The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a Florida man's floating home was a house, not a boat, and not covered under maritime law, in a case that could affect thousands of people around the country who make their home on floating structures in marinas, bays and coves.

The high court ruled 7-2 for Fane Lozman, who argued that the gray, two-story craft approximately 60 feet in length that he towed to the marina in Riviera Beach, Fla., should not have been affected by maritime law.

Justice Stephen Breyer, who included a picture of Lozman's craft in the opinion, said maritime law affects vessels which are "watercraft or other artificial contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on water." The key words, Breyer said, were "capable of being used" and the court was concerned with practical possibilities, not merely theoretical.