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(and old stuff - outdated)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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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.
HomeConversion • January 2007

January 2007

12th January 2007

Earlier this week, the welder continued making holes and placing the windows. It is a very precise and time consuming job. As can be seen on the following picture, on one side, the four portholes are already in place.

Four portholes are in place.

When both sides are finished, a nice coat of paint will make it look much nicer. A green deck, dark red den and white portholes.

Today, the lights in the mast were connected to the control panel in the wheelhouse. All the lights are now working. A new 24v cable had to be placed from the beginning to the end of the ship.

Finding the right cable and the right fuse. It took us more then two hours to figure out how they had managed to create such a control panel.

I had to drill some holes in the ribs to place the cable temporarily. The cable will be put in a tube when the cargo hold will be converted. During the drilling exercise, I lost three drills. So, I was convinced of the quality and thickness of the ribs... (or it were cheap drills).

I had to wait until it was dark to take a picture of the navigation light

Later in the afternoon, I started cleaning the bilges, removing the water from the conversion works, where there was no roof. So, most of the bilges at the back are dry.

13th January 2007

Today, I mainly cleaned the bilges.

In the afternoon, I cleaned my deck and upper structure with a high pressure cleaner. A lot of the rust and graining dust came of, including the paint on the deck. This wasn't such a big problem, since everything needs to be painted again before leaving to my mooring in Bruges.

The evening, I connected some cables to the generator. Earlier that day,Andy started the generator for me. He managed to do it without start pilot. Now the generator is ready for the trip later next month. In case something badly happens, the pump can now be connected in no time. Also during the trip, the battery charger stays on.

14th January 2007

Continued to clean the bilges and build the wooden floor. It is starting to look nicer now.

The cargo hold is looking much cleaner. Only in the middle of the hold the wood needs sorting out.

The boat, as she was looking on 14th January 2007. It was like summer that day...

18th January 2007

There was a big storm in Europe, especially in Great Britain, France, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. I was at home, so I could only hope that my hatches would hold it. My neighbour called late in the evening to let me know that the trawler in front of us broke free and had hit our vessels. There wasn't much damage.

19th January 2007

This afternoon I arrived in Sluiskil. Unfortunately I couldn't make it earlier. There was indeed no damage to my ship. The neighbour had lost his name sign on the bow and some paint. Instead he is now having some blue fishing boat paint...

While I was there, I started working, painting my anchor, which I was planning to move very soon to the front.

Anchor at the back, it just doesn't look right!


20th January 2007

Last week, I ordered some rubber to put on the den to protect the hatches. I will put it on just before leaving Bruges when all welding works are finished.

Besides cleaning the bilges, the technical room was repainted in a lighter colour. Last year I painted it black, not knowing what intentions I had with that room. The welder continued putting on the other windows.

In the afternoon, we drawed the lines for the six windows, mentioned in December 2006. those six windows are slightly curved and much more difficult to place. It is hard to miss with a porthole, but those windows, if one is wrong, you'll notice straight away.

These windows will be fit in my boat

Lines of the curved windows
Lines for the new windows

This job took us over three hours. Trying from the inside and from the outside. In the end, we worked from the eye and didn't measure anymore. If it looks right for the eye then it was good. There is nothing straight on a boat, so what to use as a fixed point...

21st January 2007

Today, an extra diesel tank was placed aboard my boat. I sold my spare Lister engine and the anchor from the back was moved forward.

The Benjamin lifting the anchor and putting it near the bow of my boat

The spare tank will be used for the heater in the living room (has to be build). It is now still the moment to put everything aboard the boat. Once in Bruges, there is no crane barge in the area.

The Watergeus in January, filmed from aboard the Benjamin  

25th January 2007

This website moved to its new location: 'Living Afloat' will also become more then just a site on my boat. You'll discover more in the future!

26th January 2007

When arriving, all holes were made in the den for the windows. They only needed to be a bit more enlarged to fit the windows in, but the clarity I'll get with those windows will be much more then with those eleven portholes!

The outside of the back accommodation and wheelhouse were repainted today, so she is starting too look nicer. I tried to paint the hull with tar, but because of the bad weather, my little boat wasn't stable and when it started raining, I had to quit completely.

Painting, the black is starting to shine

In the late afternoon, my engine ran for an hour. I had new diesel, so I tried the engine out on full speed in reverse and forward. She is still going strong!

27th January 2007

Painting in a t-shirt with wed feet (boat was leaking) is not recommended in January! I was ill, something I'm certainly going to have trouble with in the next couple of days! Besides a bit of painting and disconnecting my neighbours Lister engine, not much was done today!

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