Humankind has long romanticized life at sea, from books and movies about pirates and explorers to timeless folktales and tragic love stories. There’s a sense of adventure, of spontaneity – going to sleep in one area of the world and waking up in another. Research shows our brains are drawn to the water, and real estate data denotes that a water view can add an additional 75% to 116% premium to a property.

But for luxury buyers, life on the water tends to have a shelf life. Extravagant yachts certainly provide excitement and relaxation for an extended vacation, but even the largest and most luxurious still can’t provide the same comforts as a mansion or penthouse on solid ground. But with the launch of its livable yacht concept in 2017, Miami based startup Arkup seeks to change that.

When designing a new generation of floating homes, Arkup sought to blend the best attributes of yachts, houseboats, and waterfront villas to offer an elevated sea faring experience that has all the style and comfort of a contemporary mansion. The massive four bedroom, four anda half bathroom villas stretch 75 feet long and offer 4,350 square feet of indoor and outdoor living space. A 456 squarefoot deck, protected by shock resistant glass railings, provides ample space to drink in the sun or stars while the vessel is anchored, then retracts when it’s time to cruise.

Designed to be self-sustaining, the livable yachts boast all the modern amenities of an autonomous smart home. Each vessel has the option to be 100% solar powered via 36 kW solar electric panels covering the 2,300 square foot roof (owners can opt for a rooftop terrace instead, or a combination of terrace and electric panels), and a sophisticated rainwater harvesting system collects rainwater from the roof, stores it in the hull, then purifies it to provide fresh drinking water. To keep denizens connected, the onboard communications system includes satellite TV and WiFi antennas along with LTE and VHF.

Dutch architect Koen Olthuis of Waterstudio.NL spearheaded the design, and the final product is a far cry from your typical houseboat. Luxury furnishing and home staging firm Artefacto, responsible for outfitting some of Florida’s most illustrious properties, took the lead on interior design, choosing neutral palettes and minimalist, contemporary furniture to complement the modular construction and blues of the ocean and sky.

The rectangular vessel features massive floor to ceiling windows and sliding glass doors that give the first floor living space an indoor/outdoor feel, so residents can feel the salty breeze as they read, cook, or socialize. There’s ample space to relax al fresco, too, as sleek loungers and outdoor tables and chairs fill the deck.

The first floor is comprised of the living space, separate office, kitchen, one bathroom, one powder room, laundry area with washing machine and dryer, trash room with compactor, the retractable deck, and a 720 square foot fixed terrace with an outdoor grill and wet bar to sizzle steaks in the open ocean air. The kitchen is state of the art, outfitted with an island and breakfast bar, cooking hood, and shiny Miele appliances.

Head upstairs to find the master bedroom, framed by floor to ceiling windows and a private terrace. A deep soaking tub rests in the corner, and a walk in closet provides the same amount of space as a modern condo. In terms of yacht bathrooms, the master en suite is rather massive, boasting his and her sinks and a double rainfall shower. Cleverly cut windows near the ceiling softly bathe the room in natural light.

Additional en suite bedrooms and open air balconies compose the remainder of the second floor.
A boat lift is located at the stern, so an assortment of smaller maritime toys, like a tender or jet ski, has a home. The retractable sundeck can even be submerged, doubling as a sea pool.

When the need for a change of scenery strikes, the captain reports to the MMS console to navigate and manage the jack up system. Two 136 horsepower (and whisper silent, thanks to the vessel’s fully electric heart) thrusters propel the yacht up to seven knots. When it’s time to dock, the 40 foot hydraulic spuds go to work, anchoring in depths up to 20 feet.

Olthuis’ architectural ingenuity goes far beyond striking design and easy maneuver ability. Built to withstand hurricane level winds and rising water levels, the vessel’s hydraulic legs can also lift the yacht above sea level during inclement weather to prevent both seasickness and flooding. Their usage is also a solution to skyrocketing urban growth and space scarcity. And for residents with an explorer’s spirit, the mobile mansions offer the unique opportunity to live in a new place, with a different view, anytime your heart desires.

“Arkup sought to blend the best attributes of yachts, houseboats, and waterfront villas.”
Prices start at $2,267,000.

881 NW 13th Avenue, Miami /