Boats to Bags, Beds & Buildings: 17 Repurposed Vessels

Boats can’t hold water forever, and once they’re brought on land, most never return to usefulness. But a little imagination can turn ships, rowboats, canoes and other floating vessels – and all of their respective parts and accessories – into beautiful nautical-themed furniture, decor, bicycles – even shops and homes.

Fishing Boat Buildings

(images via: recyclart, david white)

Fishing vessels no longer fit for the sea make stunning rustic roofs for storage sheds in the UK. Already water-tight, the vessels are flipped upside down and sliced on one side to allow installation of a door.

Floating Gardens

(images via: marine insight, alg24, recyclart)

In summer 2011, Chicago’s Lincoln Park got a beautiful and highly unusual temporary garden exhibit: an explosion of colorful flowers and foliage in a floating lifeguard boat. Similar ideas are often employed on land, with old boats and canoes filled with dirt and used as planters with tons of character.

Sails to Bags, Beds and Chairs

(images via: uncommon goods, inhabitat, gessato)

You can take the wind out of these sails, but that doesn’t mean they’re no longer useful. Sailcloth has dozens of applications long after its time at sea. It’s often sewn into bags of all kinds, and can even be seen as beanbag-type beds and upholstery for comfy modern chairs.

Oars to Shelves & a Headboard

(images via: diy network, saganaga)

A collection of old oars can lend a hint of nautical flair to interior decor when used as creatively as this. Nail oars together into a distressed headboard as in this photo, or get inspired by the custom-built shelf made of oars and vintage wooden water skis by the DIY Network.

Cute Seaside Shop

(image via: derbyshire harrier)

The end of a small upturned fishing boat make a picturesque hut called the Half-Sovereign Cottage in Hastings, UK. Set beside two of Hastings’ landmark net houses, this cute little recycled structure is a frequently-photographed tourist attraction.

Sea Nymph: From Boat to Bike

(images via: megulon5)

This amazing amphibious vehicle is a bike – and a boat. Made of a reclaimed canoe as well as bike parts and two propellers, the ‘Sea Nymph’ by Megulon Five appears to float along the street as it’s pedaled, and from the looks of it, the rider can go straight from land to sea.

Boat Wood Furniture

(images via: custom design ball)

Reclaimed wood from boats is bound to be ultra-smooth and beautifully weathered. This wood often makes for eco-friendly wooden furniture that’s brimming with character, as evidenced by these examples built by Custom Design Bali.

Custom Poolside Seating

(image via: hgtv)

A boat-loving homeowner made a big design statement in his backyard by adapting an old unwanted boat into bench seating beside his pool.

Boats and Ships as Homes on Land

(images via: pictures of england, tofino photography)

Sure, boats can be floating houses, but what about the old, aging boats that are no longer seaworthy? Just haul them up on land, make a few adjustments and call them reclaimed boat houses. Such homes can be seen in many areas of the world including the Southsea Marina in Hampshire, UK (top image). On Strawberry Island in Tofino, British Columbia, homeowner Rod Palm has turned an old wooden ship into a fun hand-built abode (bottom image).

Fishing Boat Spa

(images via: wallpaper magazine)

A 1950s fishing boat was rebuilt and restored to become a luxurious floating spa complete with a Turkish Hammam, a Zen lounge with a wood-burning fireplace and a sauna. Sami Rintala’s Spa Boat is moored in the Arctic city of Tromsø, Norway.