My name is Mike Strain and I am the owner of Slip House USA. I would like to tell you a little about myself and what inspired me to build our fine floating cabins. I am a lot closer to 60 years old than I am to 50 and I have been professionally involved in the boating industry for 30 years.
I was the founder of a large boat storage and repair facility on the Southern shore of Lake Michigan. It was a 13 acre facility where we stored and serviced hundreds of recreational boats. I myself was a MerCruiser certified mechanic for many years.
Prior to starting Slip House USA I owned and operated a 225 passenger charter vessel in Chicago. I personally restored the 100 foot steel hull vessel and got it certified by the Coast Guard to carry 225 passengers. I also received my 100 ton Merchant Mariner Certificate.
Additionally, I have restored numerous commercial and residential buildings.
It was while I was at Great Lakes Inland Marina that I observed that many of the folks that owned larger boats used them more like cottages than boats. The majority of the boaters I knew rarely took their boats out of their slips. Almost all of them had a smaller boat that they would use to run to the beach or to visit other boaters. I personally wanted a floating cottage that would allow me to enjoy all the benefits of marina life without the cost and maintenance of owning a yacht or houseboat. This is what inspired me to design and build our floating cottages.
The floating cabins we build today are the result of five years of development employing the services of structural engineers and architects. Our patented floats are cast to our specifications and our high strength aluminum framing is extruded through our own dies.
Before beginning the design process we had to ask ourselves who we were designing for. From the start we wanted to build for the experienced discriminating boater who appreciates the difference between high value and low price. The design of our Slip House is purpose driven. Form follows function. There is nothing superfluous or trendy. The clean classic design will look as good in 20 years as it does today. While we cannot claim that it is a Louis Sullivan design we think he would approve.
With respect to pricing, had we not used the highest quality materials and best practices our Slip Houses would certainly cost a fraction of what they do. But during the build process choices must be made. For instance, do we use plywood sheeting for the floors, exterior walls and roof deck or do we use fiberglass reinforced closed cell polyurethane structural panels? Anyone who has been around houseboats knows that many are subject to rot. They may look shiny and pretty on the outside but just under the surface the wood is wet. Even though our panels cost 10 times the cost of plywood we use them because they will never absorb water and rot like wood.
Other choices we were faced with were; *Wood framing verse high strength aluminum. We chose aluminum. *Inexpensive dock floats or our patented premium high strength floats. *Standard household wire or USCG Approved marine grade wire. *Fully insulated walls and roof or not. We use spray foam in all exterior walls and roofs. *Single pane windows or double pane windows with tempered and tinted glass.
There were countless choices to be made, but for us the choice was simple because we set out to build the highest value floating cabin ever built for the experienced discriminating boater. I invite you to come see for yourself. We are located in beautiful Jackson County and our door is always open.