A FERRY built in Germany before the start of the war has been put up for sale as a houseboat – in Chelsea.
Apparently it was originally a 250 passenger motor salon ship and built at a shipyard on Lake Constanze, Germany.
The ship carried passengers from September 25, 1939, when she first received her ‘Permis de Navigation’, until 2002 when she was taken out of commission.
It’s said to have been part of the first generation of diesel passenger ships serving the lakes after the period of steam engines came to an end.
Wolfgang Steck came across it in 2004 on the land-locked Lac du Neuchatel. Mr Steck bought the boat and then had the logistical nightmare of transporting it to London and then converting it into a pied-a-terre.
It took nine months to convert the historic working ferry, built to carry 250 passengers, into a meticulously restored floating home, located in one of the smartest areas of London.
The result is a one-bedroom houseboat moored at Chelsea’s prestigious Cadogan Pier and now for sale for £695,000.
The 111-foot vessel has been meticulously restored and turned into a home. Built in Germany in 1939, it has a rare Bauhaus-inspired design.
Wolfgang said: “When I first saw the MS Mouette, I became fascinated by its history.
“MS Mouette was delivered to neutral Switzerland only days before the start of World War II, which saved it from any military involvement.
“I personally arranged for the boat to be transported over the Swiss Alps, down the river Rhine and across the Channel to get to her new home in London.
“It is a boat of such extraordinary beauty and rarity that it was essential to keep its historical charm and authenticity.
“I kept as many of the original features as I could, such as the extensive wood panelling. Mouette feels like a private island in the midst of the bustling metropolis.”
The houseboat, which is located next to the stunning Albert Bridge, has been put up for sale with Harrods Estates.
Its First Class section has a designer bedroom with two dressing rooms and an en suite bathroom.
There is bespoke furniture hand crafted from maple wood and the bed is built-in, giving the room the feeling of stepping back into the 1930s.
The top decks have the original mahogany flooring making it perfect for entertaining, sunbathing or just for watching the world go floating by.
There is approximately 1,380 sq/ft of gross internal area and approximately 700 sq/ft of external recreational decks.
Mouette’s engines are in running order and the boat is now ready for a private river cruise.