The best of both worlds

PUBLISHED : Monday, 12 June, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 12 June, 2006, 12:00am

Local yacht-maker Bart Kimman's big dream is about to be realised. He's always loved living on the water but also fancies a high-ceiling New York-style loft. So he's combined the two. With architect Pierre Maciag, they designed something called the Loft Barge, a large steel houseboat with a 6-metre-high ceiling. He unveiled his grand plan at the Foreign Correspondents' Club on Friday. 'I've lived on the water for about 10 years,' says Kimman (below). 'The first barge will be finished next month. It's being built in China. The idea makes a lot of sense. For about $2.5 million, you get 1,500 square feet of living space. That's cheaper than most apartments and you can sail it anywhere. I've always been surprised there are only about 180 houseboats in Hong Kong when there's potential for a lot more.' He'll only be building about six Loft Barges each year, which range from 55 feet to 80 feet long. How can Kimman afford such a risky venture? Well, as a partner in Asia Yacht Services, he took delivery of a $50 million Moonen yacht for a client this week. The commission on a few of those should help.