off grid and retiring afloat

Not a boat but afloat.

Most people want to know their retirement is safe and sure.

Also most retirees want to escape to warm climate instead of from warmth to cold.  But that is just what they did.  Plus their home can only be accessed by boat.

What a wonderful home out on the lake.  Including a float garden.  float garden

Take a look.


Los Angeles expats of a certain age Margy and Wayne Lutz took a decidedly unique route when selecting where exactly to hunker down after taking an early retirement from their careers in education.

Originally used as portable bunkhouses for loggers and weekend getaways for mill workers in the nearby city of Powell River, float cabins are now popular rental retreats for vacationers who flock to the Sunshine Coast region every summer for a little R&R.

Having vacationed in the area a few years prior, Margy and Wayne Lutz weren’t looking for a rustic floating cabin to spend a few summer weekends in. They were looking for a full-time floating residence that would allow them to go completely off the grid.

Accessible only by boat, the 420-square-foot home (plus a 200-square-foot sleeping loft) is powered by solar, wind, and thermoelectric energy with some additional help from propane during the winter months.

For heat, they rely on a wood stove (fueled mostly with driftwood) that has been rigged with an experimental thermoelectric system that uses the cold water from the lake for a good differential in temperatures. Whenever the stove surface is about 300 degrees C, they are generating a trickle charge to their batteries.

As for the facilities, Margy and Wayne installed a composting toilet within the dwelling after hiking up a granite cliff to use an outhouse provide to be too burdensome.  It’s also worth noting that Margy and Wayne lease their “lot” for $500 a year from the B.C. government.

Says Margy: “Living off the grid makes for a very simple life … just all the things I don’t need is what I think about when I’m here. I don’t need a lot of light, I don’t need a lot of electricity. I need a little propane to cook with. So I’m not without comforts of home I guess you could say. But I’m with all the comforts of living in the middle of nature.”

Here is a tour of the home and how they live off grid.