Dot is rather more than a yacht conversion. As soon as the flagship vessel in Hong Kong’s iconic Star Ferry fleet generally known as Golden Star, the 154-foot vessel has been reworked right into a floating Manhattan loft-style condominium.
Her proprietor, a British-born Hong Kong resident, first stepped foot aboard Golden Star as a younger man making his each day commute from Wanchai to Hung Hom within the late 80s. Day by day he rode the ferries throughout Victoria Harbour. He has at all times appreciated their sturdy, but elegant, construct high quality, with thick metal hulls and huge wood fenders. In 2011, when Golden Star was supplied on the market, he jumped on the alternative.
The proprietor spent 18 months changing the boat on the Leung Wan Kee shipyard in Zhuhai, which has had the contract to keep up Star Ferries for many years. He employed a fulltime mission supervisor to supervise the construct and ship on his imaginative and prescient. The objective was to “costume Dot to her strengths,” making a weekend retreat for his household.
“Dot is heavy, sturdy, and wide-hipped, and I believe a glossy shiny look wouldn’t swimsuit her,” the proprietor informed Robb Report, requesting anonymity. “Her unique, well-worn thick teak flooring and copious metal communicate to a manufacturing facility greater than a sublime residence. We didn’t need to combat her industrial historical past, however reasonably to rejoice it. These targets drove a lot of the format.”
A house designer in France who had accomplished a conversion for a big sea-going Dutch barge took on the mission. “His expertise was very helpful,” says the proprietor. “A typical yacht designer wouldn’t be used to this type of industrial vessel, and a standard house designer can be unfamiliar with the problems of a floating house.”
Golden Star was inbuilt 1989 to be 36 toes longer than her predecessors. Her two-inch-thick decks had been designed to deal with the heavy footfall of an extra 200 passengers. This sturdy construct has been used to Dot’s benefit, creating 6,000 sq. toes of dwelling house, plus one other 4,000 sq. toes of storage.
“I’ve an obsession with old-brick industrial buildings, like these massive go-downs, mills and factories constructed between 1870 and 1905 within the US, Britain, and Germany,” he says. “My house in London has beds constructed from manufacturing facility workstations, a weaver’s block and a guide press. We’ve got the oldest wallpaper in London from the 18th century, which is little greater than rusty pegs and torn stays, however there may be nice magnificence in age and wreck.”
Dot’s outsized dwelling areas, with floor-to-ceiling home windows, produce a cavernous inside. All 4 cabins have en suite loos with full-sized baths and separate showers. There’s a devoted cinema room and personal workplace, however a lot of the Star Ferry historical past has been maintained.
“I cherished the ferries’ outdated reversable seating; we now have saved some in storage and the remainder have discovered houses round Hong Kong,” he says. “She will be able to nonetheless drive on the identical velocity in each instructions along with her two propellers. We modified as little as attainable.”
The largest design change is the split-level mezzanine within the salon, with open sliding doorways to permit for a cool sea breeze, and a roof that opens for al-fresco eating. “The false ceilings had been very low, so we eliminated them to offer extra top and added a rust end to the stripped metallic beams. I like industrial furnishings, rust and chic dilapidation.”
Thirty air-conditioning models present reduction from the summer time warmth. A 15,000-gallon water storage capability, with a rain-water assortment system, helps to make the boat self-contained. Throughout drier climate, Dot has a water filter system to transform seawater, and separate methods for cleansing and filtering sea water and rainwater, in addition to 1,820 sq. toes of versatile photo voltaic panels.
“We wished to be utterly self-sufficient,” says the proprietor. “On sunny days, the photo voltaic supplies 75 % of our vitality wants, together with air con all evening. The double glazing, roof insulation, and shade wings have resulted in large vitality financial savings. Making water from seawater makes use of a whole lot of vitality, so it’s nice that we use rain water for 90 % of the 12 months.”
The conversion wasn’t with out its challenges. The technical complexities for photo voltaic, batteries and turbines proved to be testing, and discovering water makers sturdy sufficient to deal with sea water within the winter wasn’t simple. The household had their coronary heart set on a mooring in Hong Kong’s Tai Tam Bay, which is nearly unattainable for a ship over 100 toes in size. Allowing and approvals had been a headache however have confirmed value it.
“Dot was designed to create nice recollections for my three kids, and she or he has delivered them in spades,” he says. “Watching them soar from the roof into the ocean; stargazing with them topside; video games of charades because the solar units after dinner. Proper now, seaweed is rising apace, and the luminosity at evening lights up the fish swimming and leaping forward of us. That is the magic of Hong Kong that few get to see.”
The proprietor now needs to switch this uncommon conversion to another person who will respect its historic significance. Dot is listed on the market for about $2.71 million with Seanergy Restricted, a member of Ocean Independence. Her mooring in Tai Tam is included. Listed here are extra photos.