For the longest time, Gig Harbor awaited my family’s visit. It lays
claim to everything we savor in a city: an oceanfront setting,
intriguing history, charismatic shops and restaurants and
recreation by land and sea. Problem was we couldn’t decide where to
stay. Finally, on a whim, I looked up “gig” in the dictionary and
found not only the definition “a small, light boat” but inspiration
for our accommodations. When in Gig Harbor, why not stay on a gig?
That’s how we ended up boarding a Pleasure Craft Marina houseboat,
the latest lodgings to steer into the sweet little town on South
Puget Sound. Six floating, fiberglass cabins dock along a private,
gated pier one-hour’s drive from Seattle and steps away from the
attractions of the maritime destination.
Reminiscent of an RV, each 45-foot two-bedroom houseboat features
one long series of rooms, with sliding dividing walls. From the
moment I stepped inside, I knew it was designed by a highly
organized thinker. The clean white decor and clever use of mirrors
made the space feel bigger than its 525 square feet, and a
remarkable number of amenities came together like a puzzle. The
microwave oven sat snug in the wall above the three-burner propane
stove, which cuddled up to the refrigerator and freezer. The dining
room table sat six, although our daughter preferred eating on a
stool by the bar. The one-guest-at-a-time bathroom still managed to
squeeze in a full shower. The living room couch opened into a third
two-person bed, and a flat-screen TV and radio/tape/CD player fit
in without creating clutter.
Our favorite houseboat hangout was the forward sundeck, providing a
direct view of Mt. Rainier, snow-capped symbol of the Pacific
Northwest. Kicking back on deck chairs, we waved to the passing
parade of rowboats, sailboats, inflatables, kayaks, motorboats and
dinghies. In the morning, we ate breakfast by the water while
counting seabirds. At night, the same spot treated us to twinkling
stars and harbor lights.
The houseboats entered the market in early June. Since then,
clients have heard about them through word of mouth and flyers,
said Anne Lane, who handles bookings for the Pleasure Craft Marina
“We’ve been sold out most weekends this summer,” Lane said, “but
it’s hard to predict business starting in September.”
Clients should know that when they book a Pleasure Craft Marina
houseboat, taking it out for a spin is strictly taboo. But if
they’re anything like my family and me, they’ll have a high time at
sea without ever leaving the marina.
Pleasure Craft Marina Houseboats
3215 Harbor View Dr.
Gig Harbor, WA 98335
Be Aware: Bath towels, soap, toilet paper, dish
detergent and paper towels are provided. Clients should bring
additional toiletries like shampoo and hair dryers. The kitchen is
well-stocked with cooking and dining needs, including a
Rates: Nightly rates range from $149-$179. Ask
about rates for weekly rentals. Honeymoon, birthday, anniversary
and special occasion packages are available.
Commission: 10 percent