the original boats. Between 1966 and 1987 there were only 518 Lazy Days houseboats ever built. Finding one of these rare boats is rather difficult. There is however some hope. It is said that there were 525 hulls created and a few have yet to be built and are for sale!

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