Sneci Houseboat Proves You Don't Need Much for the Perfect Off-Grid Getaway

In our search to live life on every imaginable surface, one designer has created a custom houseboat that's meant to help its occupants live a full and aquatic off-grid life.
Sneci Houseboat 16 photos
Photo: Balazs Mate
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What you're looking at is known as Sneci, a houseboat created by designer and architect Tamas Bene. It's a custom project for two clients who wanted a summer home that differs from all the rest. Time to see how some folks live their lives.

Sneci began when Tamas was approached by two citizens of Budapest that wished to take their summer vacations to the next level. But since summer homes are land-locked, the owners decided they wanted a mobile habitat to move around on Lake Tisza and the surrounding environment.

With this in mind, Bene went to work creating a floating and moving structure able to successfully harbor human life for as long as wished for. Since the owners wanted a design that would integrate into the world around it, materials like larch timber, thermowood (heat-treated timber), aluminum, and more timber, this time in the shape and configuration of CLT (Cross-Laminated Timber), is used to create Sneci.

Sneci Houseboat
Photo: Balazs Mate
Why use so many treated woods and aluminum? The answer is simple: water. Because this puppy will be floating around all day, and wood has a habit of absorbing moisture, heat treatment helps reduce water absorption. About the aluminum used, what is there to say? Marine-grade aluminum exists for a reason; it's dang good at fighting off corrosion.

In order to best integrate the structure into the surrounding environment, Bene decided to use an already present shape along watery shorelines that of a hut or tent albeit, with the top transformed into a platform, just perfect for relaxing in the late afternoon or used as a diving board. On top of Sneci, two solar panels are found, providing all the necessary power for this habitat to move around.

Now, the design itself is rather simple. So simple, it's ingenious. Using a basic hull shape, like a swamp boat, Bene applied a wooden framework to fill in the hull and create the internal habitat shape. A shell is then placed over the framework, and the shape is set. Inside, walls are lined with wood, too, with the occasional window here and there. Entry into Sneci is made via the bow or aft.

Once inside this two-person ark, everything you need to live a clean and comfortable life is available. Upon looking at the images in the gallery, I couldn't help but notice that features and spaces are designed very much like what you would find in a travel trailer or RV.

Sneci Houseboat Bedroom
Photo: Balazs Mate
From the small galley box, fit with sink, high-rise faucet, fridge, and portable stovetop, to the bathroom, equipped with nothing more than a portable toilet, it's all here. Nothing is mentioned about a shower room, but the aft deck does look like a perfect place for this feature.

Speaking of aft, this space not only allows the owners to access the motor and move around the lake but it's also designed to offer access to the deck I mentioned earlier via two ladders. Can you imagine what the stars look like on a lake?

Back to the interior, what do you think is providing sleeping and dining spaces? A modular dinette, identical in style and functionality to those found in RVs and mobile homes. Let's face it, the RV industry knows a thing or two about tiny spaces, and the answer is modularity.

Honestly, with the way things are moving these days, I wouldn't be surprised to see more houseboat designs popping up. Sure, Sneci is a custom job, but there are plenty of manufacturers with an armada of houseboat designs just waiting to be sold. Time to rethink your lifestyle.
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About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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