The soothing sound of canal water gently lapping against wood as you fall into peaceful slumber has got to be one of the best ways to end a relaxing day of leisurely cruising past sights that many Londoners rarely glimpse. Doing so on a vessel that gets the power for its motor, lighting and modern appliances from the Sun, features multi-layer insulation, underfloor heating and a charming wood-burning stove, and is surprisingly bright and roomy inside, seems too good to be true. Meet the Bauhaus Barge, a Dutch-style wide beam houseboat which is all of that and more.
The shell of the 50 x 13.5 foot (15.24 x 4.11 meter) Bauhaus Barge was built in the Midlands by JL Pinder & Sons in 2010. The company also fitted hydraulic steering, to specifications provided by its German-born designer - who has asked that we not use his name. A furniture restorer of many years standing, the creative force behind the project used experience gained in the construction of energy-efficient housing known as Passiv Haus, along with a burning desire to prove that sustainable living on canals was possible, to develop an energy-efficient, solar-powered wide beam houseboat.