Written on the 12 January 2016 by Nick Nichols


A GOLD Coast boatbuilder has one novel solution to the city's land shortage head for the water.

After tinkering with the idea of creating a permanent water lifestyle, the Havana Houseboats managing director Matt Duncan has come up with a design for a luxury one-bedroom apartment that nestles in a marina berth, adding a new slant to absolute waterfront living.

It's like a houseboat, only ritzier, but it can never set sail even though it abides by all maritime safety rules.

The Havana floating apartments, which are priced from $195,000, are about half the price of a conventional house boat and can be moved from one marina to the next by road.

Duncan says he came up with the concept after noting that many houseboat owners never leave their moorings.

"We've been building houseboats for the past 10 years and we see a lot of people not taken them out; they just live on them on the marina," he says.

"This is a cheaper way of doing it, a houseboat without all the gear needed to drive it."

The news comes on the heels of research by Oliver Hume which reveals the Gold Coast is facing a potential land shortage within eight years because of rising demand, arguing that this will put pressure on house prices.

Duncan says he has been in touch with a number of marinas that are looking to trial the floating apartment concept, which he says could appeal to fly-in-fly-out workers as well as conventional homebuyers.

"The Havana on-water apartments are ideal for working couples who have dreamed of such a home with all the attractions of marina life and apartment living," says Duncan.

"The apartments are also perfect for retirees looking for the easy maintenance of an apartment."

The floating apartments, which have a catamaran-style hull, feature an open-plan kitchen and lounge and an undercover entertaining area overlooking the water. The 12-metre structure fits into a standard multi-hull marina berth of 14 metres.

Duncan says the issue of waste disposal has also been addressed through a portable overboard discharge system (PODS).

This is a floating cassette-style sealed holding tank into which waste is pumped and then towed to the marina's pump-out facility with a small tender boat.

"We have now taken this concept one step further by combining the PODS with a floating three-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."

Author: Nick Nichols





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