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(and old stuff - outdated)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 • October 2007

October 2007

1st October 2007

The only event worth mentioning today, besides heavy raining, is the passing of a Luxe Motor called Zorg en Vlijt. The owner was underway to England. A lovely hull, such a nice shape and length, I believe priceless.

The Zorg en Vlijt on it's way to London

As so many Luxe Motors, they go to England and get sold their so expensive, no one over here is ever going to the UK to buy it back, believe me!

Later that day another two barges passed along. I believe it were two aken, but don’t ask me any details. Both together next to each other, they passed at a reasonable high speed.

6th October 2007

The man of the yard came to discuss the further plans on the boat, building a skylight, redoing the door and making a price for my exhaust pipe the broke sometime during last week.

The cargo gold quickly needs some light from above

SInce the exhaust is broken, I just can't start my engine anymore. Everything needs replacing once, not that now is the right moment, but hey we shall see.

The rusty exhaust broke in the middle as can be seen on this picture above

8th October 2007

13th October 2007

This morning we tried to put back the hatches, but since my hand has become worse, we had to stop very quickly. The boat looks much nicer anyway, but I would have loved to put them all back. It will be for another time.

The skylight is painted and looks very nice. I'm glad I placed it, but if I had more money I would have put a few more!

New skylight

Hatches are nearly back in place, look at the air vent. It still needs better positioning.

20th October 2007

Today I sailed aboard the Sermar, my new neighbour in Bruges. The ship came from Merelbeke. We sailed around 6 hours to Bruges. A very nice spits barge, just out of service, but perfectly suitable to start again!

Sermar arriving in the lock of Merelbeke

The spits was built in 1944. She had been sailing with the same owner for 42 years.

The Sermar in Bruges, just before unloading the car

The skipper moored the boat in a small spot in front of my boat in no time. The water in the canal was green, had never seen it so bad. While I were sailing, my parents had cleaned the cargo hold and painted the inside to make it look a bit nicer.

Sermar meets Watergeus. Notice the green water

22nd October 2007

Today we cleaned the hatches. They hadn't been cleaned since I don't know when. I had never cleaned them and I own them since October 2006.

24th October 2007

This evening I removed the insulation of the exhaust to find out how badly it is damaged. While hitting the noise reducer with my head it felt down. So I discovered water must have entered through the deck into the exhaust making it rusty and fragile. As far as I could see, it must have taken years to become so bad.

26th October 2007

The den didn't look good, several different colours of paint, rust, dirt, remaining of tape, writings with measurements, etc... It was a big mess. The perfect time to paint the den again. The only primer I had was again Navy gray... So we pained the den, it took us half a day to paint it nicely. With the paint that was left, I painted the air vents that will be placed in the coming week.

27th October 2007

Since tomorrow a few people are coming I want the boat to be looking as clean as possible. Not only did we repaint the wheelhouse with primer, the foot of the crane, the inside of the portholes and a few other items were painted. With all the se light colours, the ship looks much bigger. I have a big ship again ;-)

The wheelhouse painted in white primer. She will get a yellow paint in the end

Foot of the crane painted in primer. Looks smaller now

28th October 2007

Today a big day, I invited a few friends for a drink aboard my ship. I always talk about my ship, but it was actually time to invite some of them and show what I were doing. I knew a day later she would be finished, but there was no option of doing it on a later date. Most reactions were positive, only not many people realised the size of the ship and what can be done with such a space.

A bit of decoration to make it look more finished then it really is. One thing was for sure, it was cold, very cold!

29th October 2007

Today the last bits were finished of the metal work outside. It has taken a long time, but finally I can say the roof is watertight and the Watergeus looks like I want her to look.

The two air vents in position, they still need a good coat of paint

The hatches were cut up today so they would fit around the skylight. The last chimney was placed for the heater in the living room. he air vents from an old Kempenaar were placed and adjusted so they could rest on the hatches and still look straight. Handles and a fallback security system were placed on the skylight.

Hatches are cut where the skylight was placed

This means the end of a job started last year in September 2006. Starting with building a den, ending with the roof. There was a period where no metal work was involved, where I tired to solve the leaks of the hatches, but that was just a waite of time and money. So if you would like something done properly, don't try to mess around with fillers etc... Do it good, do it once.

As she looks finished from the outside

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