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
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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(and old stuff - outdated)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.
 
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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.
 
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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 2008

January 2008

Many people asked me why I don't make a brochure or other publication about Living Afloat. Well the good news is, I'm working on such a book!

Furthermore I continue working on the project Binnenvaarttaal as well!

This month will be rather small on updates, since I have a few other projects I need to work on.

5th January 2007

Nearly finished with the oil in the hold. It does take longer then expected and it does bore me more then in the beginning. Nevertheless it is a job that needs doing and that is part of the long life of the ship.

Last summer, when I dismantled a part of the anchor winch, the break of the chain with anchor moved forward. So I could not put back the cover on the winch on a nice way. Since it wasn't raining, I took out a small winch and tried pulling the anchor and break backwards. I put it around the mast and around a bollard. It took me over an hour to pull the weigh in the right position. I had to jump on the cables and put my whole weight on the system to make sure it came back. Now everything is bolted and safe again.


The small arrow shows where the break is pressed against the frame. The big arrow shows the missing metal supports of the break. Photo from August 2007.

The hatch cover can be taken of quickly now. It needed doing, since I'll have to put some more grease on the winch to prevent it from rusting.

6th January 2008

Such a nice, day, I wish it was warmer, so I could sit outside and enjoy having a ship instead of having to work on it. Unless I want to wait another year, I have to work to make sure some progress is made. Therefore in the afternoon I finished painting the roof and den on the inside with line oil. The sides of the ship will follow when I have cleaned up the cargo hold.


Look at the shiny metal with line oil to prevent it from rusting.

My neighbour tried again to start the engine, and yes this time somebody found the cause. The batteries were empty. The water compartments were empty, the same problem I had at the end of November. We'll try again somewhere this week.

I finally made some time to setup my computer nicely. I always updated this site from home, now I can do it from aboard the Watergeus whenever the Internet connection gets ready.

In the morning I went to the old docks in the harbour where an oil boat is moored. It is a ship from the fifties or early sixties. I took some pictures for the Binnenvaarttaal project,

7th January 2008

Last night there was a heavy wind, which became worse during the day.

13th January 2008

I visited a friend in Terneuzen who is converting an old tug. Once it was a tug, then a yacht and now he is making it look more original again. It was in dry-dock so I had plenty of time to take pictures of the hull and the other ships in the area.

16th December 2008

Last night was very windy. A man a bit further on his ship lost a tier and his ship was banging against the land continuously. Therefore I helped him yesterday with a spare tire. My neighbour had some trouble with her ropes, so I put on an extra rope on the front. So she could sleep well!

The only damage I had was my flag of Amsterdam. I took it of before it became worse, but I'm not sure if I can save it. I might have to buy a new one, a good reason for going to Amsterdam!

18th January 2008

Today would be a great day if everything worked out the way it should have been planned! Normally the ship wakes me up, but today I woke up with the ship. In the early morning I was expecting the men of the Belgian phone company to come connect my Internet cable. They were not only later, the just could not help me. A new cable has to be laid and this can only be done by another department of the company, so next Wednesday the earliest.

I went ordering the wood for the interior framework of the ship and I found a system for placing wood against the sides without having to drill in the wood.

The gangway of my neighbour felt next to the ship. After trying for an hour we had to give up. The gangway is on land and another gangway in wood is placed. We'll have another look on Sunday.

20th January 2008

This evening we had a meeting about the future of our moorings and our vision to the situation.

23th January 2008

The phone company came again, they would now put the cable, wasn't the problem they did not have 80 meters of cable with them. Instead, since they were there anyway, they mounted a cable on the inside and placed the fittings for the modem, etc... They really did a nice job.

25th January 2008

In the morning the phone company put the cable and created a switch box on my gangway, so in the future, it will become easier to spit the cable for my neighbours.


One the splitter boxes of the phone company

In the afternoon, they delivered the wood for the framework of the cargo hold. We put everything inside through a porthole, just like we did last time.


Fresh wood, just delivered to the ship, 120 pieces of 4 meters

26th January 2008

The most important job while building a framework is to figure out where to put your stuff and to get an impression of how big every room will be. With chalk I drew the bathroom and kitchen on the ground. After I was finished I noticed the original idea was not that great. The kitchen was way to small for working in. I couldn't even put some furniture in. On my plans I never had a big kitchen but I enlarged it by one meter.

Another important job was to plan where I should put some more weight, some ballast. It took me nearly an afternoon to draw the whole plan. When I was finished, I measured it and wrote it on paper for further plans.


The kitchen already looking a bit larger


Drawing the possible position of the ballast and walls

I worked on the wood as well that was delivered. Since once the boat is finished, I can no longer get to the wood, so I'm protecting it now for the future.

27th January 2008

After a long time, I decided to go to Terneuzen and picture every ship that was moored in the harbour. Since the fences around the old water supply ships were gone, I had a perfect opportunity to take pictures of the Viking and Schelde, fleet mates of the Watergeus!

VIking in Terneuzen
The Viking in Terneuzen, look at the colours of the bow and these of the Watergeus in December 2005!

28th January 2008

The best advice for the interior dimensions is of course to bother your friends and colleagues at work. All of them recommended me to make the kitchen bigger, so I did. I'll draw it again on the floor somewhere later this week.

29th January 2008

My first of ten theoretical lessons to get my sailing license started. It was more or less for yachts, still I learned a lot of new methods and ideas I would never have thought on.

 
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