Skip to main content
Floating Cabin

Floating Cabins

TVA has published final Phase II floating cabin regulations, which are effective on October 12, 2021. View the regulation changes or all the Section 26a regulations.

TVA will propose an extension to the October 1, 2024 deadline for all floating cabin owners to comply with the regulations and apply for a Section 26a permit. The new deadline will be determined through a formal rulemaking process. In the interim, all floating cabin stakeholders are encouraged to continue taking action to comply with the regulations. There are no plans to change the health and safety standards.

Register your floating cabin now

Owners of floating cabins are required to register the floating cabin with TVA. Registration forms may be emailed to [email protected] or mailed to the address on the registration form. There is no fee to register.

Click here for the Floating Cabin Registration Form.

In accordance with TVA’s regulations, the following information is required to process a floating cabin registration:

  • Clear and current photographs of the structure;
  • A drawing or drawings showing in reasonable detail the size and shape of the floating cabin (length, width, and height) and attached structures, such as decks or slips (length, width, and height); and
  • A completed and signed TVA registration form. The completed TVA registration form shall include the mailing and contact information of the owner(s); the TVA permit or TVA-issued numbers (when applicable); the mooring location of the floating cabin; how the floating cabin is moored; how electrical service is provided; how wastewater and sewage is managed; and an owner’s signature.

Once the registration process is completed, floating cabin owners will receive an orange tag to place on their cabin. Registration is a required first step for floating cabins; it is not an approval of the floating cabin nor is it a guarantee that the floating cabin can be approved by TVA. All floating cabins will be required to maintain compliance with the regulations and apply for a Section 26a permit no later than October 1, 2024.

Who should complete the registration form

  • Anyone who owns a floating cabin, including those that were previously permitted by TVA.
  • Buyers of a floating cabin, even if the previous owner submitted a registration form.
  • Those who wish to move their floating cabin to another marina.

TVA published final rule amendments that establish health, safety, and environmental standards for floating cabins, including standards for electrical safety, flotation, mooring, and wastewater discharge. They also address TVA’s ongoing management and administration of the floating cabins program.

Read the Final Phase II Rule Amendments here.

Floating Cabin

What should you do now that the final rules are effective

  • Register your floating cabin by submitting the registration form. 
  • Work toward compliance with the new regulations and apply for a Section 26a permit no later than October 1, 2024.
  • Do not build any new floating cabins or modify or expand existing floating cabins. New floating cabins are prohibited. Additions or expansions that did not exist before December 16, 2016, are limited and require pre-approval in writing from TVA.
  • Do not construct or acquire any attachments (decks, swim platforms, etc.) that have not been registered or permitted to you by TVA.  New or expanded attachments are limited and require pre-approval in writing from TVA.
  • Do not relocate a floating cabin without TVA approval, except within the same marina harbor limit where the floating cabin is registered or permitted.  Relocation to another marina on the same reservoir requires pre-approval in writing from TVA.  Relocation to another reservoir is prohibited.
  • Obtain pre-approval in writing from TVA prior to any rebuilding or combination activity (removing the old floating cabin(s) or constructing the rebuilt or combined floating cabin).
  • For questions and/or additional information, please call TVA’s Public Land Information Center at 1-800-882-5263 or email the floating cabin staff at [email protected].

Buying and selling floating cabins

  • If buying a floating cabin, ensure it has been registered.  Review the regulations to determine what, if any, modifications will be necessary to comply.  Understand you will be required to meet the new standards, obtain a Section 26a permit from TVA, and may be subject to compliance fees.  Inquire of the seller if the floating cabin had been permitted by TVA before October 12, 2021; if so, request a copy of the permit.  Upon purchase, submit a registration form to document the change in ownership if you are not prepared to apply for a new permit.
  • If selling a floating cabin, fulfill the registration requirements.  Make the buyer aware they will be required to comply with the new regulations, obtain a Section 26a permit, and may be subject to compliance fees.  If the floating cabin has been registered or permitted by TVA prior to October 12, 2021, consider providing relevant documentation to the buyer.
  • Anyone buying a floating cabin should be able to provide evidence to TVA that the floating cabin existed on December 16, 2016, and its dimensions and configuration at that time. If the floating cabin is registered, this information has likely already been provided.
  • Visit this site frequently for updates and new information.