Million pound barges: Owner shows off £1.8m barge visited by royals- ‘penthouse on water’

Million Pound Barges: Auctioneer reveals gift from Prince Charles

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According to Channel 5, around 15,000 Britons live on the UK’s waterways. But the barges featured were particularly luxurious.

The presenter said: “The new breed of barge is like a penthouse on water.”

As buyers can’t get a mortgage for a boat, they are often the choice of the super rich who are cash buyers.

One barge owner showed viewers his extraordinary home based on the London Thames in Chelsea.

Nick Bonham is the former managing director of Bonhams auction house and was ready to sell his incredible home after 20 years on the water.

His luxurious home boasts five bedrooms over 300 square feet and carries a whopping price tag of £1.8million.

Former guests to Nick’s barge include actors, musicians and even members of the British Royal family.

Nick showed off thank you letters from Princess Anne and Prince Edward as well as a gift from Prince Charles.

He said: “We’ve had 70 or 80 people up here regularly with a hog roast and my wife’s special hot red wine.”

As a former auctioneer, Nick’s barge is decorated with several priceless works of art as well as a few unique nautical themed items.

One of the more unusual items was a basin designed to look like a urinal which Nick said he might have spent too much money on.

However, doing up a luxury barge isn’t without its challenges and Channel 5 met ex-city trader Rob who was renovating his own vessel.

Rob, 42, planned to sell his barge for £1million and had been working on it for five years.

He had originally spent £200,000 on the shell of the barge but said: “I’ve invested roughly half a million pounds of my own money in this project.”

To attract luxury owners, Rob was adding plenty of exclusive features to the barge, including £10,000 worth of oak flooring.

He said: “I want to create decorative touches you can’t find on dry land, let alone on a barge.”

He’d also added an £8,000 floating staircase and took a delivery of £3,000 worth of moss to create a “quirky” wall feature.

But barge life isn’t just about London and viewers were also introduced to partners Colin and Shaun who travel the UK on their barge.

The couple make a living from sharing their life onboard ‘Silver Fox’ with their 73,000 YouTube followers.

Colin had struggled with his mental health before the pair decided to purchase their barge for £135,000.

The pair said the “one thing” they don’t miss is the “alarm clock” in the morning and sometimes choose their next destination on the spur of the moment.

Million Pound Barges: Luxury Living is on Channel 5 at 6pm on April 24 and available on catch up.

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