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Geodesic Houseboats coming to Buffalo Waterfront

By Michael R Weekes (designer, builder, innovator, waterfront stakeholder):

Warning: interest in geodesics, tiny living, domes, shanty boats, synergy, sustainability and like have been found to become addictive in Buffalo, NY.

Among the crafts floating in the Buffalo River this summer will be a 16′ Geodesic Houseboat (see inspiration) exemplifying the latest in tiny living, sustainability and ingenuity.  The first of its kind in the US, and maybe the world, these vessels are non-powered barges, innovative with all the conveniences a Buffalonian needs to have a good day, weekend, or extended stay on the developing waterfront.


The Irish lined the shores of the Buffalo Creek (Buffalo River) in shanties during the 19th Century. Back then the shanties served a purpose, as they might once again.  The difference? Among others the ability to access, relax, and enjoy freedom and a view like no other.

For the price of a stay in a local hotel, you can watch the fireworks and not have to battle the traffic back to the West Side or the suburbs. Take a few steps up the ramp to any of the half dozen options for lunch or dinner.

The vessel, which can be made with relative ease, can range from 8′ wide to 12′ wide and 12′ long to 32′ long.  No structure has the strength-to-weight ratio of a geodesic cabin, which sits atop a platform made from conventional storage containers fastened to a 2 x 4 frame. At the heart of the geodesic (dome-like) cabin are 2 x 2 struts and plywood hubs, joined by screws.


The live-aboards can be built in weeks, for far less than $10,000.  Try and find an RV for under that price that you can float up to Canalside with.  If there is no bathroom available, the boat has one.  It’s low tech, just like the packet boats of old.  The requirements are met in the same manner they were more than 100 years ago.

This home takes advantage of a geodesic, zero carbon footprint and is lovely to live in.

The world is moving toward sustainability.  We now know that we simply don’t need all that stuff.  If you would like to enjoy the fresh air and the sights and sounds of the Buffalo Waterfront this summer, reserve a night or a weekend on the geodesic houseboat, the Pride of Buffalo.  If you like it, maybe you would like your own.  If you’re looking for a project that you and your family will find fulfilling, challenging and rewarding, maybe a geodesic houseboat is for you!


The boat will sleep up to four.  If you would like study plans for your own Geodesic Houseboat, contact the author.  If you are courageous enough to follow that voice in your head that has been dying to create something with your own bare hands… you can buy a kit and build your own houseboat in your driveway, starting at $6,995.  If you are up in the ranks of, say a Sabres corporate box owner, and you would like a geodesic houseboat, of your own design, with your own features, design and flourishes, you can buy one starting at $29,995. Most boats in that price range have less headroom and none of the charm or intrigue that the geodesic houseboat will offer.

If you don’t want people asking you all day long what kind of boat that is, DO NOT BUY one of these geodesic houseboats.  On the other hand, if you like to be the center of attention, the production lead time if just four weeks. We plan on creating as many as twelve new jobs a year in Buffalo to build kits and boats.

We live at the western terminus of the Erie Canal, yet you can’t find a shanty boat or a barge within ten miles of Buffalo.  The geodesic houseboat represents the first inventive live-aboard vessel in the Buffalo waterfront in more than sixty years!  Come and learn more about R Buckminster Fuller, tiny living, and shanty boat living and step away from the stress, the data and the apps and return to the water.  You don’t need to buy a $250,000 condo to do so. We have a Canalside without any canal boats?  Here is an immediate, affordable, innovative solution.

Come down to the Buffalo waterfront this summer and see a real result from from someone who is passionate about our city and our waterfront.


More details on the project:


Transporting subassemblies – no tie-down required.  A 60 lb. structure able to bear huge loads.

Stay a night, get the plans, build the kit or just start following your dreams on the Buffalo Waterfront!

If you would be interested in plans, kits or boats or as an investor or a career opportunity in geodesic houseboats, contact the author here.  The boat featured in this article will be completed in three weeks.

Our Mission: Get WNYers on the water, safely and affordably, in innovative solutions that represent strength and efficiency and innovation

Our Vision: Grow the Buffalo economy through jobs in quality manufacturing, representing the latest innovations and effective, affordable value.

Michael R Weekes now offers study plans, kits and geodesic houseboats in Buffalo this summer.


Lead image:


Image #2: Geodesic Houseboat – Serial no. 001 under construction currently in Buffalo, NY.


Image #3: Lighter, quicker, cheaper – the motto of our waterfront development strategy and of the geodesic houseboat


Image #4: A geodesic perspective for innovation on the waterfront – from one milestone to another.


Image #5: The British Narrow Boat served as the model for Geodesic package – visit the Buffalo History Museum to see a scale model.


Image #6: Original sketch – Weekes Geodesic Houseboat – 16′ version – shown without options.  Detailed plans available.


Image #7: R Buckminster Fuller, who first asked at his UB Architecture Lectures: “How much does this building weigh?”

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  • Buffalogni

    Very nice!
    How do they do in winter though?

  • grad94

    so how’s the mayoral campaign going?

  • Sheldon S. Kornpett, D.D.S.

    Please. Joel Giambra knew that domes would be the future of the waterfront many years ago and you all laughed at him.

  • Stan The Man

    How much did you pay Buffalo Rising to shill your crap?

  • benfranklin

    Seems like more hate than is deserved. Good way to encourage people to bring different ideas to the site.

  • LouisTully

    Talk to me about permits/licensing. Among interest in general legality – you can just tie your Geodesic houseboat anywhere you want? – I’m particularly interested here:
    If there is no bathroom available, the boat has one. It’s low tech…
    Of course you wouldn’t mean raw sewage dropping into the beautiful Buffalo River… right?

  • Dashwood

    These would have to follow the same rules as any boat. You can only legally tie up to places that you rent/lease, have permission, own or are publicly available. There would be no property tax unless you owned the land. I don’t think they would have to be registered with the DMV as long as they have no engine. You are not permitted to dump sewage in most inland waterways in NY, so the toilet would have to have its own portable tank to be dumped out like small RVs have.

  • JM

    I really like some of your ideas but please don’t let your boat end up like your past boat.
    I appreciate your enthusiasm but please be responsible.

  • buffloonitick

    and you don’t have to mow the lawn…

  • ladyinwhite

    So basically its more of a floating tent.

  • biniszkiewicz

    If you’re trying to sell your product, it’s a good idea to at least have the prototype finished.
    A builder doesn’t drag everybody around the house he just started building; he waits til the model is finished. It smells of desperation to sell hard without being able to show even one.
    I’m not attracted to a dome boat, myself, Mr. Weekes, but if you like domes and you’re planning kits for them, here’s a business idea for you: make simple to assemble, easy to ship kits and sell them to buyers like FEMA as emergency housing. Instead of buying trailers for flood victims, FEMA could buy your kits instead.

  • soulfulging

    coming to the river soon! modern bum city.

  • Quixote

    Looks like the mutant spawn of the Plantagon.

  • Timothy Domst

    A Plantagon spore, floating on the water until it finds its perfect growth medium of gullibility and money.

  • grad94

    best comment of the day!

  • metoo16

    I thought a picture was worth a thousand words
    6 images X short captions = missing a lot of  words   (public school education)

  • DavidBatchelder1

    It look good whats the price of the pland