A new contemporary luxury houseboat, MetroShip, launches to the public, re-inventing the houseboat with modern New York City loft style interior and modern exterior that’s never been seen before in the boating industry. MetroShed pre-fab pioneer and product designer, David Ballinger set out to buy a modern houseboat 7 years ago. Ballinger found nothing and set about asking the largest houseboat builders in America to build something for his personal use. After several years of meetings and conference calls he realized that if he was going to get a truly modern houseboat and not ‘RV of the Sea’ he would have to design and build it from scratch. The result is a modern boating masterpiece in full production just north of Atlanta, GA under the management of master boat builder, Ray Davenport.
The MetroShip features a unique open floor plan, more in keeping with an open loft space in Tribeca. The MetroShip modern houseboat has a media center to make most audiophiles and techies drool – from ultra high-end Cyrus Audio British stereo components to Jamo Danish in-wall speakers to the HD projector that not only acts as a High Definition movie theater, but also as an extra large computer monitor for internet and e.mails as well as an entertainment center for the kids to play Nintendo Wii games on a big screen. The unique houseboat layout has a central kitchen and bathroom that divides the living room from master bedroom – all with central air conditioning and heat – all remote controlled. The kitchen is a large 8 foot by 5 foot island with breakfast bar and top of the line appliances from Gaggenau and Viking. The bathroom is the epitome of design and functionality, from a full size shower, full size toilet and LG steam washer dryer. Even the faucet in the Italian vanity is touch-free to conserve water. The furniture is all ‘green’ – using recycled frames and remnant fabrics made by sister company, MetroSofa.
Designer David Ballinger commented, “The MetroShip represents 7 years of boat design and planning to utilize unique materials for a houseboat application. I wanted to incorporate the manufacturing efficiencies of our pre-fab buildings (MetroShed) into a luxury aluminum hull houseboat product. From the moment you walk on to the MetroShip you immediately forget you’re on a boat – the ceiling is high and the space is open. No other houseboat has the same feel. Light was the key factor to the MetroShip houseboat design – most houseboats have lots of windows to let light in – but the result is a very poor looking design. We use transulent thermal aluminum walls to achieve a clean linear look but most importantly a light and airy space during the day and a stunning looking boat design at night. This is certainly a product where the design has evolved from solving problems – Philippe Starck would be proud.”