The HotTug is a wood-fired hot tub that you can sail and a tug boat in which you can soak in a delicious warm bath. It is ideal for carefree fun and relaxation on the water, moving or stationary, ready to take you to idyllic spots for a visit or a swim.
Frank de Bruyn: “It’s much more than a boat, it’s a vessel with different options. When the tug is filled, there is only a narrow rim between you and the water, making you feel at one with your surroundings.” Frank’s long experience of wood stoves while living and working on his own barge helped him to develop a wood-burning underwater stove. This is what heats the 2000 litres of water in the HotTug to a pleasant 38 degrees Celsius (100 degrees F.) in a few hours.
De Bruijn, who originally trained as a sculptor at the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam, also has a passion for physics and engineering. As an artist he wanted to work in public space, but he soon found out that living on an artist’s grant didn’t give him the energy he needed. He wanted to earn a living from his work, so he started designing and making furniture: “I love to make things myself, furniture I would like to have and that you can’t buy anywhere. Lovely, unique and quirky objects, but primarily functional.” His furniture is, robust, sturdy and personal, simple in its appeal and made from honest and down-to-earth materials. Frank likes to add a unique twist to every design. Meanwhile, for many years he has also designed and mounted exhibitions (in collaboration with Ariënne Boelens) for some well-known museums including the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and the NAI in Rotterdam.
The HotTug is only a few months old, but it appears to be mediagenic. It met with great success when it was introduced at the Hiswa boat show in Amsterdam in September. Now we are exploring the possibilities of producing it in series. When will the project be successful in the eyes of de Bruijn?
“When the HotTub is a common sight at holiday homes, campsites and saunas around world,” is his immediate response. “The first location in IJlst in the Netherlands (www.werfijlst.nl) is a perfect example of the type of place I have in mind. And if I dream a little further, I hope to see rental stations for HotTugs in ports and wetlands and in cities very soon.” The message is clear: it’s full steam ahead for the HotTug!