Town: Floating home is actually a vessel, can stay in Carolina Beach

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Floating home in the Carolina Beach Yacht Club Marina. (photo: Sydney Bouchelle/WWAY)

CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — After two weeks of wondering what’s to come, the Town of Carolina Beach has made a decision on whether a house on a barge is considered a vessel or a floating home.

A floating home will soon make its way inside a marina after the town decided it is a vessel because it has propulsion.

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Grady Richardson is the attorney representing the homeowner and says this decision was expected.

“It’s a boat vessel,” Richardson said. “They know it’s a boat vessel.”

He says the two motors on the stern were not newly installed. They were reinstalled because they had to be removed during transport.



He says his client made sure the vessel met the town’s codes before he purchased it and would have never bought it if it didn’t comply.

They ran into trouble when nearby homeowners blocked the entrance to the Carolina Beach Yacht Club and Marina and filed a complaint about the vessel. 

Richardson says the root of the problem is Oceana residents don’t like what the vessel looks like. 

“The mere fact that you don’t like what my client’s vessel looks like does not give you the right to violate someone’s rights and property,” Richardson said. 

Oceana Owners Association President Olin Furr says he’s disappointed by the decision.

To keep this from happening in the future, Furr has applied for a text amendment to make the ordinance more specific.

“If you have an airplane and it’s got propulsion, it’s got jet engines and it pulls up by the tower and wants to clear for takeoff but it doesn’t have any wings, where is it gonna go? Nowhere,” Furr said. “Same thing with this. It’s got propulsion, but it cannot go anywhere on its own. It can’t leave the dock and make it in there on its own.”

The town did cite the owner with violations for leaving the vessel tied to the fuel dock and encroachment on town property after town staff visited the marina. If all items are removed before July 26, no further action will be taken by the town.