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
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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 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.
HomeConversion • May 2006

May 2006

4th May 2006

See also: Photo Gallery

Today, two employees of he Belgian Government came to measure my boat, so I could register it again as a Belgian boat. The whole operation took three hours. It was a kind of a joke, they re measured the boat three times and had three different results.

Measuring the hull

After they measured the boat, the new BR-number was bashed into the hull on four locations, twice on the side, one on the bow and one on the back.

5th & 6th May 2006

Two days of hard work, in which I decided to put some paint on the hull of my boat, so she didn't look that rusty anymore. She used to be sand blasted four years ago and had been put back in the water without any coat of paint.

I also cleaned some of the bilges of the cargo hold. They were still partly filled with oil and old leaves.

Dirty bilges

14th May 2006

Today, I continued where I stopped last week, cleaning the bilges. We also tried to start the engine, but with no success.

15th May 2006

See also: Photo Gallery

A major step in her preservation and conversion to a houseboat is her dry-docking in Sluiskil. During the night of 14th-15th May, I had to stay up all night to refill the generator every three hours. The batteries were so flat, the main engine couldn't start anymore...

The quality of the picture is not good, due to the smoke of the broken exhaust of the generator in the cargo hold.

At 8 o'clock in the morning, we started the engine without trouble, something that didn't work the day before. The ship had to turn in the Canal before she could set sail to the yard. Since she has no cargo, her propeller was halve above the water. This made it very hard to navigate her.

Full power backwards

W arrived half an hour later at the yard. When contacting the yard to know if we could go to the slip, they told us to wait, there were problems with the slipway, a rail and a cable were broken. We moored next to the 1957 built Remi, another inland barge. The delay was 4 hours. In the meantime, to save fuel we turned off the engine, a decision we regretted later...

When the previous ship was launched and some of the slipway repaired, our ship was allowed to go to the slip. While trying to start the main engine we discovered the batteries were flat again. So we drove to a ship, asking for their power charger. In no time the engine started and the watergeus went on the slip. 15 minutes later, the boat was dry-docked.

Dry at last!

She was cleaned in the afternoon and I returned to the boat in the late evening to take some pictures of her hull.

16th May 2006

See also: Photo Gallery

The yard has so many lights, the barge in front of me has a very nice search light in his mast, so does the one next to me. This made it impossible for me to sleep. Another hard day for me, so seemed later.

Early in the morning, I made a walk around my boat. The skipper from the Remi showed some weak places on the hull. It worried me a bit. At 9 o'clock, I started cleaning the anchor winch.

Cleaning the anchor winch

At 11 O'clock the man who had to measure the hull thickness (and give me a certificate) arrived. He needed nearly six hours to measure the whole boat. After only half an hour, he discovered the first bad area, a couple more would follow...

A weak place
A weak place on the hull

At the end of the day, two plates at the bottom and four on the sides needed to be replaced...

20th May 2006

Arriving at the yard, I quickly discovered no repairs were made. This means the boat has to stay at least one week longer on the slipway.

At least, I have electricity, so I started hovering the bilges.

Some bilges had oil, other only dust

21th May 2006

I started cleaning the engine room. In December, when I first started working on the boat, for the previous owner, all the water, contaminated with oil, was pumped into the engine room. Now I stated putting everything in empty cans. At the end of the day, I ran out of cans, already filled all of them for nearly 300 liters. At least another 600 liters are in the bilges...

Oil and water

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