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A Warm and Cozy 50' Houseboat in a Quaint and Peaceful Marina near the city

30 Reviews
Bedrooms 1
Property type house boat

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house boat


Photos and Description of this 1 bedroom holiday house boat in Richmond - M/V GiaMaria

Built as a small and comfortable condo inside with sun and shade decks outside


Sails Angels of Richmond, a non-profit organization has offered a no cost guided canoe adventure either within a private lagoon or to the old tugboat graveyard at Dutch Gap Conservation area (weather and schedule permitting). But you do not need to take advantage of this offer during your stay. Your trip can be booked at a later date!!!!!!

Now about the boat

The GiaMaria is a 46' Chris Craft Houseboat that has been completely remodeled inside and out in order to give our guests a home like atmosphere without losing the feel of being on an old riverboat. It is modern in every sense of the word. It has been reconstructed to have a large bathroom with a full sized vanity, a 4' designer shower, ventilator fans, and its own USCG certified sanitation system. It comes complete with a queen eleven inch memory foam mattress (Sleep Innovations) and high quality bedding, a small but complete galley and a large salon for relaxing. Outside you will find a very large upper deck for morning coffee or sunning that offers great views and a lower covered bow deck with a stainless steel grill.

See attached pictures. But it is not just the GiaMaria that you will enjoy. It is also about her unique location.

The Richmond Yacht Basin is a gated facility for members and guests, yet there is nothing stuffy about it, and it is only 9 miles from downtown Richmond. It also has the distinction of being the oldest marina on the James River and its setting cannot be duplicated because it is surrounded by a beautiful island, the Richmond National Battlefield Park and well kept privately owned farms. It is also only one mile from Osborne Landing, a county owned facility including a new fishing pier, a Bass Master's boat launch, great walking trails along the river, canoe and kayak launch ramps, pavilions for picnics/cookouts, bathrooms and wonderful playgrounds for kids, and it is always kept in tip-top shape, and yet it is all free to the public.

As you approach the marina after a beautiful canopied drive thru the Richmond National Battlefield Park, you will look through very old trees to the marina and river below. You will be on sacred ground from the minute you enter the park because it is a land where so many important people and events made history. Some of the historical characters who lived in the nearby Indian settlement of Arroheteck included Chief Powhatan's son, Tanx or (Parahunt) and Pocahontas his daughter, who married her English born husband John Rolfe. Pocahontas and John Rolfe after marriage made their home here as well, and with the aid of many nameless slaves, (black, Indian and white) they saved Jamestown and the first English colonists by producing a type of "Varina" tobacco that would have tremendous economic value in many European countries. It is a spot where Captain John Smith found his "sweet water" during his explorations of the "wilderness" and in later years of sail, became a local stop over at "Sailor's Tavern". People like George Washington,Patrick Henry, Abraham Lincoln, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Marshall, the Marquis de Layfayette, Benedict Arnold, Gen. Cornwallis and many other great men and women passed thru this oxbow in the James River on their way to transform our nation. Battles on land and in the river were fought here too, during both the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. For example, Benedict Arnold sank the Colonial Fleet in January 1781before burning Richmond within eye site of the GiaMaria during the Revolutionary War with England. And Union Ironclads like the Monitor and Galena fought other Ironclads like the South's CSS Virginia while trying to pass Drewery's Bluff, the confederate "Annapolis" in order to subdue Richmond, but that never happened.

And Just around the river's bend east of Richmond Yacht Basin is Henricus, the London Company's second settlement after Jamestown in the New World. Unfortunately the original "citie" was destroyed by Opechancanough, Chief Powhatan's successor "brother" during the Indian massacre of 1622.

Today however it is a thriving reconstruction of what it was like in the days of Sir Thomas Dales early 1600's "town".

And just down the road heading east along Route 5 a ( Virginia Bi-Way)are plantations like Shirley, still owned and operated by the same family since its beginning in 1613, Berkley, where Taps was first composed and played, and reportedly where the first Thanksgiving was held, Westover, the home of President William Henry Harrison (Ole' Tippecanoe). Sherwood Forrest, the home of President John Tyler ("His Accidency") and Evergreen, the birthplace of Edmund Ruffin, who is considered to be the father of modern agriculture and the southern firebrand who is credited with firing the shot that began the Civil War. And these are just a few of the historical events or attractions to be found within a few minutes of the docking space of the GiaMaria and we haven't even touched on the historical attractions going west on Route 5 into Richmond such as St John's Episcopal Church where Patrick Henry told the King of England, "give me liberty or give me death", or Hollywood Cemetery where a great many historical figures are buried like the Presidents Monroe and Tyler or JEB Stuart. Within minutes too, if you are Civil War buff, then you are in luck because you will be set squarely in the middle of where the Battle of the Crater took place, as did Cold Harbor, Malvern Hill, White Oak Swamp, Deep Bottom, Chaffin's Farm, Pamplin Historical Park and City Point (Gen. Grants headquarters during the siege of Petersburg) among many other well known and not so well known battle sites and fortifications.

Much about our old and dusty beginnings cause us to be proud and much of it we are ashamed of, but because of the lessons learned from our past, the Richmond area today has become a bright and shiny area said to be set like Rome on seven hills.

For example, there are many and varied museums, river rapids to be enjoyed by those brave enough to take the plunge, sports events of every kind, major universities and hospitals like Virginia Commonwealth University's Medical College of Virginia, world class car races (Richmond International Raceway )and cycling (the UCI world championship 2015) as well as the Richmond Marathon (rated the 18th largest in the nation). There are also restaurants galore from local favorites to world class dining. Richmond is fast becoming a gourmets delight and the Craft Brewery Capital of the South. Chic shopping districts like Carytown, River Road, Short Pump or Stoney Point are all within a short distance, as are outlet malls and several large shopping centers.

Watersports and tours of many kinds are offered in several nearby places. Major garden tours (voted one of the best in the country) like Lewis-Ginter Botanical Gardens or Maymont Park as well as national, state and local parks are all within minutes of the GiaMaria. And in one to two hours by car you can be in the Blue Ridge Mountains or Charlottesville or Virginia Beach or Washington, DC, or Williamsburg or Jamestown, or Yorktown, or Petersburg, or Kings Dominion, or Busch Gardens, and several major outlet malls.

We even now enjoy the Virginia Capital Trail. It is a cycling/walking, running hard surfaced path of 52 miles between Richmond, the Capital of Virginia, and the colonial capitals of Williamsburg and Jamestown. And all of this is only a sampling of what you will find within a stones throw of the GiaMaria.

The area though is also a wildlife lover's delight. There are many native species of plants and animals such as rare Lady Slippers, Bald Eagles, ancient swamps of Cypress and Junipers, Running Cedar, and Song Birds galore. There are Foxes, both red and silver, and occasional Bobcats, beavers and otters. We are also a flyway for many species of animals, such as Butterflies, Ducks, Geese, Humming Birds, Robins,Northern Bald Eagles, and fish in the spring such as Striped Bass, American and Hickory Shad and in the fall the ancient Sturgeons that jump out of the water weighing more than 500 pounds.

And if you like fishing, we have both Large and Small Mouth Bass, several species of Catfish, record sized Crappie and several local guides will guarantee that you will catch a catfish of 40 pounds or more during late fall and throughout the winter.

And on a totally different note, if dancing is your thing, then the tobacco company is just down the road where you can party late into the night or we can hook you up with a lively Argentine Tango group for some lessons or a Milonga.

One thing is for sure concerning our area, you will not be hard pressed to find something of interest to fill your time, because it is all here.

So..., come and join the fun. You can relax on the water or go out and explore our wonderful slice of the good ole USA.

More Details
  • Events Allowed
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets considered
  • wheelchair inaccessible

Property Manager
Ronald M. Blaha
Member since: 2015
Speaks English
Response time:
Within an hour
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
23 October, 2016

About Ronald M. Blaha

I am a retired tugboat company owner/captain who cannot get the James River out of my system, I began going on tugs with my dad when I was just four years old and that was a very long time ago.

Throughout those years I was blessed to meet and befriend people from many seafaring nations and from all walks of life. Sometimes I wondered how some ships ever made it across oceans to come and load cargoes. The Captain's entire family would be living aboard with chickens and goats and dogs and dried fish hanging from many places on the outer decks.

At other times the officers would be in full dress and sail spotless ships into the harbor.

Stories that were told to me I have tried to document in a yet to be published manuscript, (Chosen River) because they were often told from the heart of men who seldom saw their loved ones or who escaped their homeland and probable death for a better life as was the case of a wonderful skipper who told of the atrocities committed by Mao Tse-Tung after the end of WWII.

During those years, I raised a family, built some homes/restaurants, earned a degree from Richard Bland College of the College of William and Mary, with continued ed at Virginia Commonwealth University and University of North Florida.

In 1987, I was appointed by Governor Gerald Balliles as the Maritime Commander for Central Virginia in the Virginia State Guard with the rank of Lt Colonel.

I am currently married to my beautiful wife, Ruth Christiane Rawlings, a Rocky Mountain girl turned Queen of the James. Ruth is currently studying full time towards a Master's Degree in Education. She has enjoyed a colorful background that spans from raising kids to skydiving as a student with the Golden Knights, to acting as the lead in many plays and musicals such as South Pacific, Zorba, Scrooge, Wait Until Dark and starred in Brigadoon and Pajama Game. Ruth sang alto with the Richmond Symphony Chorus for seven years and has been a life long church leader and teacher.

Ronald M. Blaha purchased this house boat in 2012

Why Ronald M. Blaha chose Central Virginia

As an older man not ready to sit in a rocker, I decided to buy the GiaMaria and make her into a very comfortable vessel that would be not only safe and comfortable, but a fun boat as well. I have known this boat all of her life. She was originally built by Chris Craft and now re-built by me. She is a roomy boat and unlike most houseboats she does not rock and roll because she is built on a hull with a vee shape rather than a flat bottom.

I have spent many hours on her and found her to be solid and comfortable and I think you will find the same.

What makes this house boat unique

Each of my guests seems to have found something that they liked about the GiaMaria. For some it has been the comfort of the memory foamed mattress and high quality linens, for others it is the upper sun and viewing deck, still others like the large ceramic shower, some, the shaded forward deck or the large living quarters for lounging or reading. And a couple have opted for a cruise that I offer at a reduced price for guests who are staying aboard.


based on 30 holidaymaker reviews

A Warm and Cozy 50' Houseboat in a Quaint and Peaceful Marina near the city
average rating of 4.733333 based on 30 reviews

What fun and so relaxing

  • 5 of 5

Thank you Cap Ron for sharing your little piece of heaven on the James River with us. We so enjoyed our day away from the hussle bussle of our area. We enjoyed meeting you and you were extremely accommodating. The view of the river brought my blood pressure down 20 points. I am still relaxed after my trip down 95 to get home. Now that is a miracle! Bed very comfortable. All the necessities there for a fun time. Highly recommend.

  • Review Submitted: Jun 11, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Jun 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: I cannot say enough how pleased I am to accommodate folks like you. It is what makes this little "oasis" worth maintaining. I have met so many wonderful folks ranging from young students, honeymooners, quite a few folks who are celebrating an anniversary or a birthday, medical students, elderly travelers, sportsmen, attorneys, doctors, a family just having a small vacation from France, a barrister and his wife from the Falkland Islands, and so many other interesting people. They have all been wonderful too! Each of them has given me so many great comments about their stay, and all five star ratings. But, I will say that every guest that I have had also deserves a five star rating. One thing that I have discovered that everyone has in common, is that they are all looking for a clean, peaceful, place that has more than just four walls and a TV to stare at, when they arrive from a long drive, or a day of exploring the area. Many times I have heard about how relaxing it is to sit on one of the decks with a glass of wine, or a good book. The GiaMaria is a nice reasonable and safe place to stay, no matter if you are a couple, or a single man or woman, I will always look after you, and your best interest too, and you will find that I, or my daughter will personally be available to greet you and "show you the ropes" when you arrive. I wish that I could accommodate everyone who would like to reserve the boat for their stay, but that of course is not possible. But for those who do come aboard, even for one night, it is an experience, that you will remember when other places along your way will be long forgotten. Lastly, I thank to all of you wonderful folks for making the GiaMaria a success, and for allowing me to be a small part of your lives. Captain Ron and Gia
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2 0

Incredible Host, Beautiful Stay

  • 5 of 5

I wasn't able to make it due to the storm, but was fortunate to have a great host that welcomed my father and offered an amazing stay. Thank you!!

  • Review Submitted: Oct 14, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Oct 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks Jacqueline for a great review. I am sorry that Hurricane Mathew ruined your plans to meet your father on the GiaMaria, but on the other hand, I am happy to know that you are safe! Your dad is a fantastic man, and I am glad that I could not only accommodate him during his stay aboard, but also spend some time with him in your absence. Hopefully one day you and he will try again to explore our little piece of heaven here at the marina. Best to you both, Captain Ron
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0 0

Such a fun experience

  • 5 of 5

This is a great location if you are looking to do something a little different. My wife and I just decided we needed to get away from D.C. for a night with the kids. Our two children (ages 6 and 3) had a blast sleeping on a boat. It is a beautiful location and the kids loved being up on the top deck for the sunset just having some family time together. Captain Ron is such a great guy. We definitely need to come back in the future.

  • Review Submitted: Oct 3, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Sep 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you Shane for such a fine review. This is what the GiaMaria and our beautiful, gated and friendly marina is all about. A place where anyone can come to relax and enjoy the park, the river, and all of the frills associated with them. Like beautiful sunrises and sunsets, really good fishing, boat rentals, canoeing and kayaking opportunities, wild life, bike trails and hiking paths, history on every level, and of course Richmond which is only (8) miles away, and it is all country driving. And this says nothing about the very comfortable boat you have chosen for your stay, rather than just a boring room somewhere. So yes, please do come back with your lovely family. You will always be welcome on the Giamaria. And I forgot to mention that within a mile of the boat, there is a wonderful playground for the kids to enjoy. Captain Ron
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1 0

Pleasant stay on the water.

  • 4 of 5

Captain Ron was helpful, friendly and infomative. Boat was neat and clean and well stocked for our visit. Good stay even in the rain.

  • Review Submitted: Oct 1, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Sep 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: I tried very hard to get you some sun, but he just wanted to hide behind some clouds. Glad you enjoyed your stay however. Even with the rain, be on the river beats just a room when it is raining.
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1 0

It is warm, cozy and unique.

  • 5 of 5

The cool factor is over the top! Sitting on the upper deck watching the waterfowl , including bald eagles, great blue herons, ibis, kingfishers, and vultures. Bring your binoculars and don't forget to take the tour with Tom on the James.

The marina is close to Williamsburg, Richmond, and route 5 plantations. Captain Ron's engaging and fascinating conversations with us made us look forward to seeing him. He knows everything there is to know about the James.

We just loved it and intend to go back everytime we visit our Richmond family.

Thank you, Ron.

Fran and John

  • Review Submitted: Sep 22, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Sep 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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2 0

A Memorable Weekend!

  • 5 of 5

Dear Ron,

Over the years In our 25+ VRBO rentals (and we have enjoyed every one), seldom have we encountered a more gracious and attentive host: a true Virginia Gentleman! The houseboat provided us a gentle window on the world of the James River, and Wayne and I will treasure every hour of it. The upper deck with those comfy deck chairs provided a perfect place for writing and reflection and everyone we met at the marina was most kind. On the GiaMaria, everything we needed was at our fingertips, and the shower was delightful and ingeniously arranged. We so appreciate your help in making arrangements to get us to Turkey Island - and what can I say about the doughnuts? My, oh my, you were too good to us! We sincerely appreciate your hospitality and we look forward to another visit to the houseboat when time permits.

Kathi and Wayne

  • Review Submitted: Sep 19, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Sep 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Wayne and Kathi, Thank you for such a kind review. It always makes me happy to know that my guests have enjoyed their stay aboard the GiaMaria. I love this area and think the best part about it, is that big business has not recognized what an unspoiled gem we have to offer. Another thing that I enjoyed very much is the fact that y'all actually brought something to the table with you concerning our country's history, and that it helped to add a better understanding about our forefathers who lived along this river from its earliest English settlements. But most of all, it was my great pleasure to have met the two of you. You are great people, and like you and Wayne, I will "keep living from the neck up." You are always welcome here. God bless you both. Ron
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2 0


Nearest Airport
10 Miles
Richmond International Airport
Nearest Barpub
2 Miles
Lily Pad
Nearest Ferry
30 Miles
Nearest Golf
10 Miles
Rivers Bend
Nearest Train
10 Miles
Nearest Motorway
20 Miles
Richmond International Speedway
Nearest Restaurant
2 Miles
Lily Pad
Nearest Ski
60 Miles
Nearest Beach
90 Miles
Virginia Beach
Car: necessary

First a rule: Please enjoy the marina until sundown. After that the east and west docks are closed to all people except boat owners. Also, please never board anyone else's boat. Thanks!

Now for the area: I feel certain that the initial strategy to locate Richmond in its present location was fairly thought out by its original founders.

Being located at the last possible point on the James River where commercial vessels could conduct worldwide trade as well as collect goods from the far interior of the country, was by no means a stroke of luck. On the contrary, it must have been a stroke of genius.

It is about 80 miles from the major ports of Norfolk/Portsmouth and Hampton/ Newport News or the Chesapeake Bay/Atlantic Ocean.

Richmond is also strategically located about 100 miles from Washington DC or the Blue Ridge Mountains and 70 miles from Charlottesville or the North Carolina border.

We are fortunate to have major highways going north and south (I-95), east and west (I-64), circling (I-295 to the east and Rt 288 to the west) and other freeways cris-crossing through Richmond. These routes are Rt 895 (Toll) just south of Richmond and the expressways are the Powhite (Toll), (east to west) and the Richmond Expressway (Toll) that runs through the middle of the city (north to south).

There are also other major routes that cross the city as well including Routes 250, 60, and 360 (east to west) as well as

Routes 1 and 301 (north to south).

With so many major roads leading in and out of the city it is no wonder that we have such a diverse community of people, businesses, religions, educational opportunities, medical facilities, museums, sports events, nightlife and so on.

Richmond has also become a hot spot for fine dining, and craft beer lovers. And there is no shortage of festivals at almost anytime of the year.

Richmond is no longer a backwater town because there is something here for everyone.


Prices & Availability

Prices for this holiday house boat in Richmond, Central Virginia

Rental Basis:
per property
Manager accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rental Period Minimum Price Additional Nights Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event Price
3 Jan 2017 - 21 Mar 2017
1 night minimum stay
for 1 night
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add £4 per night, per additional guest
My Standard Rate
1 night minimum stay
for 1 night
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add £4 per night, per additional guest

Additional pricing information

Rates are subject until reservations are confirmed.

Manager's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund for cancellations more than 7 days before check-in date.
  • 100% refund for cancellations more than 14 days before check-in date.
Enter dates for accurate pricing
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Available arrival


Accommodation and facilities for this holiday house boat in Richmond in Virginia

Property Type:
  • house boat
Accommodation Type:
  • Bed & Breakfast
  • Self-catering
Floor Area:
  • 350 sq. ft.
Location Type:
  • rural
  • Water View
  • Waterfront
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Air Conditioning
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave ...
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Hob ...
  • Toaster ...
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 4 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 - Toilet , Shower Enclosure
  • It is Lipstick red with chair rail, a four foot ceramic designer shower with shampoo, conditioner and body wash furnished. It has a US Coast Guard approved electric toilet with it own sanitation system (no sewage is kept aboard the vessel). The GiaMaria's bathroom also has a large vanity, hot and cold pressurized water, lots of light, exhaust fans, night light, hair dryer outlets, heat, outside view window, and a ceramic tiled floor. You will also find ample towels, etc. in the vanity.
  • 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 4
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 Large Double Bed
    Main Salon - 1 Sofa bed/Futon , sleeper sofa in main salon can accommodate 1 couple
  • The Master's quarters has an eleven inch Sleep Innovations memory foam mattress, high quality bed linens and a seven foot window with a view of the river and the island across the channel. It is carpeted, has heat and air conditioning a small closet, plenty of drawer space, and a bedside night table with a soft glow reading lamp. It is also equipped with a separate 12 volt lighting system. The room is decorated with personal pictures and art from my private maritime collection.
  • Books
  • Stereo
  • Television ...
  • Terrace
  • Kayak / Canoe
  • Barbecue ...
  • Events Allowed
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters ...
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only ...
  • pets considered
  • wheelchair inaccessible
  • autumn foliage
  • botanical garden
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • laundrette - not serviced
  • festivals
  • forests
  • library
  • live theatre
  • marina
  • museums
  • playground
  • pond
  • recreation centre
  • restaurants
  • ruins
  • synagogues
  • theme parks
  • winery tours
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • antique hunting
  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • horse riding
  • outlet shopping
  • paddle boating
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness centre
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundrette - serviced
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • Basketball Court
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • ice skating
  • jet skiing
  • pier fishing
  • rafting
  • sailing
  • swimming
  • water skiing
  • water tubing
  • whitewater rafting
Private river tours are discounted for stay aboard guests. Canoe sailing and kayaking easily arranged as are fishing tours. This is a great place for those who want to paint, write or commune with nature. You are in the country, yet only fifteen minutes from the Governor's Mansion in Richmond, the capital of Virginia.

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