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Architecture architecture Tinyhouses


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by: Sharai Hoekema
floating in your own tiny houseboat

Have you always dreamed of living on the water? Waking up every day to wide-open views of endless water bodies, boats floating past, perhaps the occasional water bird? Then you might be in for a treat. The Dutch company of VaarHuis Consultancy, based in the Frisian town of Joure, has just the thing for you - a tiny houseboat. You can live in it, navigate it, use it as a holiday home or other form of (temporary) accommodation… and it is nothing like you would expect it to be.

“The best psychiatrist is a day on the water,” claims Robert-Jan Wik, the initiator and developer of the HouseBoating concept. This 47-year-old entrepreneur has turned his hobby and passion of spending time on the water into a flourishing enterprise. 


The Tiny Houseboat is Dutch in every fibre of its being: from the traditionally shaped house to the concept of living on a boat, to the adventurous and boundary-pushing mentality of its founders. It essentially is exactly as it claims to be: a tiny house on a boat. It has all the certifications that allow it to be used as both as well, letting the owner ship off his house to wherever he wants. 

Or, if you are merely planning to stay in one location, it could also be delivered as a floating house, without any actual steering or boating capacities. This option is the first of many, as the design of the actual house can be selected and customised as well, as are its dimensions.

The founders strongly believe that it is something that will appeal to anyone, both as a pleasure craft as well as a means of accommodation. As well as fun and compact, it is also a sustainable and durable product. The intention is to have it employed as a mobile accommodation on the water as well, that can temporarily be docked in a certain location before moving on to the next, or used as recreational accommodation for holiday resorts or hotels. Other applications include use as a detached guest suite of your home on the water, your very own man-cave to go fishing with on the weekends, or a student room that provides accommodation in overcrowded cities.


A Tiny Houseboat offers pretty much all of the amenities and luxuries that you are used to from your own home. It can even have a second floor, accessible by stairs, containing a full-sized bedroom, fitting a queen bed. Downstairs, you will find a seating/dining area with an open kitchen and a luxurious bathroom. And, befitting the outdoor lifestyle that this boat will unquestioningly bring along, a spacious outdoor area is available that functions as a proper lounge deck. 

The exact configuration can be determined, as there are three different spatial lay-outs available, as well as five sizes, ranging from 7.5 to 14.99 meter in length. Although a new initiative of the company experiments with floating hotel rooms and saunas, which are basically smaller, well-designed versions of the larger Houseboat. 


First of all, this innovation basically guarantees you a new way of recreating or living. It is affordable, with pricing starting at € 55,000 excl. VAT, and provides a luxurious yet simple interior, that can be customised to your exact liking. It will let you fall asleep to the gentle rocking of waves, and wake up the next morning with an unparalleled view: the large, ceiling-high windows in both the bedroom and the downstairs living area allow for plenty of natural light while putting on a great show. Although your design could include a television, you might not even need it.

From a business perspective, the Tiny Houseboat offers plenty of interesting opportunities as well. From low-priced and mobile accommodation for your personnel, partners or guests, to a viable way of exploiting a hotel or resort business. A touring organisation could organise all-inclusive holidays that lets people enjoy the richness of a country or region, while combining it with a fixed accommodation and the unique experience of navigating your own boat.


VH Consultancy is still in its early days, having introduced the concept last March. Yet it is very real, and shows great promise. Especially in densely populated areas, where house prices are skyrocketing and accommodation is scarce, it will be a welcome solution. Whether it is an extension of your actual home, vacation home, hotel room or man-cave: the Tiny Houseboat will provide a durable mobile accommodation where and when you need it.

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