converted barge houseboats

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Sometimes, foreign influence can disturb (or even destroy) an indigenous culture – but at other times, outside tourist interest can drive vacation traffic to new destinations and revitalize failing industries and ways of life slowly be lost. These renovated boat-to-house conversions may be changing in use but are, as a result, being preserved as well.

converted barege houseboat

The Kettuvallom houseboats (formerly up to 30-ton capacity rice barges) of rural India have enjoyed a curious revival in recent years. Old houseboats have been given new life as (largely luxurious) rental properties – in many cases equipped with energy provided by solar-power panels, comfortable seats, lounge spaces and cooking areas.

converted barge houseboat 3

As hand-constructed and local works of craft, there are certain building conventions and materials found across multiple boats but there also exists a surprising variety of styles and sizes within this houseboat type.

converted barge houseboat 2

Natural and local materials including bamboo, wood and marinated plywood make up the hull, deck and living space structures aboard these spruced-up native constructions.

converted barge houseboat 4

Needless to say, the plush sun deck, master bedroom and full bathroom as well as other contemporary appliances and modern amenities are new additions to these traditionally more bare-bone boats.