Walcon Marine has worked closely with The Trafalgar group to assist in a very special project at Thornham Marina near Chichester, Hampshire. This involved collaborating with The Trafalgar Group to design and build individual, stylised, high-quality pontoons to provide the base platforms for what The Trafalgar Group is calling the Ark 900. These luxury floating accommodation boats now offer the ultimate in waterside accommodation via Airbnb and booking.com to visitors to the area. While similar accommodation can be found in use on dry land, Thornham Marina’s luxury floating accommodation boats represent the first of their type in the UK.
The uniquely customised pontoon base units are based on Walcon’s proven System 21 format but feature extensive detailing as specified by The Trafalgar Group to complement the curved, organic design of the two-person accommodation Ark. Measuring 9 by 5 metres at their widest points, concealed beneath their decking is the substantial floatation needed to support safely the structure and its occupants, and all the plumbing and electrical systems required to ensure a luxurious experience. The accommodation Arks themselves are built with wooden exterior shells in clinker-built style over a steel frame, adding a touch of nautical nostalgia to a very modern concept. Features include insulated wall cavities, electric underfloor heating, air conditioning, sound systems, LED lighting, en-suite facilities and more.
Walcon delivered each of the pontoon hulls to the site in two sections and then performed the final assembly on the waterside. Weighing 12 tonnes apiece, they were then lifted into the water by crane where the final installation of the Arks took place and the decking fitted onto the main structures. The works were completed with the final bolting up and the addition of curved stainless-steel handrails.
The Ark 900 is designed to be highly stable when static in the marina, but they can also be easily and safely manoeuvred independently around the harbour using a high thrust outboard motor.
“Walcon has worked closely with us in designing this unique luxury accommodation boat,” commented Jonny Boys, managing director of The Trafalgar Group. “Working with their design team we have been able to ensure a seamless process that brought together components such as the pontoon hulls, the blackwater systems and the Ark 900s themselves to create a harmonious whole. Working with Walcon has allowed us to innovate and explore a great new market sector. We would welcome any interest in people wishing to stay for the night or anyone else with a general interest in the new product. Find us on www.thetrafalgargroup.co.uk”
“We welcome custom pontoon projects of all types,” added Walcon Marine managing director James Walters. “We have the skills, facilities and experience to deliver complete design, build and installation packages, as well as full after-care and maintenance. It was our pleasure to work with owner Jonny Boys and his team whose vision and decision to think outside the box made this pioneering project a reality.”