Floating Homes & Communities

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Bowcrest, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. Bowcrest
    Joined: Jan 2011
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    Location: Dorset UK

    Bowcrest Junior Member

    At the present time we are battling to introduce the concept of Floating Homes & Communities into the UK. Like those who have gone before us in various countries we are encountering old fashioned prejudicies towards anyone who wants to live on the water, unreasonable & severe environmental issues along with all manner of other planning and financing problems. It seems that there are a good number of Companies like us around the Globe trying to do the same thing - is it time we banded together to pool our resources and expertise with a view to changing perseption and attitudes to this whole concept.

    I think now is a good time and if anyone who has an interest in this wants to get in touch we would be delighted to chat to you. You can find us at our web site: www.bowcrest.com

    Tony Charman MD
    Bowcrest Marine Ltd.
     
  2. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: Tasmania,Australia

    rwatson Senior Member

    Hi Tony

    I am feeling a bit argumentative and ornery tonight - can I take the opposition role and throw a few 'black hat' comments at post please ? ( Nothing personal, I like boats a lot)

    Ahem - Mr Chairperson.

    What we have here is a blatent marketing campaign from the Managing Director of a Marine Business, to enrich his own wealth.

    Living on a boat provides lots of problems with health and hygiene standards. It creates personal risk and discomfort, and it creates floating slums by people unwilling to invest in civilised, properly organised and healthy land based communities.

    Some of the great 'boating communites' like Hong Kong Harbour, have had to be largely converted to land based dwellings, to avoid health problems created by effluent and waste from thousands of boats. During inclement weather, typhoons have devastated the fleet, drowned dozens of people, and left many hundreds homeless.

    Boats, by their very nature, offer less comfort, less room and much greater instability than land based dwellings. They use more resources to build ( both in materials and time), costing a lot more per cubic metre to build, and a lot more per cubic metre to maintain, due to their close proximity to water and the tendancy to come into hard contact with jetties rocks etc.

    We should do all we can to discourage the proliferation of the thousands of largely unused, cash draining, resource hungry craft dotting the coastline and spoiling the natural views and amenities.

    I turn to the time over to the case for the affirmative. :)
     
  3. Bowcrest
    Joined: Jan 2011
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    Location: Dorset UK

    Bowcrest Junior Member

    Floating Homes

    Hi - I agree with you - you certainly are a bit argumentative and ornery tonight as well a rather poorly informed. But thats OK as it is exactly the point of my previous post. We have a long experience of living on water and in countries such as Holland there is a very long traditon of it. Of course as you very rightly say in the past there have been many locations turned into offensive and miserable looking shanties - however that also occurs on land. The point of my post was to awaken more forward thinking people to the concept of living on flood protected state of the art Floating Homes. Naturally we have an interest as do many other people who post articles on forums. But I would make the point here that in the UK we face unique and challenging housing conditions as well as very real risk on inundation in many of our low lying coastal areas. As in Holland city planners are now looking to see what altetnaives there are to having housing sited on flood plains and flaoting communities are one solution.

    Its a shame that you hold the views that you clearly do but I get the impression that you have not ever actually lived on such as a Dutch Barge or purpose built floating home and maybe you should give that soem though in order to get a more balanced opinion of a subject which it would appear you know very little.

    Maybe look again at it and perhaps try and have a more open view as we should all do.

    Tony
     
  4. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    So the water side that you occupy will no longer be available for summer strolls or a bit of perch fishing . I take it you have sewerage disposal sorted?

    Is there such a shortage of land in Dorset that a home on water is necessary at the expense of destruction of the English country side not to mention wild fowl.

    Now--if you mean that houses are so expensive in Uk and no one can afford one so you have to live in a swamp where land is cheaper and no council rates to pay then thats different but the same answer.

    The difficulties of housing for the young in Uk is not going to be cured by slum type gypsie/traveller dwelling that is infamous for trouble and crime.

    Maybe I know very little too but I cant see this as step forward in good quality housing offering health an quality of life. Damp and bronchitis is long gone, your trying to bring it back.

    What "do" you do with sewage?
     
  5. Jeremy Harris
    Joined: Jun 2009
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    Location: Salisbury, UK

    Jeremy Harris Senior Member

    I've got several friends who live afloat and all say exactly the same thing - finding a residential mooring anywhere in the UK is damned near impossible. It looks like a dream to live by the waterside, and perhaps in places like Holland where they have plenty of water space available, it is. On this crowded island I doubt very much whether the idea of floating communities is feasible. It may work as a means of developing disused and flooded gravel extraction and mining sites, but the whole of the coast has been decreed open for the new coastal right of way, so building homes in inlets and estuaries is going to be compromised by this right of way to some extent.
     
  6. Timothy
    Joined: Oct 2004
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    Location: canada

    Timothy Senior Member

    A number of years ago I took my aging parents on a trip up the St. Lawrence to visit friends of theirs who owned an island. Along the way it was almost impossible to find secluded anchorages. When I could their would always be an irate cottager who would demand I move some where else. On one occasion after anchoring my Dad and I were sitting in the cockpit relaxing and I noticed a small row boat approaching us from the direction of a newly built monster cottage on the shore. As loud as I could I exclaimed "I can not believe they allowed some one to build that monstrosity Its spoiled the view of everybody that anchors here. The boat turned back to shore. Now I spend most of my time in Thailand and have watched over the years as the "sea gypsys" have been pushed from their island territories by the ever increasing encroachment of land dwellers and their concept of private property . Guess what its the land dwellers who have brought pollution and its their dwellings and consumer lifestyles that have soured the beeches.
     
  7. Bowcrest
    Joined: Jan 2011
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    Location: Dorset UK

    Bowcrest Junior Member

    I think it would be benecifial if you took a look at our web site in the Floating Homes section. "slum type gypsie/traveller dwelling that is infamous for trouble and crime" is not what we are talking about as can clearly be seen both on the web site and from what has already been written by myself.

    What we ARE talking about is regenerating vest areas of unused old dock's, canalsides, industrial riversides etc. I addition of course there is scope for deveoping new land with lagoons for floating Homes such as has been doen in Ijberg - Amsterdam. Floating Homes can range from affocdable key worker homes to super luxury - Slums are in the equation - sorry!

    Your point on sewage - It is illegal in Europe in almost all locations to discharge raw sewage and that has been the case for many years now. Floating Homes located in urban areas plug into existing sewage systems - quite literally just plug in. In locations where this is not possible onboard sewage treatment plants which are now affordable and commonplace is the route. As I stated in my original post these discharge water to IMO standards and can if you were of a mind be drunk.

    Land - the question you raise is in fact exactly the problem. The UK long ago ran out of land. Subsequently planners and developers have increasingly raided Grenn Belt areas to provided additonal developemnt land putting ever more pressure on the enviroment. Hence there is now a huge problem trying to get ANY planning passed due to environmental safeguards. By freeing up unused water for homes at affordable prices in areas where there is huge need is surely a good thing is it not.

    If you were to take a look at what we show on our web site which in part is show what can be done for both developers and would be buyers you would see that the environments where these hoems go enhance the area not degrade it.

    Your health questions I'm afraid just are not relevant. Again look at the web site. I hope that this clears things up a bit for you but I do urge you and anyone else to at least look before going off the deepend - but then again this is what we have to contend with.

    Tony
     
  8. Bowcrest
    Joined: Jan 2011
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    Location: Dorset UK

    Bowcrest Junior Member

    As per my reply to Frosty on the issue of moorings. Interestingly we are currently working with some Authorities who own lareg expanses of water and are very keen to develop the idea. With regards Coastal Right of Way Floating Home communities would only usually be part of redevelopment of existing waterfrontage and would not impinge on Coastal Path territory. A number of City Planners (those with water) are seriously looking at the whole issue and indeed even in London there are more and more residential mooring developments coming on stream - Interesting development that one and to a degree politically lead.

    Tony
     
  9. Bowcrest
    Joined: Jan 2011
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    Bowcrest Junior Member

    You make a very good point here. For years there has been a lot of chatter politically about cleaning up the rivers and canals in Europe. In France for example the Hotel Barges which in the past carried up to around 28/30 passengers all discharged straight into the canal. In Holland this practise has gone on for generations with nobody dying of anything horrible. Recently the scientific community have expressed the arguement that its not human bi-degradable waste that is the problem pollution wise - its the pollutants from industry and agriculture that is the real villain of the peace. Sewage of course - well this day and age that just has to be part and parcel of any planning strategy and it is so easily addressed that its not that much of an obsticle now.

    Tony
     
  10. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    I have to take issue with you about the UK running out of land. The Uk has run out of residential land,-- that is land not freed from green belt held in control by government.

    Fly over Uk and you would think no one lived there, there is vast unoccupied areas.

    I don't want to see Liverpool docks, Leeds and Bradford canal or anywhere else full of floating debri because of the governments short sighted views. Why the government wants high valued housing is beyond me but thats not your fault but your opportunity.

    "Plug in sewage as simple as that"? if your toilet is 3 feet below the water you are floating on how does it now flo uphill to the council sewage system. There has to be pumps, tanks, storage and the inevitable odour involved.

    Im sure you have similar Ideas about garbage collection in areas such as canal sides that are already over run with rats. Electricity,---overhead pylons I suppose? lovely.

    Your webs site did'nt show this. I do agree with you however that you will be getting serious opposition to your proposed ideas.

    I thank you for bringing this to my attention, I will do everything I can to stop this.

    There are some fantastic waterside properties remaining of the industrial revolution, some being restored at great cost.

    I will fight tooth and nail to keep these places void of floating residential communities or other wise to satisfy greedy developers with youth full desires and lack of respect for the past generations and architecture.
     
  11. Bowcrest
    Joined: Jan 2011
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    Location: Dorset UK

    Bowcrest Junior Member

    I'm not sure quite why you are responding so agressively? It's the UK Government that state we have run out of land for developemnt - no me. Naturally not all land that appears unoccupied is suitbale for development - again thats the point! Plug Sewage - simple as that - Yes its macerated first in its own holding tank and then pumped ashore. Theres no point trying to suggest that it won't work - it does, it working as I type and lots of folk who already live in these floating homes and other liveaboard vessels know that. Garbage - yes of course collected just the same as Houses no problem, electric just the same as house again.

    As for Liverpool Docks and similar - Liverpool is already working on the possibility to create floating homes etc. there - they like the idea.

    Tony
     
  12. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    The story of Liverpool is, in many ways, the story of its docks. Before the docks, trade was limited by the tides and at the mercy of the Mersey's currents. After dock construction began, the city became a hub of Britain's worldwide trading network. Cheshire Salt, Lancashire coal and textiles, Staffordshire pottery and Birmingham metal goods were all export staples and played an important part - until the 1807 abolition - in the infamous African slave trade. At the same time, sugar, rum, cotton and timber were exported in huge quantities. Through the expansion of the empire and the opportunities presented by steam power, the docks continued to grow and prosper. Even after the setbacks and bombing of the Second World War, trade rapidly recovered. However, the pace of change increased in the late 1950s and not to Liverpool's benefit. Passenger liners lost out to airliners (Cunard ships last called here in 1964) and changes in cargo handling led to the displacement of six traditional cargo liners for every new container vessel. There was competition from new container ports like Felixstowe as well as a range of local difficulties.


    And you say they like the idea of allowing old fishing boats painted up to look like houses to occupy this tourist area? I don't believe you, and I ask what the name was of the Liverpool council representative who even suggested that they would be even interested in such a scheme.

    Maybe we should pull out the famous "Victory" from her dock in Portsmouth and fill it with,--- floating homes.

    Your obviously a young man with money on your mind over whelming any concern for Englands heritage and history.

    I take it you are of English descent.



    Oh I get it --this is a joke is'nt it. ha ha.
     
  13. kach22i
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    Location: Michigan

    kach22i Architect

    If you need another designer/architect I'm available.

    Of course my twist on the topic is a hover-platform so it can be towed with little resistance and or serviced on land.:)

    Would work on top of ice too.
     
  14. Bowcrest
    Joined: Jan 2011
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    Location: Dorset UK

    Bowcrest Junior Member

    No I didn't say they liked the idea of "old fishing boats painted up to look like houses to occupy this tourist area?" I referred to state of the art Floating Homes - not the same thing.

    I know all about Liverpool Docks I sailed in and out of them enough times in the 60's, and London and just about anywhere you care to mention so I do not need any lectures on Maritime Heritage especially when my core business is all about preserving old Dutch Barges which would otherwise end up as washing machines - Do you get my point?

    I am certainly not a young man with money on my mind - I@m soemone who is trying hard to bring an alternative concept to market in areas which desperately need re-generation - sorry you can't grasp this.
     

  15. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    Your web site shows no state of the art housing but that of what looks like a caravan on a raft, or old renovated fishing vessels.

    You will as you say meet resistance to your ideas.

    Sorry you cant grasp this.
     
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