Arkup: Is It A Houseboat, Yacht Or Something More?

A houseboat or a yacht can be the perfect place to relax and get away from the world. Those lucky enough to own them will escape the noise of the city, take a break from work and relax in a more tranquil setting. Amazing houseboats for sale can offer a home away from home with the right features, floor plans, and finishing touches. Then, of course, you can sail away and explore a new location at your leisure. Architects and yacht designers always push the boundaries on what to expect in true luxury living. The designers of the Arkup houseboats went further than anyone and have since raised questions about when a yacht is really a yacht. 


So is the Arkup a houseboat, a yacht or a waterfront apartment on stilts. 


The concept of this massive vessel/home is something that is groundbreaking in terms of the designs and capabilities. The scale and choices made mean that this transcends typical ideas of houseboats and yachts. Yet, there is also a lot here that means that it can’t be anything but a houseboat or a yacht. Below we will try and get to the bottom of the true identity of this weird creation. We will look at the interior, features and the way that the structure operates as a home and a vessel. We will also look at some of the selling points that make Arkup houseboats for sale so appealing as water-based accommodation – regardless of its technical classification. 


Is this a houseboat?


To call this a houseboat would be accurate if you want to go by basic definitions. It is a vessel that resides on the water and can accommodate its owners with spaces to eat, sleep, socialize and entertain. But, it is clear that this isn’t your average houseboat. For a start, typical designs for water-based dwellings don’t extend over two stories. Arkup #1 has an upper floor, is 75ft long and has a total of 4,350sqft of floor space. You would be lucky to get that much in any high-end apartment building. Yet, this residence does look like a high-end apartment. 

Some people are going to criticize the design for its boxy shape. Luxury yachts have that trademark streamlined shape but there isn’t anything even remotely sleek about this model. Upstairs, you will find four bedrooms with their own private en-suite. This means that you can use this as the perfect family vacation home or as a place to gather with friends. Downstairs is the open-plan space with the larger bathroom, kitchen, lounge and dining area. Arkup #1 was furnished by Artefacto in Brazil to finish the look. This means that there is a stylish aesthetic to the furniture but enough here hat it still functions as a home. 

We haven’t even gotten to the outdoor space yet. Remarkably, you can go outside onto your decking while on the water, just in case the views from all those windows weren’t enough. Granted, this does allow for a brilliant private area from which to sunbathe or dive into the water. 


So how can we consider this luxury houseboat to be a yacht? 


Let’s be honest, when you look at the floor plans and some of the interior shots of this “vessel”, you don’t immediately think of a yacht. That is because we have these pre-conceived ideas of what a yacht should be. There have recognizable hulls, decks and look like they could navigate the water of a tropical destination in style. This two-story, high-end apartment building looks like a floating residence that you might find on a waterfront instead.  However, there is one important distinction we haven’t addressed yet. This houseboat can move. It is self-propelled with electric power so you can change location, moor up in a suitable spot and get a whole new view from your bedroom window. Your back yard is a marine play park that doesn’t have to remain in the same spot if the area gets too crowded with other neighbors or tourists. You have the freedom to explore without leaving your home. The house is equipped with two 100kW electric azimuth thrusters that can reach a speed of 7 knots. That is what makes this a yacht rather than a typical houseboat that you keep in the same marina. Yachts let you explore the seas under your own free will while retaining the luxury living spaces and entertainment areas that you would want from a luxury apartment or vacation rental. The Arkup houseboats concept just takes this to a whole other level. 


This sense of freedom and adventure make Arkup houseboats for sale appealing to those that want more from their vacation.


It is nice to have a vacation home on the water that you can escape to. But, sometimes there is that sense of commitment and guilt where we are rooting to that destination. We bought a holiday home in that location so that is where the majority of summer holidays need to take place. But what if you can head to that property and change its location? What if you enjoy the familiar, comfortable home as normal but take a trip within it? You could head south for some winter sun, find the best place to drop anchor to watch 4th of July fireworks, head to a marina in a whole new location and explore. The choices are endless. Therefore, this is perfect for those that want that freedom to sail without the restrictions that might come from taking on a more traditional yacht.  There is also the joke with houseboats and mooring that if you decide you don’t like your neighbors, you can always sail away to somewhere new. In this case, even if you do have neighbors relatively close by in the bay, you aren’t going to hear much from them while you relax in one of the many rooms of this spacious home. The home also has enough soundproofing that you can find peace in the busiest port.


But then there is the final feature that makes this a truly inspirational piece of construction. 


One of the most intriguing features of this new design actually takes this “boat” out of the water and extends its potential from a houseboat to a structurally sound home. The hydraulic stilts are lowered into the water as a sort of anchor to stabilize the structure on the seafloor and raise it out of the water. Once the house is above the tideline, you no longer have to worry about seasickness from the motion of the water or any damage to the structure. In turn, this should minimize the need for maintenance of the hull. The strong stilts can extend up to 20ft into the water, so should be more than suitable at waterfront locations and marinas across the country. The strength of these stilts is also such that they should handle Category 4 Hurricane winds of 155mph. Therefore, if you do happen to find yourself in the path of a storm with no safe passage out, you can be safe in the knowledge that the Arkup #1 structure will stand tall and firm against the weather. Those storms are also going to look pretty dramatic against all that glass surrounding the home. 


This sort of future-proofing is essential and something we should see more often. 


There are concerns right now about the value and security of waterfront homes across the world. Areas currently seen as tourist traps and prime spots for real estate are under threat from rising sea levels and volatile weather systems. Waterfront homes that were major investments can lose value if they don’t have this sort of future-proofing in place. Adaptable homes, such as houseboats that can rise and change location, could be the future for those that can afford them.


Another appealing feature here is the eco-friendly nature of the Arkup houseboats. 


Whatever you want to call this floating form of luxury accommodation, you also have to add in the word green or eco-friendly. This is something that you might not expect from this large vessel. However, there is a strong desire to keep this venture as green as possible. We live in an age where we need to reduce our carbon footprints, reconsider the way we live and work on creating living spaces that are less hostile to the environment. This Arkup yacht offers that with an off-grid experience that really works. All the energy used in this “building” comes from solar panels for a 100% renewable way to power your waterfront lifestyle. There is also a 1,000kWh battery bank to store it all so you shouldn’t have to worry about the power cutting out to the numerous entertainment systems and appliances at night. The water comes from a purification system through rainwater harvesting. This doesn’t mean that you have to lower your standards of living or give up on any of the creature comforts you would expect from this sort of high-end houseboat. There are still automated systems in place for a harmonious living arrangement full of the best tech and conveniences.


So where’s the catch with this stunning Arkup houseboat? 


Well, there are two considerations to bring us all crashing down to earth and deflate that dream of even spending a night in one of these properties. The first is availability. There is one Arkup model available, in Miami, with hopes for three more in the space of 12 months. This is fair, it takes time to build and furnish something like this. There is also talk of creating a resort using these sorts of luxury houseboats in other regions. The Middle East is touted, and it is isn’t hard to imagine a floating community of these in somewhere like Dubai. While this idea of a resort opens up prospects for those that want a part-time rental, it would remove that idea of owning one and exploring in it. Therefore, if you want one of these for yourself, you are going to have to wait. You are also going to have to save up quite a lot of money if you don’t already have lots of 0s at the end of your bank balance. 


This brings us to the other catch: the cost.



We can’t talk about these Arkup houseboats for sale without discussing the actual price. As you would expect from just browsing some of the plans and photos, this sort of living experience doesn’t come cheap. It costs $5.5m. Say it quickly enough and it doesn’t sound as bad. This is a massive investment for those that have the money to spare and that will make the most of their time by the water. Something else to consider in terms of costs is that you could get some tax breaks because there aren’t the same property tax rules for livable yachts. There are also no utility bills because of that green energy and water system.


Is this the perfect waterfront home for you?


Let’s be honest, whatever you want to call this – houseboat, yacht, waterfront apartment on stilts – it is an interesting prospect for those that can afford it and get hold of one. They are amazing houseboats for sale with a lot of potential for vacations and great family memories. The problem is that the high costs and availability mean that very few of us will get that chance to own and live in one of these. This will be a millionaires vacation home until ideas of an eco-resort are realized. Once this happens, we can all dream a little bigger about the possibility of experiencing this remarkable design. 


What we need to take away from this astonishing Arkup luxury yacht apartment is the science and ideas behind it. While it is fun to imagine an extravagant vacation in a home like this, there are practical aspects to the hydraulics and future-proofing that we need more of. Eventually, more waterfront developments – cheaper ones for long-term use – will benefit from this approach. These green, strong Arkup houseboats could still influence the future of water-based accommodation even if we don’t get to sail in her. 


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