The Kerala Houseboats is one of most highlighted part of travel and tourism in backwaters. The houseboat is about 60 to 150 ft in length. The hull is made of wooden planks that are held together by ropes of coconut fiber; the usual wood is ‘Anjili’. The roof is made of bamboo poles and palm leaves. The exterior of the boat is painted with protective coats of cashew nut oil. Due to the unavailability of the wood, now the news houseboats hull is made using steel.
Basically, the Kettuvallam (now houseboat) was designed to transport cargo and as such many design changes had to be made to make it a tourist vehicle. The height of the roof was increased to get sufficient headroom. A plank was laid all through the length for ease of walking and comfortable seating, to reduce the disadvantages of the curved shape of the hull. Windows and other openings were provided for light, airflow and view. The entrance is provided in the center of the linear axis with a top hung panel.