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Living on a houseboat;
Most problems you'll hear about are from people who've never lived on a houseboat themselves.
Ask any "woonbootbewoner", and they'll tell you the main problem; that you just won't be happy in an apartment ever again.
A well built houseboat, like a well built house, stays dry and warm inside. If the floor is cold, it's for one of the same reasons as house floors get cold, leaky doors and windows or bad insulation.
There is some strange notion going around for many years that houseboats have rat problems; I haven't ever had one, but of course it's possible one could sneak out of the apartment across the street [where they do live] and get in.
People often ask me if the boats move around; Yes, they do.
All houseboats are affected by strong winds; how much so depends on lots of variables. The mooring lines and pillows, how much of the boat is underwater compared to how much is in the wind, the direction of wind, and the intensity and duration of gusts.
Boats also move when heavy vessels pass by [rundvaarts], or when boats traveling too fast leave a strong wake.
Does it get too hot in summer?
Some boats do. Again, it depends on the construction. Skylights are very bad for this. They let in little light in winter [when you want it] and too much in summer [when you don't]. With sunlight comes massive amounts of IR radiation [heat]. South facing windows, yes; skylights, no.
It's becoming more fashionable these days, as the word finally gets around, that houseboats are no longer for people who can't afford "real" housing.
They aren't cheaper than apartments anymore anyway.
Houseboats, well built and in nice neighborhoods. are prestige homes now.
Values have risen quickly to match those of apartments, and I believe they will rise faster than equivalent apartment prices [as they have in Paris]. There aren't many houseboats in the city, only around 2500, and there probably won't be any more.
A lot of people seem to worry about sinking; I was in an apartment once, and found myself worrying that it might fall down [it shook every time the tram went by]. I never worry about my boats sinking anymore, now that I know about them.
A boat that is taken to the shipyard regularly [concrete ones never need to go], and has an automatic pump in it, is less likely to sink than a house is to burn down.
These ships would take about 50 tons or more of water to sink, so even in the unlikely event of a leak, it would take a very long time, like several days or weeks. It can happen if the heating fails in winter, and a pipe freezes and bursts, and there's no one at home for a few days, and there's no automatic pump, or it fails.
You never hear your neighbors on the stairs, you don't hear their toilets flush, you don't hear them at all.
There is an exception to that though; ships moored side by side against each other. Sound goes through the water right into the ship next door. If you buy a ship tied alongside another, make sure you have good neighbors.
You can feed the swans [they'll come to your window]. You can set a little float outside and coots will nest on it. It's like living in the country in the city.
You can keep a yacht or recreational boat alongside.
In a flood, you'd sure be better off in a boat.
If you have to live in the city, it's better on a boat.
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