Five of the Cooolest Houseboats on the Planet

October 2012 News Briana Davis

Floating homes are getting more attention these days - some for being incredibly practical or economical and others for being quirky and conceptual. Check out our list of super cool houseboats below.

Silberfisch: The Modern Houseboat

These days, city living can be outrageously expensive, which is what prompted Bernhard Urich along with Flo Florian and Sascha Akkermann of the German design firm Confused-Direction to unveil their innovative solution - the Silberfisch Houseboat.

This modern, floating home offers urban dwellers the opportunity to live in style at a fraction of the cost, without limiting the freedom and flexibility of relocation. This eco-friendly houseboat is made from reclaimed wood (when possible), features a green roof planted with vegetation and produces zero emissions.

Elena Queen of Hearts: The Luxury Houseboat

Soon-to-be-empty nesters Tim and Mary Forsythe never imagined they'd be selling their estate to live year round on a converted houseboat. That is, until Elena Queen of Hearts caught their eye. Built in 1984, this 79-foot-by-26-foot boat was designed by John Amos (the founder of American Family Insurance) to look like a Victorian riverboat.

Named after the Amos' wife, Elena Queen of Hearts has entertained a variety of political dignitaries (including the Queen of Thailand). With over 1,800 square feet of layout, a lot hard work was required to give this space a cozy feel. It now features a plethora of luxury items such as a home theatre, hot tub and grand piano.

SolarHome: The Eco-Friendly Houseboat

Instead of loading the kids into your gas-guzzling Winnebago next summer break, you might want to consider SolarHome. Designed by UK-based Kingsley architects, SolarHome is an eco-friendly floating home that can safely and stylishly transport you and your family through the water. Turn boring road trips into water adventures - or dock it trailer park style.

Made from low-carbon material, the SolarHome features eco-friendly solar power and has been designed to function in one of two modes - Docked Mode (which requires some infrastructure for power, fresh water and water treatment) and Self Sufficient Mode. While in Self-Sufficient mode, SolarHome can function for an entire year without requiring any service maintenance.

Cosmic Muffin: The Plane-Houseboat

The Cosmic Muffin is by far the most iconic houseboat on our list. This rare 1930's Boeing Stratoliner (one of only ten ever built) is the first and only land-based airplane to be converted into a boat. Affectionately known as the Cosmic Muffin, this houseboat has a rich legacy.

Originally owned by the infamously eccentric Howard Hughes, the interior was converted into an executive office suite (with a little help from Rita Hayworth). The plane exchanged hands several times before it was deemed un-flyable in 1969 due to extensive hurricane damage. Hughes' former `flying office' was rescued from uncertain fate by Fort Lauderdale Realtor and pilot Kenneth W. London who then spent nearly four years converting it into the coolest bachelor pad ever.

Now owned by a man named David Drimmer, the Cosmic Muffin currently resides dockside in Fort Lauderdale, FL and is open for public touring or chartering.

Kerala: The Vacation Houseboat

Houseboating is one of the most tranquil and relaxing experiences in the world. Imagine if you could take that feeling with you on vacation abroad. Well, you can. Kerala, one of India's most beautiful regions, is well known for its scenic network of winding canals, rivers, lakes and lagoons - and its equally beautiful houseboats (called kettvallams).

The design of these luxury houseboats retains a strong sense of tradition, while incorporating modern comforts and convenience. Constructed from a variety of local materials such jack-wood, bamboo poles and coconut, these houseboats usually feature 1-2 bedrooms with an attached bathroom, as well as a kitchenette, lounge, balcony and a thatched roof. Enlist the help of trained crew for a couple hours or several weeks for the vacation of a lifetime.

This is a guest post by Briana Davis on behalf of Canvas Craft, an industry leading canvas manufacturer offering custom boat covers. She writes tips, tutorials, and more on the Canvas Craft Blog.

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