MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A former floating wedding chapel that was renovated into a houseboat has been sold for $399,999, after previously being listed for as much as $600,000.
The houseboat was formerly known as the “Chapel on the Bay.” According to an article from Robb Report, “Chapel on the Bay,” was once America’s only self-propelled wedding chapel.
It has since been converted into a luxurious floating condo and it’s been spotted by many and posted to multiple Facebook groups over the past few days and weeks.
The same report gives more history into the chapel. A couple from Clearwater were inspired to have it built after seeing a concept like it in Australia in 2004. They commissioned the chapel to be built and once complete, it could hold wedding parties of up to 125.
The floating wedding business sank by 2013, according to Robb Report, and the chapel was put up for sale, to be purchased by an Oregon contractor and his wife in 2015.
They converted the former chapel into a two-bedroom condo. The couple kept many of the original wedding chapel features, like the rooftop spire, stained-glass windows (now covered with hurricane-resistant glass) and the arched front door.
The houseboat, or floating condo, is listed on SpecialFinds.com, a website that offers unique homes and offers “properties that stand out in the crowd,” according to its website.
Whether the former “Chapel on the Bay” stays a luxury home remains to be seen, SpecialFinds.com notes it could be anything, from an Airbnb at a marina, to an office for a unique brand, or a place for a restauranteur or chef to take clients for dinner cruises.
The self-propelled vessel can move at a speed on its own power at about six knots, power by two diesel engines.
The website states that more than $1,300,000 has gone into the original construction and conversion of the floating home.
The total surface of the home is 1800 square feet, including decks.
The home is currently based at a marina on the Manatee River in Palmetto. It is completely air-conditioned and an eight-kilowatt generator keeps everything running.
The website states a motion-dish satellite TV antenna is included, and the home also comes fully furnished with a 65″ flat-screen TV, leather furniture, outdoor seating and a gas grill.
No further information was given about the buyer, or information on if the floating condo will move from Palmetto or be further renovated into something else.