This solar-powered Dutch barge, currently moored in London, has awakened those yearnings once more.
Dubbed the Bauhaus, after both the band and the design school, the barge features ample natural day lighting, a full kitchen, bedroom and a lovely looking living room, it looks a lot more spacious than most London flats I have visited. But it's the 1.7kw PV system, combined with the electric motor, that make this really interesting. In fact its owner claims you can live and even cruise entirely off the power of the sun, so long as you do so efficiently:
The boat is solar powered using a 1.7kw PV system which provide you in the current setup (London within zone 2) with enough energy to cruise or live pretty much carbon neutral throughout the year. Different to a sailing boat you have a choice to use the energy harnessed, in this case electricity for motion/cruising, to power electric gadgets or to cook. There is no gas on board and you cook with the energy the PV system generates. In cold winter months you heat with the wood burning ‘1930’s Bauhaus school stove’ or if a wind turbine is added, compensating for little energy the PV system produces in the winter months you will not even need carbon neutral wood to heat.
Bauhaus is currently available for sale, though there is no word on price. It can be shipped to mainland Europe too. But I suspect that getting it over here to North Carolina may be a step too far.