Henry Grabar is a staff writer for Slate’s Moneybox and a former fellow at CityLab. He lives in New York.
When sitting in a boat full of water is actually a good thing.
For most of human history, boats have been designed to keep their contents dry. You might even say that is the reason boats exist. Boats full of water are not good boats. In nearly all recorded cases, the presence of a large amount of water inside the boat means the boat is sinking. Bad news.
Leave it to the Dutch, a people who have been operating below sea level for centuries, to invent a boat that turns conventional wisdom on its head. Frank de Bruijn and his company Supergoed have introduced the Hot Tug, a small boat that is also a hot tub. It's made of wood and fiberglass, and the water is heated by a wood stove at the bow. An outboard motor keeps the party moving, which in the canal-friendly cities of the Netherlands, like Rotterdam, below, could be a real asset. The Hot Tug fits 6-8 people.
Unlike most of the zany urban products we have showcased recently -- the projector car and the hug jacket -- the Hot Tug seems to be available for purchase. There are a few different models, but the most tricked out edition (why would you settle for anything less, really) costs €16,450. Not sure if the Hot Tug is right for you? It's also available for rent.
(If it is not full of water, it functions like a run-of-the-mill, small motorboat with a wood-burning stove.)
All images courtesy of Hot Tug/Supergoed.