French start-up Noe’ has launched a luxury solar-panelled houseboat, designed to double up as an environmentally friendly riverine cruiser – and one enabling users to grow their own vegetables, thanks to a dedicated greenhouse area.
In development since 2014, the Noe’ houseboat is part of a series of initiatives exploring “entire autonomy surrounding energy, travel and food”, while offering “similar high-end standard of living to a bricks-and-mortar house”, Noe’ says. The 24m boat can be moored quayside in urban areas, but has also been designed to comply with sailing category B/C requirements, making it suitable for canal excursions, riverine tours and even coastal and international travel.
The houseboat has been constructed in seven sections, namely: the wheelhouse, situated aft; the rear hold; a predominantly wood-built living area, spanning midship to aft; terraces; the greenhouse, designed by a permaculture specialist, located forward; the engine section; and a below-deck storage space. Customers can also shake up the layout, with optional features including a swimming pool, which might grant the boat an entry point to the small yacht and recreational vessel sectors.
The rear of the deck also features garage space for a small car, with an option for a fold-down rear panel that can be used as a turning area for the car when it is embarking/disembarking via ramp or crane.
The hull has been constructed in Strongall, a thick type of zinc-galvanised aluminium developed by French yard META Chantier Naval in the 1970s. Strongall’s reported benefits include high resistance to rust and corrosion, notable strength at a light weight (the , fire resistance and ability to withstand impacts without breaking. Additionally, the material can be recycled. Noe’ says: “Once covered with zinc, there is no further electrolysis in the water.” As such, the hull does not require further surface treatment, bypassing the need for expensive (and potentially pollutive) coatings applications.
Noe’ adds that the houseboat’s features and capabilities will be refined over time. The company, which was formally launched in February 2020, is also working on an ambitious concept for an “evolutionary lagoon city”.