From vintage Airstream trailers to decommissioned water towers to French parking garages, in recent months I’ve blogged about more than a few seemingly uninhabitable spaces transformed into extremely livable mini-abodes thanks to a whole of lot of outside-the-box thinking. Now, here’s a new one: A World War II lifeboat converted into a mortgage-free floating home in one of America’s most coveted ZIP codes.

Profiled recently by Kirsten Dirksen and the gang over at faircompanies, the rustic vessel in question is the home of Fiver Brown, a singer/songwriter who didn’t perform the initial lifeboat-to-houseboat conversion — that was done back in the late ‘60s by “two very smart guys that claim all they were doing was drinking beer was when they made it." But as evidenced in the video below, Brown is continuously tweaking and renovating the 13 by 37 foot (481 square feet) living space to make it his own (and to accommodate his sizable vinyl collection).

The boat itself is moored at the historic Galilee Harbor Coop in Sausalito, a once-folksy, now-chichi Marin County, Calif., burg where average prices for the town's hillside homes hover around $2.2 million but where the cost of living on the water in one of three houseboat communities is far less (and a fun factoid: Otis Redding wrote “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay” while living in a Sausalito houseboat). Although Brown had to buy into this houseboat community, the boat itself is paid off, leaving Brown responsible only for the monthly rent of his slip. Sewage and electricity is provided by the Galilee Harbor Coop.

Now steady those sea legs and climb aboard for a tour …

Via [faircompanies]

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

A tiny floating home unmoored from mortgage payments
In a Bay Area town known for multimillion dollar residences, a musician enjoys a mortgage-free existence in a WWII lifeboat converted into a 481-square-foot flo