The term houseboat is used very loosely to describe a small structure designed to be used as a primary home or as a secondary home to be used for living and travelling on waterways.
Different versions of houseboats include such things as ones with just one cabin that is used as a bedroom and living space, up to larger ones that include an outside area, dining room, kitchen, etc.
Some more premium houseboats are available with an increased dimension by addition of a second story and is designed to provide a three bedrooms bathroom and bath, two baths, plus an office, laundry, laundry room.
It can be designed to have all the amenities and facilities of a standard home, just implemented in a space saving way.
In its present application, it is used in certain situations to describe any dwelling or accommodation that is fitted into a water vessel.
The first consideration before setting up houses on water is whether or not, by local building codes, a particular area can be used to tie up the boats.
Some kinds of lots may not be suitable for this kind of use or may require recently constructed homes to be placed on secondary lots in compliance with municipal building codes.
In the golden age of houseboats, it was much easier to get a boat and live in it, mooring at any port you find along the canal.
This was true during the golden age of canals, when they were used frequently to transport goods around the country on a network of waterways.
Nowadays, the use of canals as a means of transportation is no longer a thing, but people still use the canal waterways for pleasure and even for travelling and commuting.
Many people live in canal boats because the like the freedom and the connection to nature.