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Love at first sight – despite being scared of water

Waterlodge on the river

How often have you experienced love at first sight? It doesn’t often happen, but when it does, it can change your life. Which is the effect our luxury, floating apartment Waterlodges had on one of our customers: with just one viewing she decided to move her family out of their three-bed semi to a life on water.

“I saw the Waterlodge show boat and fell in love with it”

Sara Shepherd must have seemed an unlikely candidate to purchase a lodge on water. Though she’d lived in seaside   towns most of her adult life, she couldn’t swim, was actively frightened of water and also, therefore, scared of going on boats.

So it wasn’t just her friends who were surprised when she suddenly decided to buy a floating home – she actually surprised herself.

“I just had a moment,” said the 54-year-old charity worker and mother. “I just saw the show home boat and something about it just captured my imagination. I could see myself on it. I could see us on it.”

Within 90 minutes she had chosen all the fixtures and fittings and less than two days later had completed the purchase of her new home, opting for a Waterlodge 6, permanently moored in Littlehampton Marina: “I just fell in love with it. And I knew I had to have it.”

A lifestyle home that makes perfect sense

Sara and her partner, Martin, 49, and her daughter Lexie, 10, already had their three-bedroom semi on the market, with the intention of buying a property overseas – but COVID put paid to that plan: “It changed everything and suddenly buying a new lifestyle home here made complete sense.”

But the speed with which Sara decided to buy her Waterlodge 6 still left her with a problem: how to explain it to Martin and Lexie: “Lexie was the easy one to sell it to – what ten-year-old wouldn’t want to live on water? Martin was a bit more taken aback, but I sold it to him by agreeing that it would mean he could get his own jet ski.”

So that is now the pending plan: home security consultant engineer Martin will have his pleasure hobby jet ski moored next to the lodge in the marina in the same way more conventional couples have a car parked on the drive.

Having a pupil move onto a boat was exciting for Lexie’s school and classmates who have followed their adventure with interest since they moved in at the end of the summer and adapted to their new life on board their home, which they’ve named Lost Buoys, after both Peter Pan and the eighties teen horror.

“Very relaxing… you feel you can breathe”

Despite being scared of water and a non-swimmer, Sara hasn’t looked back; she says the twin pontoons make her floating home very stable, even though there is a definite feeling of being on water: “There is always this light feeling of floating. It’s very soothing, very Zen.”

Sara, Martin and Lexie love the sense of community that comes with their life on water, along with the being more aware of the local environment: “You feel like you’re in nature, not just looking at it. We have a family of swans who are always around, they’re like our pets. Or a cormorant will be sitting on our railing or you’ll be watching TV and behind the screen you’ll notice a fish jumping.”

If you want to make your dream of living on the water come true, we have the answer. Find out more about our different models here or contact us for more information or for an informal chat.