Things to look for are the distance between other boats (must be 2m between boats), the distance from a bridge (must be 7m away) and if your boat is second off the quay, or moored up alongside another boat,” said Maria. All boats that can travel at over 20 Km per hour must be registered. “The only disadvantage is the work involved in keeping the boat in a good state,” agreed Annelies who said her husband does a lot of the electric and water work and that they share painting and de-rusting. Most of the barges on the Dutch canals are between 14m and 30m long, and 2.5m and 5m wide, drawing between 0.6m and 1.4m, and those with flat bottoms have significant floor space, making the life on board ideal. The red tape depends on the waterway where you choose to live. “It’s not a real disadvantage but I miss high ceilings and the ability to hang paintings – wall space is limited in a boat,” Maria said. ... 8356 DV Blokzijl The Netherlands A large shingled houseboat in Amsterdam with a variety of potted plants and patio furniture on the roof. The first two letters are the country code and the following three letters are the manufacturer’s identity code. The boat is perfect for maneuvering through the canals of the Netherlands. My parents moved onto a boat a few years ago, so we were familiar with boat life, a little,” says Maria. But, Annelies didn’t actually choose to live on a boat. They are DINKies (double income, no kids), have a dog, fully admit how much work they put into their boat, but none-the-less love life on board. If your boat does not have a harbour fee sticker or it is moored in a prohibited location, you can be fined, based on the length of your craft. The mortgage and insurance can be slightly more expensive than a house, but that depends on the individual situation. “I do not miss anything any more, I used to miss the certainty of a house, but that is long gone.”. For the Netherlands, check out the websites below, including those of associations, agents and regulators involved in buying, registering and mooring a vessel. I like how cosy it is, that you don’t need a lot on the boat and that things need to be very ordered due to the space. Once registered, all the laws of Dutch will apply to your boat. We also have the freedom to make our home the way that we want it.” Structurally it is much easier moving walls or changing the layout inside a boat than it is in a house. The general Dutch regulations cover everything from registration of ownership, registration with the navigation authority, safety and insurance certification, permission to use the barge for residence, registration for local residential taxation, and qualification for the person who is going to steer the barge. Our Boat Buyer’s Guide will help you get through the initial steps of buying a boat, but once you take ownership of your pride and joy some budgeting and financial planning is in order. Should you leave your spot for a year then the city can reclaim it. The red tape depends on the waterway where you choose to live. It is published by the ANWB (similar to the Automobile Assocation - website in Dutch) which also produces the waterkaarten (maps and navigational charts). “I met my friend and he lived on a boat. 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