by Ron Miller
My “trailer on a toon” project came to fruition one evening while sitting in my backyard with my wife discussing some of the more memorable vacations we had. We both agreed that our recently purchased Chalet hard sided folding trailer was a great deal of fun, but that the lack of privacy at camp grounds was always an issue with us. We also agreed that time spent on or near the water was a high priority, and that Lake Powell was one of our favorite spots. We considered a speed boat purchase, but we both felt it would probably only see the water a few days a year. Quite simply, I blurted out, “Why not put the Chalet on top of a pontoon boat?”
The response from her was that I probably had one too many adult beverages and that it was time for bed. The idea lingered in the back of my head for a couple of months until I got the tape measure out, measured the Chalet and started making chalk marks on the driveway. Then it was serious. Continue Reading »
Guest Post by Shelley Davis
In England today, narrowboats are floating homes, or holiday cottages, moored on the nation’s inland waterways.
They can range from a small 20ft long day boat to around 80ft long for some liveaboard craft that will never be taken around the whole country, but must always be under 7ft wide to retain the narrowboat name. Inside the boat, this can give up to a luxurious 420 sq ft of space, once you exclude the engine and other ‘service’ areas.
Photo credits - R-P-M
However, historically Narrowboats were working craft, where the majority of the length was dedicated to moving coal to London, chocolate from Birmingham, crockery from the potteries in Staffordshire. This left only up to 10ft of one-room space for living for an entire family with multiple children. Most furnishings were multi functional: Continue Reading »
Kirsten Svaren one of the Tiny House Blog’s readers discovered a link to Dominique Browns blog and her small home built from a reconditioned ’70s narrow boat.
Dominique is a freelance 3D and Spacial Designer who wanted to create the ultimate floating home. Her aim is to tell the world that the canals of the UK can be a happy, fun loving and even designer chic alternative living space. The idea is to have a peaceful setting even inside the hustle and bustle of a big city.
Dominique’s current home is located in Bath on the Kennet and Avon Canal. I was there personally last summer and it could not be a more perfect location to live.
The living space is 30 feet long and 6 foot 2 in width. The narrow boat was first constructed in the 1970′s but has been completely restored from scratch.
The layout is as open as possible with large windows, storage is in the form of built-in units. Each area is designed for multiple uses and can be adjusted simply by a hinge or slide of slats.
There are only two doors within the interior and they are both sliding. Within the sliding doors is a walk-in wardrobe.
Dominique says: By maintaining a light, simple look throughout, the overall feel of the space is much larger than it truly is. With the ability to move where we please and whenever we feel, this economical yet designer way of living sets the scene for many young couples looking for a relaxed and serene alternative to city commuting.
Photo Credits Dominique Brown
By Margy Lutz
Several years ago I wrote posts about living off the grid in our float cabin on Powell Lake in Coastal BC. You can read them here on the Tiny House Blog at “Our Little Cabin Up the Lake” and “Living on the Water.” Our float cabin, at the time, was 420 square feet downstairs with a 200 square foot sleeping loft under the peak of the roof. That is more than ample living space, but what it didn’t have was “indoor plumbing.” This fall we decided to trade in our trusty outhouse for a 60 square foot (6X10) bathroom with a composting toilet. The view won’t be as great, but the convenience will be appreciated. And instead of climbing four flights of stairs, we just have to go into another room. No rain, no wind – how civilized.
Our good friend John, who built our cabin, took a design I created and made it a reality. The bathroom addition is downstairs off our guest bedroom. He framed the walls, tied the roof into our existing one, made the old window into a doorway, added a window to the bedroom, and even gave us a side porch extension. He is a jack of all trades and was able to handle most of the work single handedly. Wayne and I worked on finishing touches like painting and furnishing.
We chose a Sunmar Excel NE for our composting toilet. The NE stands for non-electric. While it isn’t hooked up to our cabin’s solar powered electrical system, it does have its own panel to run a small fan within the air circulation pipe. That helps eliminate odour, and keeps the air moving around the compost as it processes. Six twists of the built in handle after each use keeps the contents in the holding drum mixed and working. The air circulation pipe rises above the roof line and has a built-in rain deflector. There’s also an overflow tube just to make sure there are no accidents indoors. With just two of us using the toilet, the capacity is excellent. We’ve had in operation for two months now, and are very pleased.
Our bathtub has been in our downstairs storage room for several years. Now it’s part of a real bathroom. The tub, however, isn’t connected for hot or cold water. Our bathtub is a cold weather luxury. In the summer, our natural swimming pool is all we need for a cooling swim or wash. We’ll continue to heat our water on the wood stove. I can fit four large pots on the surface at the same time, and a hot winter fire will get them almost boiling. Add an equal amount of cold water, and you have enough for a nice soak or soaping down. And there’s nothing like bathing with a friend to save water.
The bathroom also gives us some additional space for storage. A shelf built by John holds towels and toilet supplies, a recycled $1 end table holds toiletries, and a commercial pantry kit on sale for $49 provides space to store my canning in a cool place away from the sunlight. What a difference a little extra space makes when it is used wisely.
You can find more information about float cabin and off the grid living at http://PowellRiverBooks.blogspot.com. For information about Wayne’s Coastal BC Stories, come to www.PowellRiverBooks.com. Up the Lake and Farther Up the Lake have lots of information about our cabin life on Powell Lake.
John frames the 6 X1 0 bathroom addition and new side porch. Continue Reading »
by Juliann Tallino
We weren’t looking to buy a boat, we definitely weren’t looking to buy a tugboat, we were just looking. We have a home in Port Townsend, Washington but the commute into the city for work was too much to do everyday, so at the time we were renting a house in Ballard (a neighborhood of Seattle). It was a nice house in a great neighborhood, but we really weren’t keen on being renters. When we saw the tug on craigslist we were just curious, but once we looked at the boat we realized we could stop being renters and have a place of our own in Seattle. A place on the water with a million dollar view.
The tug needed a lot of work, the decks needed to be replaced, the interior needed to be completely renovated, and the whole boat was in dire need of a coat of paint. But both my husband and I are comfortable with working in wood, so we decided it was a project we could handle. At first, my husband was worried the space would be too small for the two of us. I work at home and he thought I’d go stir crazy in such tight quarters. But when I thought about how much space I actually used in our rental house, I knew we could make it work. I think most people live in just a small part of their house, the rest of the space is taken up with storing stuff. Luckily we didn’t have a great deal of stuff. So two weeks after seeing the ad on craigslist, we bought a vintage wood tugboat, the Iver. Continue Reading »
I mentioned recently in a Tiny House in a Landscape feature that I would be covering narrow boats in an upcoming post. I will show off a boat here that is for rent on the Avon Canal near Bath in the United Kingdom. Narrow boats are very popular as use for a vacation unit or in the term I got accustomed to while in the UK “on holiday.”
These boats featured here are a little wider than many of the narrow boats out there. These are traditional style widebeam canal boats. They feature accommodations for a whole family. Here is what Moonraker Canalboats says about their narrow boat holidays.
If you desire peace and quiet you can moor up in the countryside, miles from anywhere, with just the wildlife and the sky for company. If you prefer, at one of the many canal side pubs you can have a hearty meal, a pint and some conversation with your bed just feet away. Maybe a fine restaurant in one of the towns or cities along the canal? The choice is yours. Continue Reading »