Real Estate

Property Watch: A Charming Floating Home on Sauvie Island

Classic cabin vibes meet nautical themes on this home in a gated community on the Willamette.

By Melissa Dalton July 5, 2022

Editor’s Note: Portland Monthly’s “Property Watch” column takes a weekly look at an interesting home in Portland’s super-competitive real estate market (with periodic ventures to the burbs and points beyond, for good measure). This week: a floating home on the edge of Sauvie Island. Got a home you think would work for this column? Get in touch at [email protected].

We seem to be on a cabin kick here at Property Watch, starting with a hand-built A-frame in Waldport, continuing with last week’s log cabin in Sisters, and now, staying closer to town, this 102-year-old floating home on the edge of Sauvie Island. Built in 1920 and owned by the same family for the past few decades, it’s a comfortable two floors, with two bedrooms and two baths, but feels super cozy thanks to all its interior wood trimmings and prime spot on the water.

Located in Mayfair Moorage, one of two moorages on the island, this home floats with about 16 others in a gated community on the Multnomah Channel of the Willamette River, the kind of place where neighbors chat to each other as they pass on the boardwalk and know each other’s vacation plans. With its cedar shingles, green trim, and copper roof, this home retains a more classic feel. To enter, pass under a draping evergreen tree framing the door to the covered front deck.

The interior has an easy layout, with the living spaces clustered together around a freestanding stove, and one bedroom and one bath on the main floor. Exposed wood beams, a wood ceiling, and wood-paneled walls direct the views to the rear, which is lined with windows overlooking the water. There, find the perfect alcove for taking in the view, with a built-in window seat plenty wide for a nap. A nearby glass door leads to the deck, should you need to get in the water for a dip or a kayak, or just sit in the sun.

The downstairs bedroom has built-in shelves and storage, making for a nice potential office or flex space, and the kitchen has been recently updated, with a generous island, new counters, and white cabinets to temper the wood found everywhere else. The upstairs hosts a bedroom with views of the river from bed, a newer bathroom, and its own balcony. Charming features pop up throughout, like the live-edge wood shelves near the entry, stained-glass accents, and a porthole window in the downstairs bathroom.

Across the boardwalk, find the 540-square-foot tender house, which is basically a garage for a boat. This one accommodates an 18-footer, and also has shop space and two rooms upstairs that could be used for storage, office, or studio work.


With its wildlife preserves, network of working farms, and public beaches, Sauvie Island is a tight-knit community a world apart from downtown Portland, which is still only about a 25-minute drive away. Closer by, find Topaz Farm just a mile down the road from the moorage. Topaz's farm-to-table dinners and live music nights would be a lovely way to spend a summer night.

Listing Fast Facts 

Address: 15500 NW Ferry Rd Unit 12A, B, Portland, OR 97231

Size:  1,770 square feet/2 bedroom/2 bath

List Date:  6/3/2022 

List Price:  $550,000

Listing Agent: Graham Marden, Premiere Property Group, LLC

Melissa Dalton is a freelance writer who has focused on Pacific Northwest design and lifestyle since 2008. She is based in Portland, Oregon. Contact Dalton here.