If you love tacky yet cool buildings, then boy do I have the perfect place for you. Drive on down to 726 Third St in Encinitas California to see some positively bizarre house boats. No, these aren’t boats that are also houses, or boats that have been converted into houses. They’re two houses built specifically to look like boats.
These houses, the SS Encinitas and the SS Moonlight, were built by engineer Miles Kellogg in the ’20s, and add an out-of-place bit of nautical aesthetics to an otherwise normal neighborhood.
The weirdest thing about these two houses is that nothing about them is genuinely boat-like at all. They were not built out of old boat parts; the wood was actually recycled from a nearby hotel and dance house. Though their appearance might fool you, these houses would probably sink like an incredibly overpriced stone if you plopped them into the ocean.
Still, that didn’t prevent Miles Kellogg from bringing a bit of sea living to these land-locked houses. Each of the houses intentionally lists slightly starboard (that’s “to the right” for all you land-lubbers) in order to capture the feel of a wave-tossed boat. Don’t ask me how the inhabitants manage to eat their meals without their round food bits rolling off the table, because I haven’t got a clue.
Every other feature of these houses is as boat-like as possible. They sport 19 portholes instead of windows, have two decks, standard dining and living rooms, a galley, and a bathroom below deck. The only things they’re missing is an anchor and a motor.
The best thing about these boats is that you can become temporary captain (resident) of one of these boats without buying the property. The current owner, the Encinitas Preservation Association, is renting out the rooms to raise enough money to convert them into museums. The goal of the organization is to preserve the irreplaceable. While that’s certainly a commendable goal, I think that they might be a little bit misguided when it comes to prioritizing irreplaceable things. I think I would rather commit funding to saving, say, panda bears rather than a kitschy boat houses.