This summer, more than 200,000 Americans, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, are on the water - in their homes.
That's right, their homes: flat-bottomed watercraft called houseboats. Many live-aboards, as full-time houseboaters refer to themselves, stay there year 'round.
"360-degree waterfront view, and no grass to cut!" a live-aboard named Jim Garrard in Louisville, Kentucky, told us. His wife Linda added, "It's like being on vacation every day."
Many houseboats include a kitchen, a head - as mariners call a bathroom, a microwave oven and a television set attached to an outside satellite dish. One's bedroom is often a fold-out couch or a 3-meter-long bunk.
Taking it easy is a houseboating art form. There are the chores of any boat - swabbing the deck, polishing fixtures, draining waste-water tanks, tinkering with the engine, and - once every few years - pulling the boat out of the water to remove freshwater mussels that affix themselves to the hull.
And a houseboat's close quarters, relative lack of privacy and ever-present, faint odor of gasoline aren't for everyone. It's all too easy to fall and break an arm or leg on a slippery deck. And a serious storm can take an unattended houseboat that's lashed to a dock and smash it to bits.
But even houseboaters who work elsewhere and have a bad day can come home, sit at the back, or stern, watch the sunset over the water, and relax. Live-aboards admit they don't have all the comforts of home. But they say that serenity and sanity more than make up for what's missing.