This 128 page hardback book is a delight to mull over; a true coffee-table book filled to the brim with stunning photographs. The vessel types are divided into six sections featuring Barges, Houseboats, Motor Cruisers and Motor Yachts, Narrowboats, Tugs and Yachts and Motorsailers offering different forms of liveaboard home. Each featured home has a brief interview with the owners and gives details on construction and personal insights into living afloat.
Canals and Rivers Magazine, UK.
For quite a long time we've been intrigued by the idea of living on the water. Barges, tugboats, yachts, motorboats, houseboats, floating homes, they all call out to us... so we were excited to find Gary Cookson's book A Home Afloat.
you like boats and you enjoy house interior television
shows and magazines, you will find this a fascinating
book – there are some lavish and spectacular
interiors on display.
is an attractive, but certainly not a technical, book.
It will, however, do much to fuel the enthusiasm of those
who have thought, perhaps on a sunny day, that it might
be good to live afloat!
Each vessel is
afforded at least a couple of pages of attractive colour
photographs and 300 words. They range from narrowboats through
substantial, Dutch, former commercial
craft, to floating log cabins. Some sail, others motor and
some are unashamedly house boats.
Everyone with a passing interest in residential craft will
find something to enjoy in these pages. The boats vary from
those aboard which you might feel instantly at home, to some
upon which practical boaters might be frightened of leaving
a greasy finger mark.
As inspiration for aspiring
boat fitters, or pipe-dreamers seeking a long sunny and nomadic
retirement, it is almost unsurpassed!
subtitle of this beautiful book is: living aboard vessels
shapes and sizes. That's not entirely accurate, because
most of the boats
depicted (in color photography of the highest standard) are
The majority are converted working hulls-- barges of all
shapes and origins,
tugboats, yachts, and traditional English narrowboats. Some
of the homes afloat aren't strictly "vessels" either.
comfortable little log cabin built on a floating dock, for
example. It would
look perfectly at home along the stony shores of some Adirondack
currently it's moored on the River Shannon in Ireland.
This wide variety is one of the great appeals of
the book. The
author is British, and most of the boats pictured are in
Europe. I suspect this gives readers a peek at some of the
floating homes in the world. The Dutch have been living
aboard in large numbers for centuries, and it's not by
coincidence that many of these lovely
boats are of Dutch origin. Another factor is that the European
is very large and comprehensive, still maintained, and much
most New World commercial waterways, so that many relatively
barges are still working, and the selection of available
hulls is vast.
pictures are stunning, but the author also provides an
and concise narrative to explain a little about each
of these wonderful
homes, and often the facts are astonishing. Take De
example. This 85' Dutch sailing barge was built in 1910
and converted to
power after the advent of cheap engines. With her mast
cut down, she spent
many years carrying cargo. Now she's restored to a glory
that perhaps she
never had before, with a tall mast, an enormous gaff
mainsail, and what looks
like a 50' boom.
This is a dream book. Not many of us will ever
dwelling in a log cabin floating down the Shannon, though
delightful. But these vivid images are a strong reminder
that there are
different ways of approaching the idea of "living aboard." Some
folks just love the water, its light and movement and the
it carries. They
don't require a floating home that could sail itself
to Cape Horn.
The owners of these wonderful floating homes
have found a way to live
on the water with enormous style and grace.
If the aim
A Home Afloat has been to provide an inspirational insight into how successful interior
conversions can be, then this book can be counted an impressive
success. Most of the vessels
he has chosen to
have photographed and featured are, frankly, superb.
What the book doesn't do is teach very
much about actually living afloat. That comment aside it's
a hugely stimulating coffee-table production, thanks, almost
entirely, to some stunning colour photography.
Each vessel is
given a chapter of its own. DBA members Stefan Fritz and
Julie Shaughnessy, for
example (they aren't, by far, the only DBA barge owners featured)
get eight glossy pages with 25 superfine colour shots of
their 1910 sailing Klipper De Jelte – inside
The book is excellent value for those
eager for a peek through the keyhole at other peoples' floating
homes, or for anyone seeking inspiration for interior conversion
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