Monday, July 29, 2013

Where do you go boat shopping?

I'm bending a few rules again. The reason I'm doing all these posts is because I like the idea of a fifteen day challenge but cannot afford to take part in it officially as I'm bogged down in my studies and this is just a bit of light relief. Today's post is supposed to be about book shopping but as I'm doing the alternative version, I've changed it to boat shopping. Good idea, no?

Where and how did I buy my barge, the Vereeniging? Those who've read Watery Ways will know that I spent months looking for a barge. I scoured websites like Boten te Koop and  Fikkers. I also checked out our local version of e-bay, which is called and then there was the word of mouth recommendations of which there were many. I also visited many barges, some of which were just collections of rusting rivets held together by lacework of rusting steel, a bit like the ones below.

Eventually, a friend of Koos's responded to a post he'd put on a forum asking if anyone knew of a barge similar to the Luxor. I'd had it in mind that this was what I wanted as I didn't think I could afford anything more. The friend, Cees was his name, sent us images of the Vereeniging with a 'what about this?' message. The rest is well documented in my book and in various other blogs I've written over the years. We went, we saw and I was conquered.

There are things you need to know when you buy a barge, though. You need to see its vlakrapport which is the inspector's report of the ship version of an MOT test. This will tell you important things like how thick the steel is on the bottom. We didn't have that for the Vereeniging.

You should also arrange for a keuring (inspection) to have the bottom checked again, plus other safety measures. We didn't do that for the Vereeniging. The result was - well - catastrophic. But I'm not going to go into that here. I've done it before (here and in Watery Ways) and I'm writing about it again in more detail for Harbour Ways, so I wouldn't want to spoil the story, but suffice to say, when you're buying a boat, there's a bit more to it than buying a book - and it's not just about the costs involved. Oh no.

All the same, it's immensely exciting, and now I've added the links to these sites, I'm simply going to have to go and browse through the barges for sale.

It's just…well…. irresistible!

If you are interested in dipping into my books about life on the water not to mention life on a smallholding in rural England, why not visit my author pages on or and read some extracts they have made available.
You can also reach the individual books through my sidebar here.


  1. You have made me laugh Val. You're doing the challenge and then changing all the rules,well it works!

  2. Hehe, Anne, I'm enjoying doing the fringe version :-) I never was very good at obeying the rules anyway, but I'm glad you like it! xx

  3. We knew a couple who lived aboard a sailboat, but you're the only person I know who lives aboard a barge. I think that's cool.

  4. Here we go again with something in common! I put a wanted advert on Apollo Duck after having failed to find what we wanted and someone responded offering us Bonnie. Also we fell in love immediately and didnt bother with a survey prior to purchase, luckily for us when we eventually got one done everything was fine. If we did everything the easy way and followed the norm, life wouldn't be so exciting (maybe a lot less stressful, but lets look on the positive!!!) xxx

  5. Carol, you'll have to 'meet' some more of my boat blog friends. Most of them live on barges. Fran here lives on a sailboat now, but as soon as her barge is ready, she'll be living there too!

    Fran, I was very unlucky, I know, but that's the price I paid for my impulsive behaviour! I loved the Vereeniging and would have bought it anyway, but I might have paid a bit less :-)

  6. Hahaha you are as bad as me and 2CV's. I owned 2 at one time, but that is nothing compared with some of the people in my local group. One owns 6. It's called addiction.Mind, a couple of boats would be cool. One for you, one for your friends...

  7. Aaah, Carol, when you come and visit, I'll introduce you to my 2CV owner friends. We have a few 2CV fans in the harbour (I expect you might have guessed that given the somewhat alternative lot we are). I must say though that yours is MUCH smarter than theirs! I'd love to have one too but I've promised myself that my next car will be an old VW Beetle :)

  8. After reading Watery Ways I realised that buying and living aboard a barge is NOT an easy option or one for the faint hearted! :)

  9. Jenny, you are right about that. I cannot disagree, but it is wonderful :) I was very tempted by some of the barges I saw on the Internet last night. Try it, and you'll see what I mean...


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