Grimes’ Houseboat Adventure is definitely a story you didn’t hear before (at least not in real life). Grimes (Claire Boucher) is known for her strange appearance and unique music style. She is a successful producer and musician who always pushes the boundaries. With her endless inspiration and hard work, it’s no wonder her career is skyrocketing.

Just like everything she does, this crazy project was both impressive and crazy. Grimes and William Gratz got an idea to sail down the Mississippi River on a houseboat they made themselves. Unfortunately, their Mark Twain adventure didn’t end gloriously.

Grimes' Houseboat Adventure

Story of Grimes’ Houseboat Adventure

In June of 2009, the two started building the 20-foot housecraft on a friend’s property. They travelled 25 hours, from Montreal to Bemidji in Minnesota to be able to construct it. Their intention was to ail down the Mississippi and reach New Orleans or just have an adventure as long as it lasts.

They even named the boat ‘Velvet Glove Cast in Iron’. Boucher and William Gratz actually made an impressive 20-foot long boat with rooms and real glass-windows. They packed it up with groceries like rice and potatoes, a live chicken and a sewing machine.

The two managed to transport their house to the river but shortly after, the trouble began. Engine problems showed up just a few miles downstream. Naturally, the situation caught the attention of police who intervened and gave them a warning as there was signs of camping and alcohol consumption in the park.

As Boucher and Gratz didn’t report the motor troubles to the policeman, he ordered them to move along. They listened to the orders and went ahead without working motors, despite their intention wasn’t to drift around without control.

After entering the channel, they drifted around toward the rocks which were peaking above the water. Luckily, they reacted to the caution signs and frantically pushed away from the danger using sticks.

How did it end?

It was a tough situation and they ended up on an island north of the Lowry Bridge. The island actually seemed like heaven for boats and canoes as they said, so they set up a camp while trying to get the motor running again. Swimming was their only option to reach the river bank.

They would jump in water several times a day and retrieve tools necessary for fixing up the boat. Unfortunately, the problems began in that camping site as well, as the County Sheriff Office water patrol told the boaters they need to leave that evening because of the demolition that will start the next day.

Another boat towed them to the Boom island, where the same officer noticed them for the second time and he had enough. He gave them a couple of weeks to resolve their problems but they admitted that they couldn’t get it fixed.

The story ended with the city loading the houseboat on the flatbed trailer and took it away. Boucher and Gratz couldn’t afford to fix the damage from the towing, let alone the motor. Chickens were taken to a nearby farm while a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron ended up between smashed car carcasses.

The Grimes’ Houseboat Adventure didn’t end up as the two planned out, but we bet it was a crazy experience. It’s impressive how determined they were to make their adventure a reality!