Duffy Boat Founder Develops Humane Temporary Homeless Shelter

Share this:
Duffy Duffield

Fifty years ago, Newport Beach resident Marshall “Duffy” Duffield sold his first electric boat, dubbed a “Duffy.”

More than 30,000 Duffy Boats have since been sold around the world. Duffy boats are a familiar site in Newport Harbor, and locals and visitors can purchase or rent Duffy boats at the Duffy of Newport Beach location on Coast Highway.

Now, Duffy Duffield brings his expertise in fiberglass construction to help shelter the homeless population by creating something he calls SafeHuts. As a Newport Beach city councilman and past mayor, Duffield said he saw firsthand the challenges facing cities and counties to provide temporary homeless housing.

“I wanted to help by using my knowledge and manufacturing experience to create safe, secure and humane housing for our unsheltered homeless population,” said Duffield in a press release.

SafeHuts supports local governments needing to transition homeless people from the streets into a temporary shelter that is weather resistant and insulated. SafeHuts are not designed to be permanent supportive housing. They are intended to help cities migrate their unsheltered homeless population from the street into a durable and safe structure at a reasonable cost.


“We offer a solution that is both environmentally sensitive and durable,” said Duffield in the press release. “Because SafeHuts is made with a vacuum-infusion fiberglass construction, it creates an insulated micro-hut capable of handling all climates. Just like a boat, our designs are durable, waterproof, and safe.”

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the homeless population, SafeHuts can be sanitized and dried in ten minutes with the CDC-approved disinfectants. Unlike products made from organic components SafeHuts are not subject to dry rot and water damage, nor are they incubators for viruses.

SafeHuts has two micro-hut products available: a single-bed 60-square-foot unit and a double-bed 80-square-foot home. A four-bed 120-square-foot fiberglass structure is in development.

These SafeHuts have three open and closing windows with screens, door with interior lock and exterior hinges, vinyl mattress with folding bed frame, an EasyWash fiberglass surface for inexpensive and efficient sterilization, and are solar charging for interior LED light and USB charging. Assembly takes two hours on-site. SafeHuts are easy to break down and re-locate.

Headquartered on six acres in Adelanto, California, SafeHuts are manufactured at the Duffy Electric Boat Company, Inc. For more information, visit www.safehuts.com.

Share this: