Living afloat
The story of the Luxe Motor Watergeus, the Groningse snik Hornblower, the Historische klipperaak Aquarel, the lemmeraak 'Op Hoop van Zegen', the Friese maatkast Tordino and how to convert a Dutch barge into a houseboat.
MS Watergeus
The Watergeus is my home. It's an old Dutch Luxe Motor, built in 1929. She was about to be scrapped when we bought her...
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Living Afloat
(and old stuff - outdated)
Living Afloat
Living Afloat gives you free ideas on what you need to know about barges, how to buy them, how to convert them, etc..
Recognize a barge
Buying a barge
Converting a barge
Barge to the yard
Safety on a barge
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Photo Gallery
MS Tordino
The Tordino is a Friese Maatkast built in 1922. She is being converted into a floating museum.
MS Aquarel
The Aquarel is an authentic klipperaak from 1916 converted for exhibitions and with a permanent small museum of maritime artifacts. She was sold in 2016 and is now a houseboat in Zaandam.
MY Op Hoop van Zegen
Op Hoop van Zegen
The 'Op Hoop van Zegen' is a lemmeraak from 1916. She was converted into a classic looking yacht.
I spent most of my time in or around boats. Read what I'm doing!
MS Hornblower
The Hornblower was a project of converting a snik into a yacht. I sold her in 2014 to start another project.
HomeAquarelConversion • May 2013 (part 1)

May 2013

1st May 2013

The owner gave me they keys of the Aquarel. She is mine!. From a great happy feeling of now owning the boat, it quickly turns into a more realistic feeling: how and where to start.

She is converted, but the conversion is not what I need. Even if I would like to have a second houseboat, she is not converted to any standard. Barely any insulation, a lot of lost space, wrong materials used, humidity problems, etc..

2nd May 2013

One of the many plans is to create a big workshop for myself. I've cut a hole in the wall between the master bedroom and the storage room. I can now walk around the boat without having to go outside. Since they are talking about rain next week, I believe this is a good move.

7th May 2013

The Watergeus has plenty of fuel left from the last journey. I brought ten empty jerry cans and filled them up. Together with start pilot and batteries, I drove to Ghent to unload it on the boat. I think I will need around 150 liters for a six hour journey. I'll try to take double to be sure. I don't want to call a tug....

9th May 2013

Together with a friend we managed to start the engine. It took some time. Besides the usual problems, there are a few more leaks then expected and no cooling. (Later I would discover she is totally grounded at the engine room)

The steering is changed. It is now longer allowed to have a contra steering (also called in Dutch 'Engels stuurwerk / English steering').

11th May 2013

I've mainly concentrated on fixing the issues discovered last Thursday and preparing everything for the journey on Wednesday.

12th May 2013

There are plenty of ropes to hold the boat in position. To win some time, I removed some ropes. They are all moldy.

14th May 2013

Weather is no good, to much wind. This means we are not leaving tomorrow. I did go to see the boat, check every thing and to charge the batteries a little more. while I was there, I fixed a few more issues.

People told me the boat is stuck in the mud. I had a similar feeling, but this is not true. By undoing some more ropes, she moved forward and in reverse by hand!

15th May 2013

The engine didn't start. Their is an air lock in the circuit and we had to bleed the pipes to the injectors. We turned the boat round on the mooring and left Merelbeke. On the ringvaart we broke down three times, every time it was cooling or a broken belt. The last failure caused us to get stuck on the side of the canal....

A Dutch skipper helped us out of this miserable situation. He towed us to Evergem, from where we continued our journey. In Aalter, we moored the ship and went home. Enough for one day!

16th May 2013

I quickly drove to Aalter to check the boat. When I arrived, two fire brigade trucks and the police were at the water side. I thought for the worse, but there was an issue in the factory next to the boat. A friend came and we chatted for a while. Tomorrow we do the remaining part of the journey.

18th May 2013

It took some time to start the engine. While undoing the ropes a few nice historical barges and tugs came by for the event Oostende voor Anker. They all thought I would join them. After the second turning on the canal they were to far ahead and our engine was steaming again. Slowly, without having to stop, we managed to het to Beernem three hours later. Mission accomplished!

Recently I got two pictures from Peter van de Haar when we were sailing the ship towards Beernem.

>> Part 2

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Last updated on: Monday, 18 September, 2017 11:53 PM
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