Abodes on the water

On the Rocks, a houseboat owned by Gary and Donna Pashman, cruises the open water at Perry Lake.

The galley and helm of the Red Lace, owned by Captain Doug Gerdel and First Mate Patty Gerdel.

“It’s like going on vacation every weekend.”

That’s how Patty and Doug Gerdel describe life on their 38-foot, twin-engine Nautaline houseboat docked at Perry Lake marina.

The Topeka couple make their convenient escape from dry land most every weekend from April through October and revel in their haven on the water that has all the comforts of home.

The main salon is a welcoming space featuring sofa seating that converts to a full-sized bed. Beneath the fore deck is the cozy master quarters with a queen-sized bed and darkness that accompanies the rhythmic rocking of the water to lull even an insomniac to sleep. Patty proudly proclaims she’s no slave to the kitchen, but the galley includes a range top that does double-duty as a countertop, an ample refrigerator/freezer and a banquette table that transforms to a queen bed. Even the head (boat-speak for the bathroom) has compartmentalized functionality that includes all the necessities.

Despite the interior conveniences, it’s the outdoor areas that the couple most enjoy. Doug dons his captain’s hat as he takes the helm atop the fly bridge while guests make themselves comfortable on the aft deck, equipped with a swim ladder or a mezzanine level deck outfitted with table and chairs.

Shipmates can almost hear Jimmy Buffett singing as the boat sails the calm waters out to Party Cove, where the Gerdels frequently tie up with many of their friends and fellow boaters to swim, swap stories and watch the sun set.

“Home and Away” visits several Perry Lake houseboats, including the “Mystique” and “On the Rocks” during this week’s episode. The show premieres Monday at 6:30 p.m. on Sunflower Broadband Channel 6 and replays throughout the week.