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Read what people have said about "A Home Afloat"

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. Read more...

Apartment Therapy magazine

If 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.

Canal Boat and Inland Waterways Magazine, UK

This 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!

Waterways World Magazine, UK

The subtitle of this beautiful book is: living aboard vessels of all shapes and sizes. That's not entirely accurate, because most of the boats depicted (in color photography of the highest standard) are quite large.

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. There's a comfortable little log cabin built on a floating dock, for example. It would look perfectly at home along the stony shores of some Adirondack lake, but 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 England and Europe. I suspect this gives readers a peek at some of the most evolved 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 canal system is very large and comprehensive, still maintained, and much narrower than most New World commercial waterways, so that many relatively small motorized barges are still working, and the selection of available hulls is vast.

The pictures are stunning, but the author also provides an intelligent and concise narrative to explain a little about each of these wonderful homes, and often the facts are astonishing. Take De Jelte, for 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 find ourselves dwelling in a log cabin floating down the Shannon, though it sounds 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 life that 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.

Ray Aldridge, Living Aboard Magazine, USA

If the aim of 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 and out.

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 ideas.

Paul Goldsack, Editor, DBA – The Barge Association

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