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A floating sauna (flauna) ready for crisp cool lake plunges three steps out the hot room door

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Flauna [flaw-nuh]:

noun, plural faunas, faunae
1. An individual’s possessions strewn about for others to see in order to impress.
2. A sauna constructed on a floating structure such as a barge or pontoon boat to allow for immediate water access between sauna rounds.

70% of sauna enthusiasts take no part in definition #1, but 100% of us have great appreciation for this recently constructed floating sauna here in Minnesota, USA.

“I wanted my sauna super friendly for my kids, and the whole family” explains Josh Howe, creator and visionary behind his “flauna”, floating sauna. “The lake at our cabin is a cold, spring fed lake. I knew that building my sauna close to the lake would be a good thing, but building it ON the lake will allow us to sauna anytime we want, and bring the sauna around to other parts of the lake and sauna there too.”

Here we see Josh and his “flauna” project just two days after final construction:

Josh’s father in law played a key part in the construction.

It was a long cold dark winter in Northern Minnesota, but Josh’s father in law was able to work on the floating sauna indoors, inside his garage:

Working on the flauna

It’s always a good idea to “field verify” our work.  When we sauna build, it’s a great idea to get the stove early on, so we can set it in place before some of the major decisions like sauna benches and window placements are permanently defined.

field verifying sauna stove placement.

Not only is this a very well constructed sauna, but there are some critical elements to this design that make this a fantastic sauna:

  • Transom windows.  With transom windows on left, right, and back sides, the design of this floating sauna is such that a sauna bather can see the entire landscape while sitting on the sauna bench.  More on sauna windows here.
  • 7′ ceilings.  Sitting on the upper bench, we have approximately two fists above our heads to the ceiling.  This makes for great heat, without over cubing our sauna.
  • A kick ass sauna stove.  Do we need to say more?  T-h-e-r-m-a-l  m-a-s-s.  More here.
  • Great flow.  From any spot on the sauna bench, a sauna bather can easily exit the hot room, from EITHER door!
  • Comfortable blenches.  24″ wide benches aren’t just an easy dimension to remember, they allow for comfortable seating, whether parallel or perpendicular to the bench.

Here we get a tour of the inside. Imagine looking out the transom hot room windows and seeing expansive Nature (vs. urban homes).

Josh started with a few visits to founder Glenn’s backyard sauna. Then a couple months of Craigslist searches until he found a perfect pontoon boat as the base for his “flauna” build.

“Ice out is any day now.  I can’t wait to gather the family and get up to the lake!”

Josh’s floating sauna ready for action.


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4 thoughts on “A floating sauna (flauna) ready for crisp cool lake plunges three steps out the hot room door”

  1. Hi,
    I’m the new proud owner of an all aluminum 2000 LeisureKraft 24ft pontoon boat that I plan on converting to a sauna boat. I’m starting with changing out the trashed motor with a new 50HP Yamaha and moving the steering console to front of boat making room for sauna and change room.
    I’d like to get advise on situating sauna and semi open change room on pntoon along with wood stove.
    Also any lessons learned on construction and what material to use,
    First sauna boat on the Chesapeake Bay!

    Lembit Jogi
    Bellevue, MD 21662

  2. Lembit:

    Friggin’ awesome.

    Not sure if this is a two pontoon or three pontoon sauna, but something to consider is weight dispersal. We want good lampomassa, so this entails a quality heater and lots of rocks, which all translates to weight. I’m a nut for the Kuuma stove, Tower, MN, land of -60f record cold temps, developed in a climate where 3rd generation sauna stove designer has had to work for his heat.

    As far as open changing room, for sure, and the general rule of
    can be waived as there’s nothing wrong with exiting hot room to a deck area and then a couple steps to Chesapeake plunge.

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