The best part about this one-bed, one-bath bohemian paradise on the market for $783,000? It once belonged to Shel Silverstein.
“The Giving Tree” author joined Sausalito’s floating home community of artists in 1967 and christened his houseboat the Evil Eye. After Silverstein died in 1999, his friend Larry Moyer, a photographer and artist, became the owner of the houseboat until March 2016.
The vessel parked at 8 Liberty Dock was initially a balloon barge during World War II. According to Smithsonian Magazine, balloon barges were Navy vessels “whose lofted cables were designed to snare kamikaze aircraft.” Sausalito’s houseboat community came into existence when Marinship Corp. ceased its shipbuilding business after the war.
Tons of wood, metal, and scrap were left behind at Richardson Bay, leaving the chance for artists and homeless drifters to construct rent-free homes out of abandoned boats in the 1950s and ’60s.
During Silverstein’s time there, the houseboat community was also home to drug dealers and squatters.
“People lived here because they could afford it,” Moyer told the magazine. “You could find an old lifeboat hull to build on, and there was always stuff to recycle because of the shipyards.”
These days, the houseboat community of Sausalito is one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s liveliest and most exclusive real estate markets. The 1,200-square-foot home last changed hands in 2017 for $375,000.
The fully renovated barge could serve as an ideal second home or vacation rental. Visitors are initially greeted by what appears to be a ramshackle assemblage of wood and spare parts.
The current owners kept the houseboat exterior intact, with its wood siding and vintage look.
Small details that illustrate the home’s former life are still apparent.
The houseboat was likely dubbed the Evil Eye because of its eye-like, stained-glass windows.
The home is petite by tract home standards, but appears open and spacious on the inside.
The home features an updated bath with subway tile, modern fixtures, and original stained-glass windows.
The eat-in kitchen on the upper deck is bright and spacious. There’s a lofted Murphy-style bed for guests who don’t mind the thrill of sleeping a few feet off the ground.
For a buyer with a sense of adventure in search of something outside the norm, we advise setting sail for Sausalito and snagging this one-of-a-kind residence.