Backyard Boatbuilders is a family owned site dedicated to people who are interested in either building or restoring boats.  

We are Sandi & Lee Freeman and we have been building and restoring boats since the 1980’s. We started amateur boatbuilding because we wanted a boat and found we had more sweat than dollars.

Since 1980 and working full time we built from scratch 3 houseboats, restored 2 and currently restoring an older Aqua Chalet pontoon houseboat. We have found that building or restoring a boat is an adventure. Especially a family adventure.

On this site we have our Ship Store where you can purchase beautiful items. The proceeds from this store help us keep this site going and half of all profits go to charity.


West Marine Magazine Article

When we were building the first SandiLee houseboat we were contacted by West Marine who wanted to interview us.

Here are excerpt from the West Marine Article by John Gregg

Watsonville, Ca.- Just when you think that the world is about to spin off its axis, well, you happen to meet a couple like Lee and Sandi Freeman.

At times, world events seem to want to swallow us up, everything seems a little less certain than it once was. However, if you spend any time with this pair, suddenly life becomes a little more reassuring.

Lee is a senior engineer who helps to develop software for large communications firms and his lovely wife, Sandi, is a retired director of a convention service company. Together, and I mean together, they build boats

So we are talking about serious projects here, an endeavor that continues to keep humming along.

The sound of hammers fill the air while laughter flows with ease. It’s true; occasionally someone gets glue stuck in their hair, but progress and funny stories are all part of the adventure.

Lee is the first to point out that Sandi was not only instrumental in the conception of the project, but she has worked side by side with him since day one. They have spent a number of evenings after working on their boats, picnicking on the shores of waterways, enjoying each other’s company, and dreaming about the day they put their boats in the water.

Their children are grown and married, yet they do lend a hand when visiting their folks. Family members have been instrumental, but by and large these have been mostly a two-person project.

I asked them what has been the most fun?

Answer, working together and the interest that other people have shown. We have received emails from Belgium, Nova Scotia, Peru, Australia, and Chile, just to name a few and of course all over the USA. They keep up with our project and that excites us.