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The sustainable heart of our houseboat… an Approved Used Kitchen

UKE Customer Stories:  Rebecca and Stephen’s Houseboat

This year Rebecca and Stephen completed a project that many of us dream about – building their very own houseboat. This ‘value & quality’ focused couple decided that the best way to stretch their budget without compromising quality was for every purchase to be either reused, regenerated or recycled. When it came to the kitchen, buying approved used was the natural choice. They discovered a SieMatic BeauxArts German kitchen on our website that would be ideal and with an original price tag in excess of £54,000, this kitchen offered them the high-end quality and designer style they were craving at an affordable price.

We went to take a peek at the finished project and see how they were getting on.

All aboard The Fortune!

What attracted you to this kitchen?  

The quality of this kitchen really stood out to me. We were very flexible, with opportunities for reconfiguration, but this kitchen was just perfect in style and size so was exactly what we were looking for. The length of the island fitted the space exactly, and the sink in the island was definitely a feature for me. I have always wanted a sink in an island!

How did you work out that it would fit in your space?

We built the houseboat ourselves using a team of builders. They built the houseboat for us in Southampton whilst we lived in London, so as the project manager, I would pop down once a week to see the progress and chat to them about it. Due to the three separate entities in the kitchen we purchased, it was quite easy to go ahead and buy with the confidence that it would fit. Our builders used the images from Used Kitchen Exchange’s listing, along with the measurements and a plan kindly provided by the seller, to put this kitchen back together. The seller had also labelled up the units to show where they went; he owns a kitchen showroom and was very thoughtful when it came to us reinstalling the kitchen.

The kitchen being installed into the boat

The kitchen in its original home


We had complete trust in the Used Kitchen Exchange process. Everyone we spoke to was helpful and professional, and we loved the fact that a trained marketing surveyor and photographer had been to see the kitchen in person, measuring and inspecting it, this definitely gave us the reassurance and confidence to purchase without seeing the kitchen first. Their personal attention to the kitchen gave us an external and honest opinion of the kitchen.

“If we purchased new,

there is no way we would have achieved this stunning result!”


It was a gamble buying a kitchen without seeing it, but we felt that the information provided to us by UKE gave us more confidence to go ahead with it. We used their delivery team; this made the process easier for us as they picked it up from Manchester and delivered it to a shipping yard in Southampton. This wasn’t something that we could have done ourselves.

What is the plan for the Houseboat?

We currently have the houseboat on the Classic Cottages website. It’s a holiday home for ourselves, and we also rent it out so that others can experience it when we are not using it. Its located in Bembridge Harbour on the Isle of Wight and is fabulous for a relaxing break to get away from life’s daily grind. The houseboat has two floors and is fully kitted out with furniture that has been given a new lease of life by us, from sideboards to sinks! I’m really proud of what we have done, and we plan on retiring to the houseboat someday.

What challenges did you face, if any?

Our building company, unfortunately, went bankrupt not long into the build process, which was a challenge. Luckily, we were able retain the tradesmen with us on a freelancer basis which we know was extremely lucky.

What feedback did you receive from your kitchen installer/builder about the kitchen? Was he positive about the idea of fitted pre-installed units?

Our builders couldn’t stop talking about how fabulous the quality was in the kitchen! They loved it, and along with all of the information provided by the seller, the installation process was really easy for them.

Did you make any adjustments to the kitchen?

We had to get an additional end panel made to match the kitchen, as the original kitchen was up against a wall. We got it colour matched, and you honestly wouldn’t guess that it wasn’t there previously. We also decided not to use the large stone splashback, as it was very “heavy” looking for the boat. We wanted it in keeping with the rest of the décor, so decided to not use this and sourced another splashback.

How do you feel now your kitchen is fitted?

We are so thrilled with how the kitchen turned out. The whole experience was made very easy for us; the information we were given, the help and reassurance from the team in the office, the delivery team bringing our kitchen to us with their specialist equipment. We really couldn’t fault anything; it has just worked out perfectly for us.

Choosing a sustainable used kitchen means that Rebecca’s family will be carbon neutral for a whole year! If you’re interested in purchasing an approved used or ex display kitchen, or selling your own kitchen then simply visit our website Used Kitchen Exchange.

Fancy a break in The Fortune? You can book your holiday in this idyllic getaway here

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