Woman Ditches Hollywood Glam for This Tiny, 400-Square-Foot Houseboat

December 26, 2011

Heather Wilcoxon’s vibrantly colored boat is a sight to see on the San Fransisco Bay, next to expensive and pristine white yachts. While other dock posts in the bay remain a drab brown, Wilcoxon’s sports an orange pattern.

“Give me a paintbrush and I’m dangerous,” she said to Fair Companies, explaining that the boat she’s been living on for the last four decades is a constant work in progress.

Wilcoxon said she left Hollywood at age 20 and never went back. Her father filmed for Caddyshack and was the original Marc Anthony in Cecil B. DeMille’s “Cleopatra”.

Watch Fair Company’s footage of Wilcoxon showing off her turn-of-the-century home (Note: This video has a moment of brief profanity.):

Fair Companies has more:

 “I don’t have huge payments, I’m not stressed out by a job, I make just enough money to pay for my lifestyle, I don’t need a lot of money for a big house with 3 cars and 5 bedrooms and big payments, it‘s not what I’m interested in.”

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Wilcoxon lives on about $12,000 a year, paying a small monthly fee to the cooperative for berth rights (which includes sewage and laundry). Her electric bills are only about $12 in the summer and $60 during the frosty winter months.

Her minimal expenses allow Wilcoxon to live as an artist. Her work has been shown in the American University Museum (Washington DC) and she’s represented in New York (Brenda Taylor Gallery) and San Francisco (Jack Fischer Gallery), but her most enduring work is her boat home itself.

“Houseboat living!” Wilcoxon said of her maybe 400-square-foot vessel. “I mean, this is a house boat, it is not a floating home. You can still move the boat.”

Fair Companies reports that Wilcoxon is not alone in her houseboat endeavors on the bay, as a few other artists and boat workers have built a “floating village.”