Money Saving Mondays: Houseboats

(NECN: Peter Howe, Boston) - Most nights of the summer you can’t find a hotel room in Boston for $325 a night – but for that much, you and as many as nine family members and friends could all enjoy a uniquely fun form of lodging right in the heart of the city: A houseboat called The White Elephant.

It’s one of more than 100 houseboats listed for rental on vacation rental site around the world, and one of several in Boston, Cape Cod, and other parts of New England.

“It’s great for groups, and you can save a ton of money versus staying in a hotel,’’ said’s Tess Morton. “You’re also going to be able to save money by being able to cook at night in the kitchen instead of going out to dinner.’’

Besides beds for up to 10 people and a fully functioning kitchen, The White Elephant, which is docked at the end of Lewis Wharf just a few minutes’ walk from Boston’s North End and Quincy Market and the New England Aquarium, has an upstairs porch with a grill.

One thing you can’t do with the boat: Take it for a spin in the harbor. But you really don’t need to. The constant nautical parade that is Boston Harbor will come right to you.

Property manager J.J. Gold of stresses to would-be renters that the boat is moored in a neighborhood with neighbors, so guests are asked to be quiet after 10 p.m. “No, they aren’t party boats,’’ Gold said.

Morton said has drawn houseboat rental listings from as far away as Amsterdam, South Africa, and British Columbia, as well as lots of U.S. locations including the Florida Leys and Key West.

“It's one step even better,’’ Morton said, “than staying in a house.’’

With video editor Lauren Kleciak and videographer John E. Stuart

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