On the waterfront
Living on Ireland's waterways can prove quite a comfortable lifestyle, as this waterfront residence, priced at €149,000, comes with the comforts of a modern home, writes June Edwards
Sipping a glass of wine on the deck may sound like a cliché from suburbia, but there's nothing suburban about Linda McGlynn and husband Mitch Rawcliff, who are part of a small but steadily growing 'live-aboard' community in Ireland.
Their waterfront home with a difference is 'Grey Owl', a stunning custom-designed 60ft by 12ft canal barge, which is currently moored at Sallins, Co Kildare. Relocating to the UK, the couple are selling their barge but hoping that new owners will have as much joy as they have had living there.
"A lot of people have misconceptions about what it's like to live on a barge, but our home is just like a floating apartment. It's got central heating, solid oak floors, a proper bathroom with hot water, fitted kitchen, lovely furniture, and everything else you might expect to have in a regular home, including neighbours," explains Linda.
And like any homeowners in a normal neighbourhood, Linda and Mitch are part of the local residents association, the Irish Residential Boat Owners Association, (IRBOA). The IRBOA represents many of the 100-plus community of live-aboard families in Ireland.
"Some barge-owners move around from place to place, but most people stay moored in the same place, because they hold down normal nine-to-five jobs, or they might have children in school. We are very much part of the community in Sallins." At present there are no mooring charges in Sallins and a number of locations but there is an annual fee of €135 for use of Irish waterays. Mooring charges may be introduced where facilties are improved.
When it comes to creative solutions around homes, Irish people tend to be overly cautious, says Linda.
"When I lived in Germany and in the US, people were really imaginative about the places in which they lived. They converted old barns, warehouses, buses and boats into beautiful homes.
"In Ireland, ownership of land is still very important to us, and we are still attached to the idea that a home must be a house and garden."
Custom-built in 2008, 'Grey Owl' is selling fully furnished and ready-to-go.
Painted a deep blue, this floating home even comes with its own garden and sun patio with overhead canopy on deck.
Accommodation includes a large open-plan kitchen/dining-cum-living room, a spacious double bedroom, and bathroom. Flooring is solid oak, while lining and ceilings are tongue-and-groove ash.
The kitchen is solid oak and comes with all appliances, while the living area has a cast-iron eco multi-fuel stove. The bathroom has solid wood worktops, twin built-in cupboards, a mosaic tiled floor, enclosed shower and extractor fan.
The couple have made clever use of space to provide good storage and their hall is lined with floor-to-ceiling book shelves behind glazed doors, while the bedroom has built-in presses.
Headroom in the cabin is 6ft 8in and spotlights are fitted throughout the ceiling.
The barge is fully alarmed and is an all-steel construction. Other features include aluminium ramps, Vetus 65 HP diesel engine with 355 hours running time.
Contact: Linda McGlynn 087 667 3967 or http://apolloduck.net/209229