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(and old stuff - outdated)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 • July 2008

July 2008

Part One

15th July 2008

Today I painted the roof of the front cabin. It was well damaged and scratched when putting the propeller a few months ago. Since it was a little heavy I had to drop it. Tomorrow they'll bring a cabinet for the living room I last Saturday bought. Since we have to enter it through the roof, I had to remove all the hatches from around it. This took me over an hour. I found it the perfect time to paint the area around the big roof window. It had never been painted and the metal plates looked relative rusty. I had to clean the metal first, undo some scales of rust and remove all the dust. It looks much better, I even believe without hatches she would look nice. Since the hatches are helping to have less condensation, I'm going to keep them. Also, she looks more original.

Since I have one room finished, I notice I'm sitting more in the hold then in the back
accommodation. It really gives me a good feeling!

16th July 2008

Perfectly on time, the man arrived with the cupboard. I was an hour earlier to prepare stuff I might had forgotten. My father and I opened the skylight and fixed everything since there was some kind of wind.

In the meantime I was at my neighbours who had no power on her ship after her television went out. Her forepeak was filled with 5 cm of water. After some research, she discovered a no longer connected hose was the cause. One end was attached to the tank, while the other side was open. When the tank was filled, water started running out this small piece of hose. Remarkable how this small hose could cause such a disaster. Blankets, hatch cover, thins of paint, everything was in the water. Fortunately she was having a metal buiting, so the water remained in position an did not make it's way through the bilges.

With four men we put the cupboard in two pieces, in the hold. We put back the hatches and went looking at the power supply of the neighbour's ship. It was a busy evening, but a lot had been done!

17th July 2008

Same trouble different day for my neighbour. I know how it feels to have trouble and don't know to solve them. Sadly enough I can't help her myself. My know ledge of electricity is so limited, it won't even be of any use.

Those little problems make it often hard to live on a ship. Many people are giving up on these issues. Once you've passed them it is great to live on a ship, believe me!

18th July 2008

The City of Bruges came today to check if my ship is ready for Open Monumentendag, an event on 13th & 14th September 2008.

19th July 2008

We worked mainly with multiplex today, building the sides of the ship. To have it straight, it is not an easy job. It looks simple, but it takes time, a lot of time!

20th July 2008

We continued with putting sheets of multiplex on the sides. The more plates are placed, the smaller the space looks, but the more it is getting the final shape, how it should look, it looks!

In the afternoon we placed the floor of the corridor, the same floor as in the office space; reused azobe. I don't know what I did wrong, but while drilling so many smoke came that we had to go outside. In the end I continued drilling, but couldn't see my machine anymore. It took four hours, but the result is good. I like it (and that's why I'm doing it)!

Building this type of floor takes a lot of time (and drill bits)

21st July 2008

I went talking to the new neighbours who had bought a spits barge. In the evening we went to a local party in the city.

22nd July 2008

I'm old fashion if it is about ships and decorating them. At the other hand my work is computer related. Therefore and for the future, I had decided to put computer network in the hold of my ship. It should become possible to use a computer or any network device in every room of the hold. I went buying the pieces today.

23th July 2008

Just put on the hatches

Properly fixed so the boat could not fall in the water

24th July 2008

Before going to work, I decided to take some pictures in daylight of the new boat.

Seen from the back

25th July 2008

I started cleaning the lifeboat, a lot more work then I expected. I also removed the name on the ship and put a little cover on to prevent it from filling completely with rain. I'm not sure yet, but most likely I'll keep it on the hatches and one day I'll buy a car crane to put it in and out of the water. But that's a far away dream!

Cleaning the boat

In the late evening it started raining so I worked a bit on the inside. I put another table in my little office space, so I could tart working from that space. It is real basic but it works.

Since my neighbour was gone, I had the time to take a decent picture of the back

My neighbour coming back


26th July 2008

Since I still had some pieces of hatches left from when they were cut out for the skylight, I decided to do something with them. I cut them in small pieces for on the roof of the entrance cabin. This was te only piece of naked metal where I still had condensation. So I made a small roof I later finished with wood. The flowers are now higher, less rust on the metal and a protection of condensation from the outside. I still have some pieces left, they will finally go to the local scrapyard.

Starting: Hatches to start with

Under construction: Cleaning the metal

Under construction: Wood and hatches in position

Finished: Seen from the back

Finished: Seen from the front

I repainted my gangway wit a wood preserving product. It was over a year since it was last done and reasonably necessary as well.

On the meantime, my father continued drilling holes in the ribs of my ship, his favourite hobby!

In the evening I cycled to Ostend where one of my neighbours had moored his ship for a three days holiday. We had a little meal, a few glasses of wine and a nice chat. I didn't stay to long, since I had to cycle all the way back as well.

The Recrima leaving at 10 O'clock in the morning

The Recrima leaving at 10 O'clock in the morning

27th July 2008

In the morning and a big piece of the afternoon I continued to insulate the roof, now the part of the living room. Since it was 39° on the inside I quiet earlier then usual with working.

The hold is looking every day more finished ;-)

Everywhere it was so hot, back accommodation around 32°, my hold as well, wheelhouse 43°c. I do know why insulation and ventilation are important on a ship.

With the rest of the time I had left, I drawed a plan for the forepeak and what I would like to do with it.

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