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(and old stuff - outdated)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 • August 2008

August 2008

Important (What I learned this month):
  1. You just can't realise how many screws go into a conversion of a ship...
  2. When building your interior, a rib should be fixed properly. It will never be solid but the whole frame will make it strong.

2nd/3th August 2008

Saturday morning we painted the remaining parts of the back accommodation and a part of the side of the hull on the water side. The ship is starting to look nicer again.The roof is gray painted, like the primer. I started to like this colour and it keeps the inside of the back accommodation that little bit cooler then the dark green, previously painted.

The lower part of the crane was painted black for multiple reasons. A whole white crane didn't look at all. Furthermore, it often needs oil on the turning points, so the white would become a kind of brown, but not nice at all.

The roof of the wheelhouse freshly painted in gray

The crane painted, a black feet and the rest in white

In the afternoon I went to Ghent. I visited some friends, before going to a party. I don't know why, but a party on a ship is always just that little nicer then one on land.

The next day I visited some more friends in Ghent before returning back to my ship. That night I couldn't sleep since my little skylight in the back accommodation is leaking and the dripping in a bucket was noisy.

The only picture I took, the ship of a friend of mine

5th August 2008

Often the water is the first place to loose your stuff. This time it was different, I found a nice wrijfhout with rope. Two weeks ago, a neighbour fond a nice flag mast in the water as well.

The Watergeus in Bruges

9th August 2008

We were holding a local event. The idea was to learn to know the people from the houses and they to learn us. As I expected, everybody was sitting with its own neighbours. But it didn't make the happening less enjoyable!

Some people even came with their ship

Friends from Ghent came over an this made it a very good evening! Less nice was the feeling I had to get up early the next day?

10th August 2008

As expected, it was hard to get up and work, but at the end of the day, the bedroom and corridor were finished.

The wall of the sleeping room and living room

The door of the sleeping room

Hold is starting to look smaller

13th August 2008


15th August 2008

We mainly painted the ship today, finishing the back accommodation (details), painting the inside of the boeing at the front and the anchor winch. The paint from last year was nearly completely washed away by the rain. And yes, it was metal paint!

Bollards and inside of the boeisel on the sides painted white

Inside of the boeisel painted white

Anchor winch and spare anchor repainted

The back accommodation finally completely repainted, now it is time to put the letters on her

I started building the frame for the bath room. First, I went out of screws, then screw bits for the drilling machine and at the end of the day I had no more wood left.

Notice a few supports are already standing in the bathroom

At the end of the day we removed the six windows. Looked like an easy job, but it took us around 4 hours to remove six windows. They were glued and the bolts as well.

16th August 2008

At 8 o'clock in the morning the welder and I started putting the windows in the den of the ship. It looks an easy job, but it really is a hard job.

Square windows are not as easy to place as portholes. You need to follow the line of the ship. A porthole has no corners and the middle of every pothole needs to e at the same distance from the gangway. With the bottom corners of square windows, this is different.

Windows removed, wood will prevent most rain of coming in

Straightening and making the holes bigger

Notice the difference in size and shape

Two out of three windows in position on port side

20th August 2008

In the morning there was a meeting for the house boat society. In the afternoon, we made a little trip through Ghent by boat. It is nice to see ships from a different angle.

Seen from a little dinky, a spits really looks big

Seen from a little dinky, a spits really looks big

Seen from a little dinky, a spits looks really big

21st August 2008

In the evening we continued welding the windows on the other side. We still need to fit in the glass, but this will be done after holiday.

23th August 2008

Leaving on holiday so no updates for the next week....

Typical locks, here one of the nine locks in a row near B├ęziers.

This system has only be used briefly for the larger vessels...

A Luxe Motor, rebuilt as hotel

26th August 2008

Going to the Canal Du Midi area means making a trip. Very soon, I'll write a whole section on the canal and the area, but here I briefly mention the trip.

The Santa Maria with her friendly crew

29th August 2008

For the last day I decided to make a trip on foot along the canal. I spoke to some people living on their barge. I found some very nice ships. It was a long walk, the temperature making it even harder.

The Omero, her accommodation on the hold section is the back accommodation of another spits barge...

31st August 2008

Back on the ship, the first job was to give water to the plants!

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