If I’m looking back at the last fifteen years of owning barges and other boats, two of them were a success. The Watergeus, where I am still living on and the Tordino, which has become a nice museum. Other projects were fun and were used as an investment I had a dream or a plan, describe it as you wish, for every project I ever took on. During the conversion, sometimes the plans changed like with the Aquarel. It started with the intention of inviting friends to stay and show their art. A kind of small residence. Then it changed into a private pub with museum, but was sold after one birthday party.
Op Hoop van Zegen had to be sold to finance Tordino, but was getting pretty close to what I really wanted to do: travelling on a small barge. I had the same plan with the Hornblower in 2011, but I couldn’t find time to travel, and honestly, I wasn’t experienced enough.
Some people think I should make the boats commercial by running air b&b, or organising events and selling tickets. After fifteen years asking nothing, and just organising, I met a lot of interesting people of whom some became close friends. I will not name any friends by name, but I believe my best friends are people who I met through boating. Sometimes by giving advice, some by meeting them on a boat party and others by working together with them. Boat people are special but in a nice way. Like someone said earlier last week: their is not a single bone in their body that has a bad taught.
When I talk to people about living on boat, they are all interested, with the few exceptions of people who ask how many times you have to pump them out.
So what will bring the next couple of years? I don’t know. Half of my projects were not planned. A good party is often the one that was not planned. I have some ideas in mind to finish what I’ve started, I want to continue to socialise and meet new people, but for all, I will start with redecorating the interior of the Watergeus! After all these years, it is time to do a little upgrade and add some nice souvenirs from the past.
It was last week, when I was talking to two colleagues and friends, I started realising, I must go on with what I have in mind. A small boat to travel with, converted into a private pub where I can meet people, talk to them, make an interview and just document life on boats for a further generation. This plan could be the base for a big financial support, but since I’ve never asked any entrance, I won’t ask any money either for this!
Everytime I drive through Holland, I look at the water, the big rivers, the Biesbosch, the Oosterschelde with Veerse Meeren. Even the IJsselmeer where I had a bad experience with Tordino, are nice waters to travel. Drop an anchor or go to land, meet people, have a drink and socialise. You never know what that might bring for new collaborations and projects. Keeping an open mind on a boat is necessary!
Many people ask if a third boat is necessary. Are there no options with the current two boats I own? Yes and no. I am not allowed to sail by myself on these two barges to start with. Secondly, the engine on the Watergeus is fine, but any other technique is outdated. Tordino is fine, but the value in the hold prevents me from moving her as a pleasure ship…
We see what the future might bring…