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(and old stuff - outdated)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
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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 2008

April 2008

Important (What I learned this month):
  1. Be carefully when tightening the bolts of a porthole. The cast iron may break
  2. When using glass wool and stone wool always use a mask and something to protect your arms

2nd April 2008

Again a day with nice weather. There is nothing more pleasant then coming home and be able to sit outside and read a book on deck.

In the evening I decided to draw out the whole electric scheme.

3th April 2008

4th April 2008

Wood and insulation arrived today. Since I had to work, my parents loaded most into my ship. Some insulation went to the neighbour since I had no more space left in the hold to store and work at the same time.

Insulation has arrived. I had to put some of it in my neighbours' ship.

5th April 2008

A hectic day today, not only did we continue with the wood and insulation, four new portholes were placed and I started working on another watertight compartment in my ship. There was a party last night, so all the noise and a heavy head didn't made it exactly a good day. By the end of the evening, a lot of progress was made, but I had to go to another reception, this time of a nautical organisation restoring old wooden ships.

Insulation on the floor will try to prevent to have cold feet

The wooden frame on the side of the ship.

The last of four portholes are placed.

6th April 2008

In the morning I cleaned my deck and a bit of the hold. Yesterday when the portholes were cut, a lot of things needed cleaning.

In the evening I bought a crane and it was loaded aboard. It needs cleaning and a lot of paint. Furthermore I need to change the current situation and weld some new supports to hold it. Since it was Sunday I decided to stop working early instead of graining and bashing with a hammer.

The whole crane, dismounted into three pieces

The little but heavy winch, sill turning by hand.

7th April 2008

When I got back from work I decided to continue working, first a bit of cleaning the crane. When it started raining I worked inside. The rest of the floor needs finishing, so I cut insulation and placed some more wood. It doesn't look like much has changed, still I worked another six hours. The progress is slow, but the quality is good.

It is now exactly two years that I'm the proud owner (on paper) of the Watergeus.

8th April 2008

I worked all evening on the floor, insulation and the crane.

9th April 2008

I worked all evening on the floor, insulation and the crane.

10th April 2008

I worked all evening on the floor, insulation and cutting a big plate of metal into pieces for scrap.

11th April 2008

Broken! Completely exhausted. So I just decided not to work today, only to clean and sort out the administration of the house boat organisation and myself.

12th April 2008

She looks nice but can certainly use another coat of paint

She looks nice but can certainly use another coat of paint

13th April 2008

I can now honestly say the floor is finished. A third layer has been put, so I believe it will be solid enough for he next couple of years. After a first layer of wood and multiplex, a second layer with wood and insulation, the last layer is again multiplex. On top of the multiplex, I'll add a decent floor in the future.

The last piece of the floor was the hardest since I didn't have enough wood. So I reused the last bits of the roof of my ship.

Furthermore the original shipping floor in Azobe wood that is saved was put back in the hold.

The hold is already useful, for a meeting for example

14th April 2008

While bolting a porthole the cast iron around broke in several parts. I repaired it with filler, but I need to find another option for the future. Also another porthole was leaking. I couldn't find where so I put some mastic around the whole porthole. Let's hope it is solved.

Mastic around the porthole to prevent leaks. I'll see if it helps

The broken piece repaired with filler. Needs sanding tomorrow

The remaining side of the hold was put in line oil.

Line oil makes the side look more glossy

The hold as it looked by the end of the evening

16th April 2008

I have mainly been thinking on how to create inspection hatches for the hold and to find a solution for the portholes.

In the evening I protected the wood against rotting and wood worms, a job that took me much longer then I expected. I had to do it know since Saturday we will put the insulation and the wood against it.

17th April 2008

In the evening there was a meeting in Ghent concerning the future of our moorings and the mooring concessions. Besides walking around in Ghent and the meeting, no time was left to work on the Watergeus.

18th April 2008

Painted around the windows on the inside. When a wooden frame is around the windows, it is no longer possible to paint the metal behind it. Metal will always be visible around the portholes, so I decided to paint it know while it was still easy to handle.

In the late evening two friends came. One of them is a good welder, so he could help me sorting out the crane and place it on the back. After two hours of hard work, the crane is in position and working. It is solid, but no enough for a lifeboat yet. I'll try finishing the welding tomorrow.

Crane in position (photo taken a day later)

The crane needs painting :-)

19th April 2008

Wood working today! We continued the side of land so the frame structure is now finished and ready for insulation in the coming week.

Getting the round shape of the roof

Furthermore we build a wall that closes of the technical room in the front from the hold. In the technical hold are the water tanks, fuel tank, water pumps, spare wood, etc...

The wall, nearly finished

By the end of the evening,t he whole wall was built.

20th April 2008

Lovely weather today. Since I had been working quiet hard for the last couple of weeks, it was time to have a break and visit my friends in Sluiskil and Terneuzen. Before leaving, I decided to take another picture of my crane, now with sunshine.

A nice day for taking pictures

A nice day for taking pictures

While in Terneuzen, I went looking at the Arma that was dry-docked for inspection. She really is a nice looking vessel.

The Arma in dry-dock in Terneuzen

The Arma in dry-dock in Terneuzen

21st April 2008

We started the engine of my neighbour. Even it is a modern engine, it is a beauty, turn the key and it starts. It runs and can continue to run forever (or as long as we have fuel). That's he difference of buying an out-of-commercial ship or something like me. Mine was cheaper but on the long run it will be as expensive. But my engine still runs as well and that is the main point. I must say, I prefer a clean engine room above one with oil and lot s of broken tools...

This made me think I urgently need to clean the engine room one day...

22nd April 2008

I decided, since it was a nice evening to continue to weld and clean the crane. At the end of the evening I put a coat of primer on the crane to prevent it from rusting.

23th April 2008

26th April 2008

To hot to work is an easy excuse. I worked on the insulation, putting insulation in the walls on the side of the ship. After 3 packs I had to quit, I could no longer breath or see anything through my eyes.

So I just decided to sit outside and do some paperwork.

27th April 2008

Still to hot, but I had to do something, so I cleaned the anchor winch at the back of the ship. I remember me saying last year never again an anchor winch, but I had to be done.

Some of the paint already removed

Some of the paint already removed(detail)

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