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...
Photo Gallery

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(and old stuff - outdated)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 • September 2008

September 2008

Important (What I learned this month):
  1. Budgeting is important!
  2. You only hear leaks when you are close to them...
  3. Prepare the electric wires before closing the walls. Putting the later is a hard job.
  4. When doing the finish, money goes quickly!

1st September 2008

Today we mainly worked on the frame. Kitchen frame is finished, so is the wall between kitchen and bathroom. The framework for the bathroom itself is nearly finished.

Framework for the kitchen

The bathroom is only showing supports, door ready to be placed...

In the morning the wood arrived I ordered before my holiday. We need the wood for the furniture, bathroom and kitchen.

Some of the freshly delivered wood

2nd September 2008

THe windows still had to be painted. When the glass is in, they can no longer be painted. Since it was raining, I had to built a construction that allowed me to paint from the inside.

3th September 2008

Finally the glass is in the windows. It was carefully put in the metal frame today.

Glass freshly placed

4th September 2008

During the day my parents painted the den on my ship. I bought the paint over a year ago, but since so many things happened around the den I was never able to paint it. Items such as placing extra portholes, welding a roof, replacing windows, fixing the hatches caused serious delays in painting the den.

A whole different look then one day ago

The front cabin, finally looking nice

The new windows are looking good

The den in combination with the front cabin

Looking good when freshly painted

6th September 2008

Today we had our member party of the Vlaamse Woonschepen. As expected, the event happened on a ship, this time a kempenaar, the Oceana in Ghent.

8th September 2008

During the day my mother painted a second coat of paint on the den, front cabin, entrance to the hold and tabernakels.

Wheelhouse received a second coat of paint

Reflection of the wheelhouse in the porthole of the entrance door of the hold

Tabernakels and entrance to the hold freshly painted

In the evening I went searching for wood for the sides of the sleeping room and office space. I bought laminate for the sleeping room as well.

Later that evening, I put the metal net against the side for the insulation and protected the wood with carboline. The last piece of framework is now also protected against wood worm. Later that evening some insulation was placed as well...

Insulation in the kitchen

12th September 2008

Mainly prepared the ship for Open Monumentendag tomorrow and Sunday. I emptied the whole back accommodation, just leaving an old laptop with some pictures and a lot of old stuff. It really looks old now. I will be sleeping in the hold for two days.

In the evening we lowered the mast and put some new flags. Since the winch is broken, we have to lower it by hand, not an easy job. Let's hope the flags will last a year, like the others did...

New flags in the mast

13th September 2008

63 people visited the ship in the afternoon, not bad for a simple partly converted house boat! Double the number of people who had subscribed. I was glad to tell my story several times, but by the end of the evening I couldn't speak anymore, having trouble with my voice.

The ship looking good, so did the weather

The flag of Open Monumentendag hanging proudly in the mast

Giving the inside an older look...

Kitchen, reduced to some non electric powered equipment (fridge and micro wave were the exceptions)

14th September 2008

Today, the Watergeus was open the whole day. In total, including yesterday, 364 people visited the ship. Where I had intention of making groups of five people, I twice 10 people aboard, 10 in the back accommodation and te in the hold. My father stopped them at the entrance of the ship, while I was explaining the ship to a group. The other group could walk freely in and around the ship.

By the end of the day, not the ship but I was a wreck! I don't think I'll do much the coming week!

17th September 2008

Started building a support for the cables coming from the front accommodation to th hold. If it wasn't for the neighbour, I would have been finished.

18th September 2008

Went looking for some more decorative wood. Again a lot of money has gone into a small amount of stuff.

Three different types of wood on a row, azobe, mulitplex and pine

While making a whole for the cables through the front cabin, I heard some water running, quicker and quicker. My first thought was one of the plastic tanks below was leaking, so I continued making the whole. Since it didn't stop and I couldn't see any thing I went looking for a pocket light. I had stored all my stuff at the entrance of the forepeak, so I took me a few minutes to get to it. When I started looking around, I saw a lot of water coming from a rivet. When I looked closer, the water came from above the rivet, on the watertight compartment. A bit higher was an old abandoned water tank, I presumed was empty. It was leaking a lot. I took a bucket, to hold underneath it, but it quickly filled.
For since I have the ship I have always known water in the bilges, not realising the cause. Now I did. By the end of the evening the tank was empty, and so were my bilges. I continued hovering till it was dry, filling over 30 buckets!

So again, the support for the cables isn't finished. Tomorrow is the last day, so I have to be sure it is finished.

I also ordered my new batteries and charger. This time I'll go for something decent.

19th September 2008

Again went looking for some wood. I didn't have enough money yesterday, so today I bought some more till there was nothing left in the shelves of the shop.

Some more decoration wood was bought today

The wooden support for the cables

Paint moved from the front peak to the engine room

20th September 2008

Today I went to a second hand market in Ghent. I didn't find anything suitable or affordable for my ship. In the evening I went looking for some old navigation lights aboard a spits barge. The old skipper sells a lot of stuff. So I left the ship with two bronze navigation lights and two bronze search lights.

One of the lights...

21st September 2008

In the morning I drew where the electricity and cables should come and be mounted. In the afternoon, I placed all the cables for my computer network. The rest of the afternoon, I insulated the roof of the kitchen and corridor.

22nd September 2008

Today we started placing the electricity. Not as quick as I thought, but by the end of the day we made some progress.

We wasted most time in going to the shop, making holes for the switches and sockets, figuring out how to put the cables behind the walls without removing the panels, etc... In the end we just removed the panels again.

By the end of they day most of the electricity has been finished in the office space.

23th September 2008

Mainly worked on the electricity for the sleeping room. Also, the whole ship has now been insulated (except a small piece on the side where the frame is still missing).

We also made a wall to hide the electricity. A similar wall will be created all along the ship.

24th September 2008

Most of the wires have been prepared and are in position. hey are not mounted yet since there not yet everywhere wood where it is needed.

25th September 2008

We mainly worked on the electricity, just like yesterday and the day before. I wen looking for some more network cables and patch boxes.

27th September 2008

In the morning, I went shopping for paint and some other 'finishing touch items' as you can call them. We then finished the roof in the office space, so my mother could sand the whole room.

In the afternoon, we finished the anti damp cover on the insulation, hiding the remaining pieces of 'original looking cargo hold'.

28th September 2008

Doing several smaller items. While my mother painted the office space, I worked on the electricity. We mounted the fuses in the fusebox.

The whole day, a fog was hanging around the canal

My mother painted the office space in light green. It will certainly need another coat of paint tomorrow.

Picture taken when the primer was put on

29th September 2008

We build the kitchen and finished the outside wall of the bathroom, mounting the door and side panels. The hold looks more and more finished. It also becomes harder to walk around with stuff.

30th September 2008

In the evening the network was patched for the office space, sleeping room and the first par of the living room.


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