Thursday, 8 October 2009

Ahoy there, enormous houseboat thing

I can't really say I've had occassion to step aboard many boats in my time. Despite my best efforts I've still managed to avoid knowing anyone in possession of a ship, yacht, or even a dinghy. The nearest I have come so far to a life on the ocean waves has been the ferry to the Isle of Wight in 2004.

But that hasn't stopped me gaping in wonder at any new arrival in St Katharine Docks as I stroll through on my way to work - it might even have stoked my fascination. I spend the entire walk through the docks wondering what exactly the Dutch barge Noelle looks like below decks, and if Playbuoy really is lined in faux tiger fur as its name suggests.

Every now and then a vessel turns up that has my jaw scraping the floor. This is usually a multi-million pound Sunseeker (Eddie Jordan's, The Snapper, springs to mind) or a round-the-world yacht with a brushed alluminium hull.

Or this. Matrix Island turned up last week and it is basically a houseboat on steroids. A floating five-bedroom home. It has the lot - portholes the size of bistro tables, and double glazed windows cut out of the hull that you could fit a jetski through. There's even a water-level balcony.

Two things fascinate me about Matrix Island; first, what kind of mind decides to turn what appears to be a massive barge of some description into a floating detached house, and second, how it managed to stay afloat on the open water long enough to make it into the dock. Surely even mildly choppy water would have those windows out in a splash.

The fact it is floating at all makes it a lot more interesting than a Sunseeker.

People who read this post also read :


  1. I pass Matrix Island myself most days walking Yogi, a black Labrador. I used to be a seaman so I think those huge portals would have substantial steel deadlights to close against them from the inside, or have external covers stowed away somewhere. Also, maybe it's never been to sea like this, having been converted in an upstream boatyard or something. I fisrt thought it would be a floating restaurant and wondered when it would open. If it's a private abode I'm jealous!!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. We are not a floating restaurant nor a hotel actually! Please don't be jealous we are nice people and this is the dream of our entire life... Come and see us instead, I'd love to meet you. There is a bell on the outside gate, just ring and come in? To be sure drop me a line at to let me know when you'd like to visit.