May 10, 2007
| by Steven Castle
Any room that sports a 25-foot boat that functions as a bar automatically grabs our attention and warrants serious—and some not-so-serious—consideration. You say the bar/boat is fully stocked and the bartender actually stands inside while seated guests gather around the port-side attached bar? We’re listening. And that a faux-paint specialist added waves breaking below? Very cool. Although we have to say, it does seem somewhat peculiar.
Oh, and the Chris-Craft wooden racing boat was actually sawed in half, lengthwise, to get it into the room, then rebuilt and finished? Now we have to investigate this, if only to ask the pertinent question: Why?
“We vacation in Lake Tahoe in the summer, and the home we stay in has the very same thing,” says the lady of the house. “This was an older Chris-Craft ‘woodie’ from the 1950s.” The boat was in pretty rough shape, having been through Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. “We also chopped off four feet from the end of the boat,” she adds.
It doesn’t hurt that above the bar/boat is a 50-inch Samsung plasma HDTV, and the rest of the large space is equipped with two pool tables (one of which converts into a Ping-Pong table), a dart board, and two pair of Sonance in-ceiling speakers to deliver a variety of music sources from the whole-house audio system, including light jazz from a Comcast cable box or a Denon DVD player. Not all the equipment is in the room, hence some infrared (IR) receivers that take an IR signal from the Comcast remote and pass it through wiring to the necessary components. An in-wall Sonance K2 LCD touchpad is also used to activate selected music sources.
The homeowners have had parties in the room, and they use it a lot. “We play pool and Ping-Pong and mah-jongg on the game table. My husband and I play Ping-Pong every night,” says the homeowner. “And the music system and plasma screen just add to the ambiance.”
Granted, the room lacks a surround-sound system for the plasma screen. But why complain when you can take in great views of the bay while luxuriating on a boat with a drink and a plasma TV—without ever having to get wet? Now, that’s what we call engineering some recreational prowess.
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Steven Castle is Electronic House's managing editor. he has been writing about consumer electronics, homes and energy efficiency topics for two decades. He is also the co-founder of GreenTech Advocates