SaunaTime® blog


Sauna at the Dock in the Bay

A Floating Sauna in Minnesota

Sauna between trees

Otis Redding sang a great song, (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay. For many people, listening to the song brings back some great memories of the relaxation and ease of mind and soul that happen while enjoying a peaceful rest by the water. For a Minnesota man, Grant, sittin’ on the dock of the bay has been taken a step further with his floating sauna, and rather than reminiscing, he and his friends and family are making memories about which others only dream. 

Getting Started:

Grant’s Finnish roots and family love of sauna, especially the ever popular sauna and swim, planted the seed of inspiration that developed into a local favorite respite from the always wired, connected world in which we live today. His plan was simple in design, and expertly carried out through years of sauna use and sauna building skills learned while helping family and friends embrace their Finnish heritage. To make the sauna float and safe for being on the water, a pontoon boat was modified with increased bracing and support to handle the additional weight of the sauna and stove, as well as several friends and family members who would enjoy a day of sauna and swim.
Adding a 3rd pontoon

Starting to Take Shape:

After careful planning to keep the weight evenly balanced across the frame of the pontoon boat, Grant began construction of the sauna and deck. Approximately 6’x8’, the sauna is centered on the pontoon deck from front to back with a slight offset to a side to allow for a clear walking path from the front to the back of the boat. The door faces the rear of the boat and two small benches are located just outside the door in an enclosed area to allow for resting and cooling between rounds of sauna. Several windows are installed to provide light for the sauna, and a flat roof acts as a diving platform from which his guests can enjoy jumping into the lake.

Framing the sauna
Framing in the windows

Things are Heating Up:

When deciding on how to heat the sauna, Grant was pleased his best choice of heaters was also his favorite: a wood-burning sauna stove from Finnleo. Finnleo’s 16CK heater’s efficient design conserved space while providing great heat for the sauna. Using corrugated metal as a fire wall, the sauna was able to utilize the space for maximum sauna pleasure. With the sauna stove in the front left corner of the boat, opposite the sauna door, the sauna and boat have a nice flow for people to enjoy all the amenities the boat has to offer.

Testing Stove

Sunset & smoke

Time to Enjoy!

As lakes warm and summer approaches, how do you plan to spend your evenings and weekends? Do you have a plan for disconnecting from the hustle of the world and for reconnecting with friends and family? Are you looking for a family retreat that not only feels good, but is good for you? The beauty of a wood-burning sauna is it is intended to be enjoyed slowly and intentionally. It isn’t to be scheduled between conference calls. The heater is to be thoughtfully prepared and lit. While the sauna heats, friends and families talk, enjoy refreshing beverages and light snack, or play games. Time is taken to enjoy relationships. When the sauna is ready, the bathers enjoy multiple innings, not a rushed 10-15 minutes before a quick shower.

Sauna & jet ski


Take this as an invitation to slow down and embrace all the benefits of enjoying the simpler things, including better physical and mental health and wellness through sauna.

Friends watching sunset

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