The hot tub boat
The Seattle area is home to many scenic bodies of water; however, the climate rarely lends itself for people wanting to jump in any of them. This fact made the area ideal for one of the marine industry’s most novel creations: The Hot Tub Boat.
Although built to each order, the standard hot tub boat is 15 feet long and 6 feet wide. The majority of the deck is a fully functional hot tub, and it is steered with a joystick. It is powered by a 2-horsepower-equivalent electric motor.
Adam Karpenske, owner of Hot Tub Boats, came up with the idea when he wanted to install a hot tub in his floating home, but did not want to make a hole in his deck. He looked at his 13-foot Boston Whaler dingy, and the idea was born. Karpenske also owns a custom wood boat building company called Karpenske Marine Company, so the skills were already there to build the Hot Tub Boat.
“This is perfect for here, the water never freezes, and there is maybe two or three days in the summer when you feel like swimming,” Karpenske said. “[Seattle] is a great place to do this.”
Currently, Karpenske and Hot Tub Boats both rent and sell the boats. Prospective owners are able to customize their boat, which can range anywhere from a more powerful motor to a different stereo to even the installation of a flat-screen television.
“We come from a custom boat builder background, and that is what we are good at,” he said.
The rental operation, according to Karpenske, was initially implemented to be able to support the company as a whole. However, he said he did not expect the amount of rental requests he has received, booking as many as six different parties in a single day.
Typical customers of Hot Tub Boats have waterfront or floating homes, and many own large yachts, according to Karpenske.
The product is unique, and it is fun, both of which Karpenske attributes when explaining the reasoning for the national media attention his company has received. Thanks to media outlets like Gizmodo.com, daily hits on the Hot Tub Boats’ website went from 300 when it was first launched to more than 25,000 in just two weeks.
“We think we got this really great, fun thing going,” Karpenske said. “…And everyone else in the world seems to think it is a really fun thing as well.”