Project Research (ongoing) Solar Power

The Houseboat Centre has already completed four Solar Power projects and is currently preparing for the fifth.

  1. The Houseboat Centre’s second home was a wooden Chalet built beside a lake where research into houseboat style plumbing, rainwater collection and solar power generation was undertaken.
  2. Moving to it’s third home on the shore of Lake Colibita The next project was a Self-driving solar powered boat with remote digital controls. This was successfully completed. The research boat has now been sold and you can buy car-toppable self-driving solar boat kits and parts  resulting from that research at .
  3. The next project was a small (7 metre = 21′ )all-electric solar powered houseboat for canals lakes and slower rivers. You can see what happened on .

4. the next progression was among other things, to try using a catamaran hull to see how that helped the low powered electric motors. Trials have been concluded . The cathedral hull did help a little and made the boat very stable. Not a major difference though. See the boat here. 

5. The current project boat is a Rocca Panthera 232, 6.48 metres long by 2.27 metres beam

There is  full headroom in the cabin a two burner gas  cooker, a sink and a toilet.

currently has a single 170 hp Mercruiser diesel engine with outdrive leg.

Displacement 1600 Kg. Reduced displacement after removal of engine, drive leg and fuel tank is now 1200Kg.

This project will be closer to the kind of boat you can use in the canals in UK.
Full headroom and heavier displacement. at 1200kg for the basic boat, more with motor, batteries anchor, chain and other items .
It is still shorter than most would choose, but this is to enable us to use a basic car and trailer to get it to the mountain lake.
The weight and utiliities are intended to emulate a 30 to 35′ fibreglass 8 or 9′ beam outboard cruiser, which might make a comfortable home for 1 or 2. Like the one in this photo.
A trial of polycarbonate to creat a wheelhouse roof to support solar panels has been succesful. A curve in the sheet gives it adequate rigidity.
We are now waiting for two 400 watt solar panels to arrive from China.