Leafing through Waterways World this morning I noticed that following one company's explicit marketing of an 'apartment boat' at Beale Park, at least two advertisers have picked up the term and incorporated it into their adverts. This suggests the beginning of a trend, the possible consequences of which we might ponder.
Of course using a boat as a pied-a-terre (a l'eau?)* is nothing new, and I would be on shaky ground if I got on my high horse about it as that's exactly what I was doing with Andante in Huddersfield. But at least to think of it for oneself required a modicum of imagination and a passing knowledge of the existence of boats; now it seems, what with estate agents selling boats as well, it's being forced down the throats of people to whom it might never otherwise have occurred; people with even less interest in boats and waterways than the production line shiny boat brigade. People who don't even think they're interested.
One consequence I will guess at - an even closer, inflationary, correlation between boat and property prices. Another, more difficult to pin down: an increase in the number of boats that never leave their moorings, mostly desirable city centre ones. Let's hope that these 'apartment boats' will be corralled into the glitzy new marinas leaving moorings actually on the waterways to boats that move occasionally.
I am always aware, when I rant about anything, that I am a total parvenue on the waterways scene; that I frequently don't know what I'm talking about, and that I am in no position to pontificate to people who have been involved for thirty years and more, who have served their time and maybe even played a part in saving and restoring the waterways and boats that I love so much, back when it was difficult and a fight, and that I have it easy compared to them. I also really envy them; I wish I could have been there then.
*If you know how to do grave accents in HTML then I take my hat off to you. I had to get Lockboy in to sort out the links list - but look! It now works!