Living With No Fear

August 2021 Own

It’s nearly impossible to visit a major marina and not find at least one Gibson Houseboat. If you don’t see one, it’s probably because it’s out on the water since it seems those who buy a Gibson get it to explore the water and not just hang out at the marina. Being willing to travel was more than just a good idea for two brothers and their wives that we featured in 2010; it was their way of life as this adventurous crew was always on the move.

We caught up with Keith (wife Maryann) and Allen (wife Carol) McGee for the story after they had logged over 4,000 miles through 61 locks while burning over 3,500 gallons of diesel fuel the first year they owned Dream Manor, a 59-foot Gibson.

Known as the 4McGees on their blog, it was at our 2008 National Houseboat Expo in Louisville, Ky., where they bought the houseboat and it’s where we met the first-time buyers and were inspired by their plans to travel.

Gibson Houseboats of South Dakota

Owners Kelly and Pam Cawthorne along with their son Shane and his wife Danielle Cawthorne bought the rights to Gibson Boats back in 2017 and they’ve taken this classic, age-old brand and breathed new life into it. Gibson Houseboats of South Dakota successfully relocated to Tea, S.D, and they are excited to be offering a full production line as well as focusing on service, fiberglass repair, and refurbishing. Loyal Gibson houseboaters have shown tremendous support for this hybrid crossover between a houseboat and a cabin cruiser.

The favorite 14- by 47-foot houseboat has stood out as the perfect size for families with enough room to play hard without tipping the price too heavily. Their smallest build is the 36-foot Play and Sport, which includes a mid deck for attaching a smaller swim slide or jump platform and an upper fly bridge that features a large slide, rock wall and even a diving platform. Sizes stretch clear to the 59-footer with three staterooms, two large heads, and a generous galley and salon combo with plenty of room for just two or as many as ten for an extended water outing.

Date Founded: 1968
Location: Tea, S.D.
Best-selling Model or Floor Plan: 14’ X 47’
Smallest Houseboat Built to Date:  12’ X 36’
Largest Houseboat Built to Date: 16’ X 59’
Hull Design: Fiberglass Modified V-hull
Water Application: Lakes, Rivers and Intracoastal
In-house Transportation: Yes
In-house Interior Designer:  Yes

Gibson Houseboats of South Dakota

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