Australia. On-water apartment living becomes a reality

Friday, 08 January 2016

Many people dream of life in an apartment overlooking a marina, or as a holiday home. But cost is often a major obstacle.

Now a Gold Coast builder has announced the development of luxury one-bedroom apartments - right on the marina.

The apartments are priced from just $195,000, can be moved by road or water from one marina to another if the owners desires a change of scenery, and include most fittings, including a fully-equipped luxury kitchen and even a built-in queen double bed.

According to the builder, Havana Houseboats Managing Director Matt Duncan, "The Havana on-water apartments are ideal for working couples who have dreamed of such a home with all the attractions of marina life, apartment living and convenient location.

"The apartments are also perfect for retirees looking for the easy maintenance of an apartment - without the burden of lifts or stairs. We also believe they will appeal to fly-in fly-out workers."

The luxury floating apartments are architecturally drafted and feature floor-to-ceiling glass walls for unobstructed views of the water.

The bedroom offers 180-degree views, a built-in queen-size double bed and built-in wardrobes either side while the light, airy en-suite bathroom includes double entry - one directly from the bedroom and a second to afford entry for day guests. 

The kitchen is fully equipped to luxury apartment standards with a cooktop, oven and dishwasher as well as plenty of cupboard space.

"We have even incorporated an under-bench integrated washer/dryer," says Mr Duncan.

The open plan kitchen and lounge flow out to a spacious carpeted undercover entertaining area overlooking the water. 

Havana has been building luxury houseboats on the Gold Coast for more than 10 years, earning a strong reputation for style and quality.

"That same style has been brought to the apartment," says Mr Duncan. "The level of quality is perhaps even better than our houseboats."

With a width of six meters and an overall length of 12 meters, Havana on-water apartments fit into a standard multihull marina berth. 

Laminated glass external walls surround the entire apartment, making exterior cleaning a breeze.

"A quick hose-down will keep this glass shiny and clear," says Mr Duncan. 

The hulls on which the apartments sit include four sealed compartments, making them virtually unsinkable.

An added advantage of the Havana on-water apartment is on-going costs. Apartment owners usually have to pay monthly or quarterly body corporate fees as well as regular electricity and water bills.

Most marinas now offer a single annual berth fee that includes all water and power and use of the marina's facilities. 

One of the drawbacks of marina living has been the need for waste pump-out. Most marinas are equipped with pump-out stations but this has meant a regular and often complex manoeuvre from the marina berth to the pump-out and back again.

Matt Duncan solved this issue for his apartment owners last year when he unveiled the unique P.O.D.S (Portable overboard discharge system) for live-aboard vessels at marinas.

PODS is a floating cassette-style sealed holding tank that allows the owner to pump waste directly into it and simply tow it around to the marina's pump-out facility with a small tender boat. Havana floating apartments include a PODS, giving the owner flexibility to live comfortably in any part of any marina. The PODS fully complies with all Maritime Regulations.

"We have now taken this concept one step further by combining the PODS with a floating 3-metre JetSki or tender dock, so form follows function with a very practical application. Moving the PODS to the pump-out is quick and simple."

Mr Duncan believes that, once a marina has a number of these apartments, a communal waste hook-up is possible with a cam lock attachment to the marina's main waste line. 

The Havana apartments are fully road transportable nationwide and, due to their catamaran style hulls, easily towed to a different marina if location needs change. 

Matt Duncan Havana Houseboats

Imprint Media Denby Browning

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Last Updated ( Friday, 08 January 2016 )