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(and old stuff - outdated)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 • March 2007

March 2007

1st March 2007

In the early morning I went to Bruges to pick up some stuff for Sluiskil. There had been some heavy storm the last couple of days, so the gangway had fallen of the concrete wall pushing my boat from land. It took us some time to solve the problem.

In the afternoon we went back, since the electricity would be connected to the boat.

Watergeus in Bruges on her mooring

2nd March 2007

My first night at my new mooring. Whether I should put this online or not, no idea. Again my gangway ended up between the quay and my boat. One day it will be in the water. I called this afternoon to hear more about the bollards and it seems obvious, I will have to pay for them, a 1000 euros each! Depending on how I will sleep the following couple of nights I might place them!

The power cable runs from the front cabin to the power box on the street

So when I arrived I had to make an power cable from the front of the boat to the back. In the front is the fuse box where the 380v arrives. It is split up in two 220v plugs. All my cables are German type of socket  with no hole for the earth. After looking I managed to create 26m of cable by taping several cables together. It was already dark so tomorrow I'll try to make something nice out of it! At least I had power in the back accommodation.

It feels relative strange, knowing that in Sluiskil my neighbours were there to help me. I know need to cook for myself, look for food and find something to keep my busy. Working on a computer is, since my accident in december last year, relative hard.

3th March 2007

Didn't sleep well at all, at the other hand we had a very bad storm, one in the worst of the last couple of weeks...

We cleaned the back accommodation in the morning. In the afternoon I had some visits and my mother continued working on the wheelhouse. I started cleaning the front of the boat and making an inventory of what I have left.

4th March 2007

Went to a concert last night of a group called ‘The John Lennon’s Rifle Club’. It is a retro-punk group with some very good songs. It made me forget the mooring troubles I have.

Curtains in the wheelhouse

In the afternoon, we placed some curtains in the wheelhouse. It looks much nicer, not only having some more privacy, but it know shows it's a real house boat.

11th March 2007

My family came today for solving the problem of leaks through the gaps. I started working on the railing for my boat. When they arrived they finished the job. With what was left of that railing, it was to big, we made a small space for putting the rubbish bins.

In the cargo hold there is the big red stairs in metal. Since we were working on the railing anyway, we decided to  make one for there as well.

New railing on the deck

Since we didn't have the right stuff to close the gaps, we decided to do it next time.

12th March 2007

In the morning I started sorting my nuts, bolts, screws and nails. For every type I used a glass of jam. Whenever I need one, it will make it easier to find one.

My power cable is expensive, so It was locked through an opened window with a chain. A very secure system, only when it was raining, water came in through the window. Therefore I drilled two holes with a metal piece to hold my cable. It is more secure and I can keep my window closed...

Later I hovered out the bilges of the cargo hold. It was very sunny yesterday, so it was today and will probably be tomorrow. When most water is gone, the rest can evaporate.

Just painted the bathroom / bulkhead. Notice the newly placed railing on the stairs.

In the afternoon, I had visit of a girlfriend who plans to buy a boat. We talked on some boats. Later I painted my future bathroom and corridor. I stopped painting when the paint was empty and the sun had gone under. A perfect timing. I just didn't have enough for the railing of the stairs, but I'll figure something tomorrow.

13th March 2007


16th March 2007

When arriving at my boat I decided to get myself a bit more organized in the back accommodation. I  didn't have, and still haven't enough space for living. I removed a table, repositioned another one and placed my old computer in the corner.

17th March 2007

In the morning I went to a second hand shop to look for some more storage,but couldn't find much, actually nothing that would suit in my technical space. I prefer buying stuff second hand, first of all the price but secondly in a second hand shop you often find the good old furniture hand made with a lot of charm and strength.

In the afternoon, I painted my waste water tank and the floor around. It is an old metal engine room floor I reused. There was some paint left, so I used it for painting the support of the engine. That little bit of paint makes my engine room looks much nicer.

18th March 2007

The weather was changing quickly yesterday, having a big storm this night and most of the day. I decided this morning to put a car tier under my gangway. Now the only noise I'm hearing is the tier and no longer the metal.

I cleaned some more of the front peak. All stuff I will likely never use again has been moved to the technical space. Since the floor was not dry yet everything is on the water tank.

The Watergeus is the first vessel in line at Bruges

In the afternoon I put some strong ropes with small winches on my hatches to make sure they survive the weather for the next couple of days.

22nd March 2007

Today they built my mooring posts. I wasn't there and my mother didn't know how to take pictures, so there is no further information available on making mooring posts at this moment.

Mooring posts as they looked on 22nd March

23th March 2007

Have seen my new mooring posts for the first time. They look good, maybe a bit tiny. But hey, we shall see.

24th March 2007

Today we fixated already some of the hatches. First put some rubber under the hatches to protect them. The metal is sharp and can cause damage to the hatches. After that, we drilled a whole in the handles of the hatches through the metal of the den. We bolted the hatches to the den. Afterwards, the hatches were bolted to each other, creating one big roof.

Hatches are bolted to the side and to each other

Detail of the hatch bolted to the den

25th March 2007

Besides going to the engine room and discovering the stairs were still wet I didn't do much on the boat. When having a house boat under construction, you need to take a break from time to time. I think that's the best advice I can give...

31st March 2007

Instead of working on my own boat I visited some friends in Sluiskil and helped working on a boeieraak. It is a lovely boat. If I had some more money I would have bought her for using as a workshop. She has such a nice original looking line, a real museum piece!

Me on the boeieraak

I also bought a new rope for my boat, since a few of them had their best life...

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