Is it a Prefab or is it a Boat?


Protoype of Arctic housing unit, Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, October, 2007

Perhaps it is a bit of both; Brock Junkin of Rankin inlet was inspired by the traditional Inuit practice of turning a summer hunting boat upside down for a winter shelter. Covey Island Boatworks President John Steele says "He’s lived there for a number of years now and says housing we are used to just doesn’t work in that environment. It’s like taking something out of a southern subdivision and putting it up there. It just doesn’t work."

According to Renee Stevens in the Nova Scotia Chronicle Herald, The structure, which looks similar in style to the traditional upside-down boat, not only looks like a marine vessel but is built like one too. It was constructed using the same methods and supplies that the company uses to build any of its custom-design boats. Instead of drywall and vinyl siding, this home is made mostly of wood and epoxy.

The house is a modular unit that is prefabricated and can easily be shipped and assembled on-site. Made to be completely self-sufficient, it is powered by solar, wind and marine systems.

Mr. Steele said the builders made sure to install two heating systems just to be safe, but because the unit is so well-insulated, Mr. Junkin so far has been quite comfortable using only the diesel heat that is normally found on a boat.

A wind-power generator has presented the only flaw builders have encountered in the prototype and they are working with the manufacturer to get a replacement system that is more suited to the climate, so they don’t expect that problem to be an issue for long. ::Nova Scotia Chronicle Herald and ::Covey Island Boat Works Page, and ::Covey Island Boatworks Main Page

Tags: Arctic

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