September is American Month on autoevolution, a month-long virtual celebrations of all things American with any number of wheels. This floating villa has no wheels, but it’s still a perfect fit since it’s halfway between a yacht and a home, it’s made in the U.S., and is accessible only to those who plan on visiting Miami next year.
The house yacht is an Arkup 40, a new type of construction that’s been around for some years but is only now starting to go mainstream. The flagship model is Arkup 75, created by French-born and Miami-based engineers Arnaud and Derouin Luguet, and sold last year for the impressive amount of $5.5 million with help from Sextant Stays. Sextant Stays offered it for rent until a buyer came along and, more recently, it convinced Arkup to develop a smaller model for them.
That would be the Arkup 40 we discussed last month, ten units of which will be built and deployed out of Miami at the Vice City Marina for Sextant Stays. The first unit is expected for delivery in December 2021, and rentals are available starting the month after that, with a price tag of $1,600 per night. And the promise of an experience like no other.
Arkup 40 is not a boat, but it’s not a house either. As its name says, it’s a home that floats, offering all the luxuries of a home and some of the capabilities of a yacht. It can be moored at the marina or can be piloted up to 2,500 miles into the ocean at a crawling speed 8.5 knots. It’s not fast, but it doesn’t have to be: the engineers never intended it for speed or long-distance cruising, but as a self-sufficient abode on the water.
And these ten units will be just that. Measuring up to 2,380 square feet (221 square meters) of living space, these new luxury residences will have four bedrooms, a jacuzzi on the sundeck, generous terraces and 360-degree views. Guests will be able to sail off and spend the entirety of their stay in complete isolation – think of the experience as that of a castaway, but luxe – or choose to remain docked. They can have “room service” brought in by motorboat or choose to have everything brought in at the start of their stay, so as to have minimal interruption from the outside world.
The Arkup 40 has solar panels on the roof so that it can run on sustainable energy for longer periods. You still have to take it to land once a week to empty the wastewater tanks and top up the batteries, but it’s still considerably greener than a regular yacht. Legally, it’s a boat, so you won’t have to pay property taxes on it.
The idea is very appealing, and not just for tourists. As it so happens, Arkup 40s are also offered to potential private customers. For this luxury rental company, it’s one way of keeping a leg up on the competition: with ten such units available in Miami, you could link all of them or only some of them together, and you’d get the most unique and awesome resort in the Atlantic. In the whole wide world, too.
“The future is really having multiple Arkup 40s that can interconnect and form more of a resort experience,” Andreas King-Geovanis, founder and CEO of Sextant Stays, tells Bloomberg. “When you put four of them together, the docks form a pool in the middle.” You know, just in case all that water around the house is not enough of a “pool” for you.
For those wondering about what would happen to these floating houses if a hurricane or a storm hit, no need to worry. Like its older and larger sibling, Arkup 40 comes with hydraulic pilings that stabilize it to the ocean floor, some 20 or 30 feet (6 to 9.14 meters) deep, and above the waterline. The glass on the floor-to-ceiling glass walls is hurricane-proof, too, though the best way to ride out a storm is to dock the vessel.
Arkup hopes these floating homes can provide an answer to the issue of raising coastal water levels, and maybe even the housing crisis. The 75 model is definitely not addressing either, but the 40 is comparatively more affordable, with prices ranged between $600,000 and $900,000 depending on customization. A much cheaper version is also in the works, but until then, maybe book a trip to Miami?