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(and old stuff - outdated)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..
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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 • September 2006

September 2006

2nd September: Removing the first wood

The plates for the new construction have arrived. It was quite hard getting them aboard my neighbour's ship. He had already done the ribs and U-supports. Each plate had a weight of nearly 150kgs.

First bit of wood removed...

That same day, we broke down the first part of the original wooden construction. Breaking it down was a reasonable quick job. Once this was done, we all had a nice meal and started working again, now with the more heavier stuff, metal.

The Luxe Motor Watergeus and spits Reginald
The Luxe Motor Watergeus and spits Reginald

During that evening, the main rib and support for the flat roof had been welded. It was getting to dark to continue working, so we drunk another bear and went sleeping.

It is now a phase with no going back!

3th September

After a hard night we started working again. I didn't sleep because of the loaded spits barge next to me. The boat was only connected to my boat and not to land... Ropes were loose and it was heavily loaded.

The Luxe Motor Watergeus and spits Reginald

In the morning we created a first rib that should hold the plates. The ribs had to be rounded to keep curve the platform. We used metal strips and bended them ourselves.

8th September 2006

The heavy plates needed a crane to be loaded on my ship and positioned in the right place., so my neighbour bought a crane. In the afternoon, the crane was delivered and mounted on his deck. During these works, we moved my boat a bit more to the front.

Crane being placed in position

16th September 2006

The Watergeus has always been used as a water supply vessel. The cargo hold was well protected with a white stuff, a combination of calc and cement. Where the new watertight compartment will come, this stuff had to be removed. A job that took me al morning. It was so much dust that the area around me (including myself) was completely white. A bit of good advice, never do it without a mask. I still have difficulties breathing.

The cleaned rib, the foundation for the watertight compartment

In the afternoon, we cut the first plate of the compartment, a job that took three hours. Nothing is straight on a boat...

17th September 2006

The first plate was put back in position and welded. So was the second plate. Working with two people only takes some time.

The first two plates of the watertight compartment

22th September 2006

When I arrived, the plate at starboard side was also put into position. The plates to the sides of the ship are the hardest. You have to take care of many aspects. The sides are not straight, the ribs are constructed with multiple plates. Some of these ribs have been damaged during her commercial career. The gangway goes slightly lower at the end. Some parts of the plate had to be burned away, what causes the plate to change shape of the heat.

Burning a plate
Burning the plate of port side

That evening the third and fourth plate were placed. A small stroke was cut of a new plate, so the final gap was filled.

watertight compartment nearly completed
The small gap that had to filled up

The watertight compartment has been created. It should be fixed properly with ribs in the next days. It will also become stronger, when the deck will be placed.

23th September

The deck was placed on the boat, from the hatches to the compartment. A very precisely job, since the plates had to be placed as close as possible to each other. The bigger the gap between them, the bigger the risk that water will stay where the weld is.

The deck has been placed and should be welded properly in the next couple of days

24th September

After two days of hard work, we found it was time for some fun, some amusement, so we decided to break down some more of the wooden construction.

Removing the wood with the neighbour's crane

The next fase will be the construction of a new entrance, but in the same style of the boat. Therefore, we lowered the metal plates in the hold of the ship. This part will be fabricated in the hull and later put in position by the crane.

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