Boatbuilder recreates Apollo Lunar Lander as misfit retreat

Puzzled by the design of the Apollo lunar landers, catamaran-designer decided to build one, both as proof of concept and as a very personal vacation home on the banks of the .

Relying on boat-building methods, Hughes avoided nail framing and created his own (SIPs) using his pioneering “Ziploc Space Bags”: a vacuum bagged plywood, epoxy mix light enough to be transported from his Seattle backyard to his riverfront resort on the back of his pickup truck.

Hughes believes his ultra-light tiny home – the 250-square-foot structure weighs just 3,000 pounds – can, and should, be replicated, especially for those building tiny homes on wheels where weight is paramount. He’s working on a manual to show others how to create their own SIP panels.

Tucked between two conventional homes, the lander is permitted residential. After a run-in with an inspector who was sure the home relied on a steel structure, Hughes avoided extra electrical inspections by wiring the lighting as 12 volt (something that doesn’t require inspection). The shelter actually relies on the used in catamarans for its structural strength.


  1. The lunar lander had four legs for redundancy – if one of them collapsed on landing, there’d still be three to keep it upright long enough to take off again. The landers were built just barely strong enough to operate in the Moon’s 1/6 gravity.

    • Yeah I was pretty sure they thought long and hard about the legs.
      Also 3 legs only sit better than 4 on an uneven surface if they are rigid. I’m pretty sure the actual legs would have had some suspension so would have been self adjusting anyway.

    • Mister Hat it’s occasionally a response to a roll on the floor obvious answer that math explains the density of the moon and it’s mass in relation to earths and the subsequent gravity therein

    • @Chris young The probes could measure the lunar gravity directly with onboard accelerometers, no need to calculate the density. Although they already had fairly accurate calculations of the Moon’s mass, as you need those figures before you attempt to land even a probe on any body. They mainly found those figures through methods such as measuring the barycenter between the Earth and the Moon and working backwards from that.

  2. From wiki: The first dome that could be called “geodesic” in every respect was designed after World War I by Walther Bauersfeld,chief engineer of the Carl Zeiss optical company, for a planetarium to house his planetarium projector. A first, small dome was patented, constructed by the firm of Dykerhoff and Wydmann on the roof of the Zeiss plant in Jena, Germany. A larger dome, called “The Wonder of Jena”, opened to the public in July 1926. Some 20 years later, R. Buckminster Fuller named the dome “geodesic” from field experiments with artist Kenneth Snelson at Black Mountain College in 1948 and 1949. Although Fuller was not the original inventor, he is credited with the U.S. popularization of the idea for which he received U.S. Patent 2,682,235A on 29 June 1954. So Bucky did not invent the geodesic dome. Great build!

    • And yet it looks like a real mattress, not just a bunch of cushions from the dinette that sorta fit together. So a real bed for people who are way too old to sleep on the bare floor.

  3. I’m unsubscribing today.
    This video is annoying. Tiny homes are not toys.
    What a waste of resources this project is.
    What an eyesore for the beautiful location.
    The fact you covered this stupid build means you have no idea what tiny homes are.

  4. If anyone is interested in self built space architecture, I would highly recommend Cody’s lab YouTube channel. He is building a self sufficient Mars base.

  5. The reason the layout of the Lander didn’t make sense to you is because it’s completely make believe… Sorry.

  6. Honestly nothing misfit about it, survived a tornado, survived a fire… I always say this about vehicular structures such as planes and boats making excellent even land based homes because they are built to withstand so much more. Bonded lightweight strong as steel panels, instead of wood that can splinter and rot and metals that can rust away. No, nothing misfit or eccentric about this man, he just created exactly what he wanted.

  7. I want one just like this one…only somehow add some extra bunk beds. Even better than this as a home would be if it was a fully functional lunar module and could land at any campsite! I bet this guy could figure that out…as well.

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