Hip and eco friendly houseboat design

Eco friendly houseboat based on container

Acquiring good low-cost housing is often quite an endeavor for young people who are looking to buy their dream house. Which preferably is environmental friendly as well. McMurdo – an eco-designer – proved it is possible: he turned a 40ft shipping container into a floating home. 

By Linh Vo


Mc Murdo finished his degree in product design and visualization at Bournemouth University. He worked as car designer for some time in Cologne, Germany, but soon found out German culture is way ahead of Britain in terms of recycling. So back to the UK, chasing his dream – he designed an astonishing eco friendly houseboat along the way.

‘No need for mud and hemp’

Back in his motherland he founded the company Reestore. This is when he explored his designing and manufacturing ideas from waste destined for landfill. Designing environmentally friendly is not easy, especially if you want to make it look good. But McMurdo has upgraded this way of designing to the next level. Or as he puts it: “Eco-friendly products do not need to be made from mud and hemp, they can be contemporary, stylish and desirable as well as taking the environment into consideration.”


From Dragon's Den to Dream Boat

Back in 2007, Reestore won multiple awards and was in many galleries/exhibitions. A defining moment was when Reestore was pitched on BBC's Dragons' Den and he secured his investment from Deborah Meaden and Theo Paphitis. Reestore since then has become one of the UK's most respected designers and manufacturers of recycled products. For example, 'The Body Shop' is a huge customer, purchasing over 200 bathtub chairs for their stores around the globe.



Investing profit in a floating dream

Regarding to McMurdo's floating houseboat container: this is quite a story in itself. Max sold his cottage near St. Neots and used all 50.000 pounds from the sell for converting a mental container into a floating home. An impressive 10.000 pounds from that amount was needed for the concrete pontoon that carries the container.  

Despite the limited dimensions of a 40ft sea container (12,2m length x 2,44m width x 2,6m height) this houseboat has a surprising amount of space to offer. Thanks to smart design, his houseboat is packed with ingenious ideas such as a king size bed with integrated walk-in wardrobe and well hidden, but accessible, storage space under the wooden floor. 

Some specification of the houseboat container are:

  • Full internal anti condensation coating
  • Lined walls and ceilings with insulation
  • Lighting and flush fit sockets
  • Lots of storage


McMurdo also advises to check some other vital things before you start building your own houseboat container, such as:

  • Mooring fees
  • Electric hook up
  • Brown water and grey water disposal
  • Maximum mooring dimensions
  • Preferred fuel supply
  • Water supply
  • Crane access and launch facility

Happy eco-friendly floating!