Living afloat
The story of the Luxe Motor Watergeus, the Groningse snik Hornblower, the klipperaak Aquarel, the lemmeraak 'Op Hoop van Zegen' and how to convert a Dutch barge into a houseboat.
 
MS Watergeus
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
Living Afloat gives you free ideas on what you need to know about barges, how to buy them, how to convert them, etc..
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MS Aquarel
The Aquarel is an authentic klipperaak from 1916 converted for exhibitions and with a permanent small museum of maritime artifacts.
 
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Op Hoop van Zegen
The 'Op Hoop van Zegen' is a lemmeraak from 1916. She is being converted into a classic looking yacht.
 
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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.
 
HomeHornblowerConversion • May 2011

May 2011

1st May 2011

I went to see the Hornblower with my girlfriend. I told her it had a bath, a toilet and it was partly converted.

4th May 2011: Some history

The insurance company discovered she was built in 1901, this makes her exactly 110 years old!

7th May 2011: Sleeping room, bilges and engine room

I continued ripping out the floor of the bedroom to clean the bilges. Andy came to remove the old heater and batteries. I filled up my car with wood, till, it became dangerous to drive. At least four layers of floor were built. I believe every owner added another one. There is no such thing as a cheap boat!

While cleaning he bilges, the screwdriver felt out of my hand, straight through the hull. Fortunately, I quickly discovered she was doubled on that area.

15th May 2011: Breaking down the sleeping room and living area

Besides breaking stuff down, I made a nice sitting room from the wheelhouse by breaking down, what else did you expect, the storage unit. It is important, when you work on a ship to to break down to much at the same time. You have to much rubbish and you have no place to live anymore. Breaking down goes much quicker then building it as well! When I'm tired, I can relax in the wheelhouse, drink a beer and look at the yard on the other side of the dock...


The wheelhouse looking a bit tidier

16th May 2011: Cleaning the bilges

A major job aboard the Hornblower is cleaning the bilges. I firstly removed the wood by driving a few times to some people with a wood fire. The rest, I took to my parents in Ostend. It is sad you need to remove the wood, but it is rotten and badly damaged during the last conversion.

The bilges haven't been cleaned for years!


Cleaning the bilges: I've done it so many times before


Starting to look better and bigger and cleaner


Removing rust and wood

Everything you remove makes you think. It had been put there for a reason, people spent money on it. If it had been better maintained, it could have lasted much longer! Now I need to remove everything, clean the metal again, etc...

I'm pretty much convinced the has been doubled, I found to many tiny holes in the original bottom of the ship.

21st May 2011: Thunder and rain

I decided to sleep aboard and left Bruges in the late evening. I woke up in the middle of the nigh, heavy lightning and thunder made it impossible to sleep. SInce it was raining heavily, I switched on the lights and went looking for possible leaks. Beside the hole in the deck, it looked reasonable.

22nd May 2011: Cleaning

I only did one job today, cleaning the living room bilges. All the wood is gone, so I started removing rust, grease, insulation and dust. After 8 hours of this work, you are broken and thirsty. It was a good result to see clean bilges again.


Bilges cleaned


Dry bilges, and looking cleaner as well


The last picture of the back deck without bolders


As she is looking now in Sluiskil


Thinking on how to build the floor

27th May 2011: Bollards

Today the two old bollards were welded to the ship. One of them was broke before I bought her, the second one came loose during the tow. Both of them are welded on a solid plate.

28th May 2011 : Side

On each side of the ship, there are two big holes. They must have been there for years, but I want it to be solved. One one side we cut out the plate, and we will weld a new one in.


Cleaning out the rotten plate


In the end we cut out the whole plate


Burning out the ribs and rivets

In the afternoon I painted the hull. She is looking much nicer now! She was painted with black, white, yellow and red paint. Only a little bit of each colour was left. Now everything is red, the same red as the Escapade and Frantsis used to have. The Watergeus is also painted in red. It is a good primer that has showed its quality before.


Looking better in red primer


I just didn't have enough paint for the bow on one side


The bow on the other side

 
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Last updated on: Tuesday, 20 September, 2016 11:00 PM
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