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(and old stuff - outdated)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
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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.
HomeHornblowerConversion • April 2012

April 2012

3th April 2012: bulkhead

I continued welding on the bulkhead between the engine room and the bedroom. This is the last part of the metal construction around the engine.

6th April 2012: Feet

The ship had a ra railing on only one side. We never had the time to finish this project in the Netherlands. It certainly is not the most important job, but it looks nicer. When I'm going to the yard in May, I don't want to carry al these length of pipe with me. They are now stored on the hatches of the Watergeus.

Today I cut the feet for the railing and welded them on the boeisel of the ship. A very time consuming job! Welding RVS pipe on metal is not that easy.

7th April 2012: Railing

Today we have put the railing on the feet. The old feet still need to be cut. It might give a wrong impression, but I won't use them as a fender or to keep boats away in a lock...

Last week, when welding a bulkhead in the engine room, a rotten pipe felt through the hull. Since this hole is only seven centimetres above the waterline, it is now closed by welding a little patch on it.

8th April 2012: Railing

There are two more things that need to be done on the bow. One of them is a support for the cable sliding along the deck when the anchor is dropped. The other one is the railing on the bow. I wasn't expecting to finish this job in a half a day, but we did.

The bow, which has been has been the subject of several discussions is finally looking like I really wanted it to look!

My parents came to help as well. They sanded the original ceiling in the living room and did some wood work.

Monday 16th April 2012

After the conversion of the bow, building the bathroom and living area, putting fuel and watertanks in the boat, she was listing sadly towards the front. The propeller started to become visible. This means I need to put weight in the back. The back area is a sleeping room, so this means I will not have enough weight. In a local concrete factory, I could have free concrete bricks of 15cm by 15cm. Each of them has a weight of nearly 8kg.

I loaded around 600kg in my car for the first run. I dropped them in front of the boat.

A friend from Sluiskil came over, so I had no time to pick up a second load of bricks. I went to have a chat on his boat.

Tuesday 17th April 2012

I got my second load of bricks, another 600kg. My neighbour came to help me a hand loading them onto the Hornblower. Once this job was finished, I put some of the bricks in position between the ribs. I noticed with 600kg in the back and 600kg in the wheelhouse, It didn't make any difference at all.

Thursday 19th April 2012

The bricks are all in position, or at least nearby. With 1200kg of concrete, she is now five centimetres deeper then before. I really wonder how much more she is needing before I can make a safe trip.

Later on, I put the hatch aboard my boat. The hatch is a bit to big, but it fits nicely in the wheelhouse. I might have to make some adjustments to the ribs of the floor. I'll see how far this will take me on a later stage.

Friday 20th April 2012

The bricks, a washing machine and the hatch have killed my back. After moving around several times with those bricks, I'm not feeling good at all. I know a few of my neighbours who have fitted a few tons of these bricks on their barge! Respect for those who did that!

The big old generator I bought in February was to heavy (in weight) for the little boat. Therefore I was in search of another smaller one for the Hornblower. I found another Hatz with Boch dynamo.

Monday 23rd April 2012

I lowered the generator into the Hornblower. She will supply me of electricity when the batteries are death or when I need extra power. I've chosen for a Hatch engine again. They are very reliable. It is a full set, I only need to mount the exhaust to the outside of the boat. Since there are already a few holes on that side, It is all about just welding a pipe to the exhaust bit.

So far, I have owned the Hornblower for one year. I have done a lot of work. The idea was to finish her in three years time. Now, one year is gone and I believe I certainly need another year before she is ready for cruising in France. The idea of only working in the weekend is gone. Every evening I'm doing something. At the moment, the 'cheap jobs' are almost done. I'm going th the yard in less then one month with the Watergeus, so I need to save as much money as possible.

28th April 2012: Welding

The floor of the wheelhouse is bolted, so are the L-shape profiles. The bolts were to keep everything in position. Together with the hatch, everything needs to be welded. I 've started today. I'll see how long it will take.





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