Tuesday, June 10, 2008

ModernGear Home - the dutchtub

Have you ever been to a party at a friend's place and everyone piles into the hot tub? Now be honest - who is ever really eager to get in to a monolithic jobby that looks straight out of the 80s, and with very questionable hygiene? Have you ever seen that water during the light of day? Well, if you have, let's just say you probably wouldn't get in it at night.

See, for me, the idea of sharing a bath with a few of my closest friends isn't the problem (once I have gotten past my phobia of being seen in public in a swimsuit). What I have trouble wrapping my head around is the fact that the water I'm expected to sit in has also been sat in for who knows how long, by who knows who...typically hot tubs are filled up with water and left for weeks...months? What about your friend John's athlete's foot...and why has Anne been using that ointment again?

And here's a nice thought - to offset the stuff that each of those bodies leaves behind, we then dump a load of chemicals into the water, and label it a "home spa". Oh baby, pour me a glass of wine, and let's slip into that toxic soup. Mmmm, relaxing.

And what about the energy that is sucked in to heat the water? The manufacturer's recommendation is that home hot tubs are never shut off. Rising oil prices won't make you feel the pain in your car only...

One more thing, and this will make me sound decidedly like a design snob (I've been called worse), but the typical home hot tub is an awful sight. I mean truly. You can improve the seating inside and add special fiber optic blue lights...
...and jets and massagers and cup holders, but the fact is, it has no redeeming overall design features to help it fit into the decor of a modern space, and that matters to me.
What if the water was heated by a wood fire, was fresh, and the design of the tub even fresher? That's exactly what Floris Schoonderbeek thought, and thank goodness, because he invented and designed the dutchtub, an unconventional alternative to the conventional hot tub.

The water is heated by a wood fire in a stainless steel spiral and works as a convection system, drawing cold water and circulating it to heat it. The water temperature is easily controlled, and another bonus is that because of the water circulation, the spiral doesn't get red hot.

The spiral is made of the same stainless steel used in wind turbines at sea, and the tub itself is a polyfiber like a sailboat, so the tubs can stay outside all year no matter what the climate, and withstand the elements. She's a hearty little tub, and definitely an outdoors kind of gal.

Empty, the dutchtub weighs 75 kg/165 lbs, so you can easily take it anywhere you want to go...and I do mean anywhere.

With a capacity of 800 liters/200 gallons, the dutchtub is said to be as comfortable as a chaise longue due to a convex sphere in the bottom of the tub, and environmentally-minded people will like that you don't need to pour any chemicals into the water, so you could use it afterwards to water a garden or landscaping, or recycled into a grey water system.

You can build your own system on the dutchtub web site. The tubs are priced at $6000 for standard colors, and $6300 for custom colors, with options like a chimney, an ashtray to catch ashes underneath the coil, and a hand trailer or car trailer, from $125 - $1500.

hottubsource.com says that "Hot tubs vary in price dramatically, with a price range between $2,500 to $18,000, and an average price around $6,000", so the dutchtub is about the same to buy initially, but much less expensive to use and maintain. All that, and portable too! If you decide to go for a soak with your friends (even with John's athlete's foot and Anne's mysterious ointment), now you can bring the party with you!


Brenda L said...

this is so cool!

ModernGear TV said...

B, I know!! Wish we had one here for your stay...