My Boat Roofed Shed

by Kent Griswold on January 2nd, 2013. 30 Comments
Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

The shed roof is made from a clinker built boat that is 14ft long and 7ft wide at its widest point. The boat is an inshore fishing boat made between 1900 – 1910. It was placed on a frame of 4 telegraph poles with cross beams. Once in place the walls were filled in using aluminium windows from a 1940′s caravan and single glazed windows from our 400 year old farm house.

boat house

The windows are from the early 1980′s and we replaced them last year. Other walls are made of wattle and daub, a mixture of mud, clay, and straw stuck onto a woven frame. It is heated by a French enamelled stove also from the 1900′s in which I burn wood. There is also a 20w solar panel trickle feeding a leisure batter which powers 3 pairs of ultra-brite L.E.D. Lights and a 12v sound system. There is also a 12v refrigerator and a bottled gas cooker with 2 burners, a grill, and an oven. The shed is made from recycled materials except the 12v system.

inside the boat house

I have 3 chimes from inside mantle piece clocks screwed into the centre board of the boat and play them with a big nail! I also keep my collection of 1950′s printed tins housed there.

The shed is located 750ft above sea level near the village of Cemmaes Road near the market town of Machynlleth in mid Wales in the U.K. We have beautiful views of mountains across the valley.

The 3 walls at the stern of the boat are clad with corrugated iron sheets painted in thick bitumen paint.

View more photos on Facebook.

the boat

hooking up the boat

lifting the boat into place

dropping the boat onto the walls

next to the house

inside the shelter

rafters of boat

the captain

picnic at the boathouse


30 Responses to “My Boat Roofed Shed”

  1. Oh dear lord. A boat for a roof. This is the most magical thing ever!!

  2. [...] Kent Griswold’s excellent Tiny House Blog… a boat becomes a shed, but could become a [...]

  3. Mike says:

    Feels right. I’ll just bet it’s a great spot to be in the early morning with that first cup of coffee….

    Would love to see the stove.

    What would be great for this type of tiny house (thematically at least) is if the balance of construction – aside from the boat – was done exclusively in driftwood. Porthole windows.


    • Alex Holland says:

      Hi Mike, stove pictures on the Facebook link in blog above. The idea was to use materials that were what was / is to hand, all being reclaimed except for the screws and 12v system! So far the whole project has cost about £400. Glad you like it and please carry on following the story.
      All the best

  4. Debra says:

    Nice, love the chipped paint inside the ‘boat ceiling’. Lovely to re-use someones dream.

  5. Deek says:

    Loaded with independent character…the way, I feel, a house or shed should be.

  6. Bob H says:

    Unique, Great one of a kind. What a place to hang out. Best of all no wheels.

  7. Molly says:

    What a wonderful idea! I never would have thought of that. I bet you have many fond memories already from your tiny house.

  8. I love the roof from the inside, it’s so unique. What a great idea.

  9. Hi Alex
    Just saw your boat house on tiny house blog. It looks great! Very inspiring.Thinking of making something on a trailer bed come spring.
    Hi to Sam and everyone.

  10. Benjamin says:


    “If you haven’t grown up by age 30, you don’t have to.”

  11. Kathryn says:

    Very unique and I like it a lot!

  12. Anna Hawthorne says:

    Fine idea and great use of a sweet little hull~ those memories imbedded in planking,keel and paint, worn down by years of weather and sea. Wooden hulls may be found wherever fisheries have closed, in back storage lots of marinas and listing sadly at forgotten wharves.. just waiting to be made into a Tiny House!

  13. Lyn says:

    Fantastic character and inspiration! Enjoy your space Captain.

  14. Sara says:

    Very nice project! I love all the light you’re getting in the building. I was also really excited to read that you used wattle and daub. Is there any way that you might be able to give some more details on how to, and maintenance tips? That would be much appreciated! Thanks!

    • Alex Holland says:

      Hi Sara,
      The wattle and daub I use is a mixture of waste clay from a local pottery class mixed with short lengths of straw and earth from around the boat shed. Maintenance is just putting on more daub where needed. I will be making a thin clay and earth ‘slip’ to add an extra layer and once that is dry and dry weather is forecast I shall start putting on layers of lime to give a breathable waterproof finish.
      All the best. Alex

  15. Elsa says:

    She ain’t exactly pretty, but I love the creativity and resourcefulness involved in using just what you have available!
    Pure magic! I’ll be the faeries love it too! ;)

  16. Shell says:

    Wow….I love it! Very cool! That’s so clever. Someday…I’ll have a little place of my own too. Thanks for the ideas and inspiration. : )

  17. Keith Levy says:

    This is absolutely fabulous.
    The quintessential Mans Boat Cave.
    Congratulations on such a good idea executed with great consideration to detail.
    I’ll feature this on The Flying Tortoise Blog very soon…

  18. MJ says:

    In the early 1900s artist Sydney Burleigh converted an old catboat named Peggotty into his studio; its still in existence in Little Compton, RI.

  19. Don says:

    Google lindisfarne boat huts you’ll like them.The arctic explorers used their boats as roofs to make huts to overwinter in. : )

  20. Alex Holland says:

    Thank you for all of your nice comments and I am glad you like my shed! Have been sitting in it in blizzards with the wood burner making it very warm!
    I hope it has inspired people to save more old boats from either being scrapped or broken up.
    Keep up the good work on all you small spaces!

  21. Alex Holland says:

    Please share or vote for my shed here!

    Thank you

    • Kitty Lebow says:

      How very simple and yet ingenious. Making good use of things on hand. I like it. Sitting here wondering if an old boat I have would make a good chicken house. Kitty

  22. randomray says:

    What a good idea . I love wooden boats and sadly so many are just left to rot because the up keep is so high . Makes me want to see if I can rescue one myself . Thinking , thinking …

  23. Alex Holland says:

    Please vote for my shed! Thank you. Link


Add Your Photo: To add your photo to your comments just visit Gravatar and upload your photo.

Leave a Reply