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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927

Rutabaga Houseboat on Lake Union

Bedrooms 1
Space 485 sq ft
Property type house boat


About the property

Seattle Houseboat Primo For Romantic Getaways, Sightseeing, And Relaxing Weekend

The Space

The Rutabaga is the first boat I purchased and fixed up, and as such is a place I adore and call home. I bought it in December 2013 in rough condition and later came to find out it was barely floating. With a lot of help, I spent 6 months rebuilding it top to bottom. It was originally constructed in the 80s during a boom time for houseboats in Seattle, giving it the lines of its original "house barge" design, plus the 2nd story which was added on the bedroom. Now, its a funky, interesting place with lovely views of the city of Seattle and Lake Union.

This house barge is a darling little place with all you will need - no amenity lost. Full kitchen, living space with sofa and table, bathroom with hot shower and functioning toilet, 3 wall heaters for cozy nights, 1 full size bed perfect for two, and a beautiful rooftop deck boasting enviable views of downtown Seattle and Lake Union.

As for living on a boat, there is little like it, and I suggest you try it out. You might be looking at some shwanky pad as well, and that would be great, but this is a cool experience, a piece of Seattle history you should wear for a few days when you can. It's an opportunity to be around the mayhem that is water life during the day, and the peace and tranquility that floating can be at night.

- 1 queen bed

- 1 full size sleeper sofa/day bed

- 1 full size blow up mattress and sheets available

- Sleeps 4 on the above furniture pieces

- 4 total overnight guests allowed (4 would be quite snug, buts its allowed)

- Full kitchen (refrigerator, dishwasher, stove, coffee press, kitchen essentials)

- Heated (3 wall heaters)

- Washer-dryer

- Full bathroom (shower, toilet, sink)

- Wireless Internet

- Kid friendly

- Indoor and outdoor breakfast/eating nook

- Deck and roof lounge area

- Propane bbq

- Parking out front the marina office building at a cost of $1 per hour. Weekdays, it is free before 9 am and after 4 pm. Weekends are free as well. Note: due to guest parking passes being taken by guests repeatedly, they are no longer available.

- 3 kayaks - first come, first serve. No reservations available.

Guest Access...

You will have access to the place all yourself. I will have shower items for you, towels, sheets, etc.

Access to the boat is via a self-checkin process. All access and reservation instructions will be included in the confirmation page after booking.

Interaction with Guests...

Just a phone call away for whatever you need.

The Neighborhood...

The area sits conveniently close to downtown Seattle and tucked between Fremont and Ballard. For those checking out the city, this is a great location. For those on business, also super convenient and comfortable. The closest grocery store is about a mile away in Fremont (PCC) so keep that in mind.

Other Things to Note...

- It's important to know that this is a boat and not a house, and that's its charm. While it does have everything you will need, its not like living in a house - doors are smaller, toilets are funny, stairs are steep, and sometimes the boat rocks.

- The ceiling height is not standard, max 7', plus there are a few smaller accesses to different parts of the house. If you are very tall, you may find this irritating. The stairs to the 2nd floor are steep and narrow as well. If you have physical difficulties, this may not be the best match.

- On occasion the toilet holding tank does get filled and it unable to be pumped on weekends. There are bathrooms at the marina for use, which I encourage. I will not offer any refunds if the holding tank does fill and is unable to be pumped. Of course, we will do our best, but there are limitations.

- I have 3 kayaks available first come, first serve.

- There is a little cafe at the marina which does has WIFI, coffee, beer, wine. It is not open weekends.

-You will also receive full check-in instructions and the house manual before your arrival.

More Details

Emma Halenko
Member since: 2015
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within an hour
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
September 25, 2018

About Emma Halenko

I also love to sail and have a great pup named Bebop.

Emma Halenko purchased this house boat in 2013


Westlake House Boat Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house boat
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 485 sq ft
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 3:00 PM
  • /
  • Check-out: 11:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 4
  • Children welcome
  • Parties/events not allowed
  • Pets not allowed
  • Non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Lake View ...
  • Lakefront
  • Water View
  • Waterfront
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Parking
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Wireless Internet
  • Wood Stove ...
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Dining
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 2 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , shower
  • 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 4
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 double
  • Books
  • Games
  • Stereo
  • Bicycles
  • Deck / Patio
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Outdoor Grill
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • wheelchair inaccessible
  • arboretum
  • botanical garden
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • health/beauty spa
  • library
  • live theater
  • marina
  • museums
  • playground
  • recreation center
  • restaurants
  • synagogues
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • gambling casinos
  • miniature golf
  • paddle boating
  • photography
  • shelling
  • shopping
  • shuffleboard
  • walking
  • whale watching
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • deepsea fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • hiking
  • hot air ballooning
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • mountain climbing
  • pier fishing
  • rock climbing
  • sailing
  • snorkeling/diving
  • surfing


Excellent! 4.3/5 -
(20 traveler reviews)

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Rutabaga Houseboat on Lake Union
average rating of 4.35 based on 20 reviews
Billings, Montana

Great first time experience of houseboat living!

  • 5 of 5

Loved the Rutabaga. Roomy place & so full of character. Shower was great and bathroom was fine - so was marina bathroom. Bed upstairs was comfortable & loved the fresh air and windows. Would love to return someday!

  • Submitted: Aug 12, 2018
  • Stayed: August 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Northborough, MA

What a fun way to stay in Seattle

  • 5 of 5

This was such a fun way to spend a couple nights in Seattle. The boat is super cute, and it was great to sit out on the deck and watch boats and float planes go by. I know some people complained about the toilets and parking, but it wasn't an issue for us. I was able to use the parking app and had the option of 2 hour parking right near the boat, or all-day, just a block down. We even used the Lime Bike app to pickup rental bikes and just ride around the lake and then to the space needle. Much easier than using our car in the city.

Thanks for a great experience, we have already provided recommendations to friends that may be coming to Seattle.

  • Submitted: Jun 25, 2018
  • Stayed: June 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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What a fun, unique way to stay in Seattle!

  • 4 of 5

We loved the quaint houseboat. Grew up in seattle and back for a Nieces graduation so thought what better way to enjoy it! Our 2 children, ages 9 and 11 thought it was the coolest.

I would say that this would not be for the elderly as there are stairs/ladders which might be difficult for someone who is not as mobile.

A few things that could be improved:

The local contact never got back to me when I requested an early check-in.

It is requested to use the boat facilities at a minimum, and to use the marina facilities when we could, but neither of the keys provided worked for the marina facilities.

There was only one dish towel, no napkins or paper towels which made it difficult.

There were also not enough blankets and sheets for both the couch and air mattress for our children to sleep on.

With these few changes - it would be even better.

  • Submitted: Jun 7, 2018
  • Stayed: May 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Not great.

  • 1 of 5

Nothing said “glamping” till reading the rule book. Too many rules. Too many, “if this doesn’t work, then...” and things didn’t work. We never figured out how to make them work, like running water... Too many rules about limiting power use, and how to clean to leave the place, like we weren’t there, or there would be extra charges. Overall, Not Great.

  • Submitted: Apr 20, 2018
  • Stayed: March 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Northen Virginia/ DC area

Great experience great location!

  • 4 of 5

Quintessential Seattle experience! Great time staying on a houseboat. Location is very convenient to downtown and points of interest are all a short bus ride or Uber away

The houseboat was clean and well equipped

Bathroom is small but serviceable

The view is amazing - we loved watching the sun come up over the lake and the city lights at night

  • Submitted: Mar 7, 2018
  • Stayed: March 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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great location, great house

  • 4 of 5

The house was lovely and very relaxing. A little work to figure out the details of getting access but Stephanie was super helpful and available.

  • Submitted: Dec 11, 2017
  • Stayed: December 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
25 Miles
SeTac Airport


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Cleaning Fee $70
Refundable Damage Deposit $350

Turnip Houseboat Rules

Upon your departure please complete the following tasks:
Place bed sheets and used towels on top of the bed
Turn off all heating elements
Load the dishwasher and start it to run
Close and lock all windows and doors
Wipe surfaces
Empty the refrigerator and freezer of any personal items
Collect trash and recycling, place in designated containers in the marina parking lot
Leave the boat and marina keys in the key box on the gate, relock the box

No one is allowed to wander the docks
Children - Must be kept at close attention at all times
Guests - Only 2 guests are permitted on Turnip Houseboat during the day time, beyond the 2 maximum registered guests.
Pets - Pets are not allowed on Turnip Houseboat at all

No social gatherings are allowed on Turnip Houseboat. Any gatherings will disturb neighbors and violate marina rules. If guest is found to be hosting any type of social gathering eviction will occur, and a charge equal to the amount of the security deposit will be applied.
• Party Fee - Eviction will occur, a charge equal to the amount of security deposit will be applied.

Please keep noise to a minimum all day. This is marina is home to many people.
• Official Quiet Hours - 9:00pm to 7:00am daily

No Smoking
There is no smoking allowed in the house. You may smoke outside in the marina parking lot, at least 20 feet away from open windows or doors. Please dispose of cigarette butts in trash cans.
• Smoking Fee - $250

Please take off your shoes when entering Turnip Houseboat. Normal wear and tear on the floor surfaces is expected, but if there is excessive dirt, stains or spills you will be charged additional cleaning and/or repair fees.
• Additional Housekeeping Fee applies

Inappropriate behavior such as loud and/or vulgar language and/or drunkenness is strictly prohibited. If guest is found to be engaging in inappropriate behavior eviction will occur, and a charge equal to the amount of the

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.

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