Think all penthouses are at the top of tower blocks? Think again.

This German-designed home aims to encompass the space and luxury of an apartment but is actually a fully functioning boat.

Dubbed a floating penthouse it has a temporary home at Limehouse Marina , sitting alongside the more traditional vessels.

Lie in bed and the full length sliding doors allow views of the ducks swimming by just metres away or an impromptu toe dip in the water.

Draw the curtains and snuggle up on the sofa and you would never know you were on a boat, save for the slightest bobbing motion.

The lounge

It’s arrival in Tower Hamlets is down to Rubicon Estates whose offices sit around the corner in Narrow Street.

It discovered Brandenburg-based creators Rev House through its partnership with Fine And Country and decided the homes were perfect for the UK market.

Rubicon associate director Paul Kirby said: “People want to be in touch distance of the water but these days apartments are seven of eight floors up and you have to walk onto your balcony to see the water.

“So I think there is definitely a market for this.

Rubicon associate director of sales Paul Kirby

“And in terms of affordability in Limehouse an apartment like this would cost you £700,000.

“But you can live on this boat for a fraction of the price and a lot of people believe living on the water improves your quality of life.”

Interested buyers can go and see the one-bedroom model in Limehouse Marina which costs 565,000 euros and includes an open-plan kitchen, dining room and lounge, bathroom, a separate toilet, large amounts of storage space below, a multi-level biological sewage treatment system, water underfloor heating and a water purification system.

The shower

The diesel engine can see it reach speeds of six knots, although Paul admits taking it out into open water is probably more of “a novelty” as at 48 feet long and 20 feet wide it will not fit through every lock.

But standing at the wheel mounted on the front porch gives a sense of the great fun it would be to try.

Paul believes one of the main attractions is the open air-deck, which takes up the whole of the second floor and allows the penthouse tradition of looking down on those below.

And he sees the ability to customise the boats with options such as a sauna and jacuzzi, as a draw.

“I can see them being bought by city brokers and people working in Canary Wharf who want a nice pied a terre and will go home at the weekend.

“People who want something different and not to be in a block with hundreds of thousands of other people.”

“But we have also had interest from families and retired people who want to move back to the area.

“Living on a boat, every day is a new adventure.”

The floating penthouse is now for sale in Limehouse Marina

Buyers outside London have already snapped up penthouses, which can be fully customised to their requirements, but Paul admits securing the necessary moorings has proved a stumbling block in London, where space on the river is at a premium.

Permanent residents moorings, which allow boat owners to stay in one location for 365 days of the year, are like gold dust and leisure moorings, allowing owners to stay on a boat for five days at a time, are almost as hard to come by.

Views from the top

Paul said: “Here a residents mooring will cost you about £11,000 a year but there is a three-year waiting list.

“I would sell bucket loads of these if we could tie it together with the moorings.”

Rubicon’s original deal for 10 leisure moorings in Royal Victoria Docks has so far failed to come to fruition.

But Paul said the “wheels are in motion” to secure eight moorings in Limehouse and two in St Katharine Docks.

Meanwhile Rubicon is targeting people who already own a boat and residential mooring to try and persuade them to trade it in for a floating penthouse.

Paul said: “This is for people who want to be on the water and not part of normal civilisation but they feel they could upgrade a little bit.”

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