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(and old stuff - outdated)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..
Recognize a barge
Buying a barge
Converting a barge
Barge to the yard
Safety on a barge
Converted barges
Barge stories!
Waterways & harbours
Photo Gallery
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 • November 2007

November 2007

In November and December 2007 there won't be much big conversions happening. A lot of things will be planned, drawed, etc...

In the meantime, I'm co-working on the project Binnenvaarttaal. Even if it is in Dutch, please have a look at the many pictures of ships. Since I'm working on this project, House Boat Base will be discontinued. Articles and pictures in Living Afloat will be updated!

1st - 2nd - 3rd - 4th November

As I mentioned before, the best way to learn and do is to watch! Therefore I traveled around in the North of Holland in Volendam, Enkhuizen, etc... The last day I visited Rotterdam. Not only did I take plenty of pictures, I found many good ideas, colour scheme's, etc...

Charter vessel arriving in Hoorn

In a few shops I bought accessories for my ship such as old publicity panels of Bols drinks, copper plates for doors, etc...

Charter vessels waiting for their passengers to embark in Volendam

By talking to people, you hear their experience, their way of thinking and often they have tips and suggestions that can help you further.

Inside of a small aak that used to trade with turf

4th November

I paid a visit to Sluiskil in the late afternoon and discovered a lot has changed. The local government has towed away a few vessels to scrap yards. Every ship that has no paperwork and causing a risk to environment needs to go.

10th November

Arriving on the boat I noticed something was wrong. The hatches closed to the front were no longer in place. They had been bolted to each other and seven of them were moved. When I stepped aboard I straight away realized the wind had blown into my hatches. result, I lost two hatches, probably over board and seven other were moved. Last week there was a big storm and it must have caused this and some other trouble, like blowing away my bike...

The only thing I did that day was securing the hatches in every possible way, ropes, metal, etc... It is not nice, but it works and that is the main thing!

18th November

A fair bit of work has been done today. While my father continued removing old paint from the front cabin, I insulated the sleeping room of the old accommodation, added new wind protected strips to the door of the wheelhouse, cleaned some other stuff and removed a few of my flags. The Dutch flag and flag of bruges were heavily damaged of the storm from two weeks ago. The Dutch one can be repaired, the one from Bruges is lost. It is sad, but they shouldn't sell flags that can't stand a bit of wind in souvenir shops...

I measured the inside of the old accommodation, since I would like to make some changes, like adding a small office space for me to work in the evening.

23th November

Since I need some more space for living in the old accommodation, I decided to make some adjustments. I'm planning on removing one bed and make a small office space in this area. At the other hand I always decided not to touch the original accommodation, since it is so original.

The bed as she used to be, before breaking it down

The tablet for the office desk behind the bed. Te remaining part of the bed was taken away a few minutes later

In the early morning we removed the mattress and other stuff that was piled on the bed. This proved I needed some more space. The bed was very solid made. I tried to keep as much paneling as possible for the future. In the old days nearly every sing bit was made of hard wood, wood that is often no longer available these days. After removing several pieces, I had to use a saw or breakdown the whole accommodation.

The free space made with removing the bed wasn't that big. Since I have a Luxe Motor, the back goes up above the waterline. This means the very back is only 50cm off difference with the bottom metal plate and the gangway on top of it. So I had a flat space of Ω meter and the rest went up, impossible to put a decent desk or table.

After cleaning all the old stuff under the bed (even from previous owners) I painted the wood under the bed. Normally this wood won't be visible, but I like it to be clean at least. I stopped working early since there was a party next door...

24th November

Putting the carpet was a hard job that took nearly a whole morning. The floor was not plat and the tiles needed cutting in detail. I would not recommend using tiles in such an area. I would not even know what to put in such an area, so try to avoid them!

Around the noon I went shopping for some details for my office space and in the afternoon we placed the table. It is a top of an old office desk with three metal feet attached to it. It did not stand stable so It is well stitched to the wall as well. I'm not sure whether it will hold a week, so my computer is on the ground and only my screen stands on it.

While my mother painted some pieces on the outside that needed primer for the winter, a man came to fix my exhaust of the engine. He took a part with him so he can prepare everything at home. So my engine will run again before the end of the year!

Roof painted with white primer to prevent it rusting

In the late evening I brought some furniture aboard, only one piece could not enter the cargo hold? I thought with such a big door,everything would fit, but no, sadly enough this was not possible. The worst thing is that this piece of furniture does not even can be taken apart. It is all glued and nailed...

25th November

Not always working, so enjoying my new office and writing some articles for the website

In the morning I went taking pictures of a spits barge that used to be at the scrapyard, but came back to Bruges. I wrote about this ship a few months ago as well...

Spits, nearly scrapped, but then came back to Bruges

30th November 2007

Quite unexpectedly they came today for replacing the exhaust. Last week they took the ring of the exhaust with them and now they had welded the new exhaust on this ring. This ring was bolted to the existing pipe and welded on the roof of the engine room. Two special made metal pieces were welded to hold the exhaust. In the early days the exhaust was only bolted to the roof, so it had to hold his own weight. This has changed now and will likely no longer cause it to break when it becomes rusty.

I'm happy with the result since it takes less space and the engine makes much less noise!

The new exhaust, the older piece looks rusty but is still pretty good!

After the exhaust, it was time to replace the oil. The oil in the engine is at least five years old, so it was the perfect moment to change this and the oil filters. For the oil to change it needs to be thin. The oil was very thick, so the only solution was running the engine. I'm always proud with my engine, since it starts straight away, turning the key and it runs. Well my engine had not run for three months and it didn't start. Batteries were flat. I always charged them so I had no idea. After checking everything I learned a new thing, filling batteries with water. Seems logic, but I didn't know I had to refill my batteries with water. We added 15 liters of water in the two batteries. A few minutes later, the engine started. It ran for half an hour, then we switched it of, changed the oil and it ran again. So twice running the engine in an hour on the same batteries. A little bit of water can make a difference.

oil filters
The new oil filters on the engine

It is pretty simple to replace oil filters, but you just need to know it...

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