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(and old stuff - outdated)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 • October 2008

October 2008

Important (What I learned this month):
  1. Ask other people's opinion
  2. Most of the time goes into little details!

1st October 2008

In the office space, on the big wall, a library will be built. The other side is used as a desk for my computers. This whole project will be made by a couple of us in multiplex wood. It is strongly built, and we worked over 11 hours continuously. By the end of the evening, it was not finished yet, but it started to look great.

The frame for the library

Shelves made and put into position

How it looked by the end of the day

Desk stating to get some shape. Most of the work will be for Friday

During the work, we made use of the bar created on Monday

2nd October 2008

My other cleaned the hold, making some space for putting the furniture that will arrive somewhere next week.

The hold looking tidy again

As she looks from the outside

3th October 2008

Today, the whole day was spent finishing the office space.

Book and maps

Music and DVD corner

At the end of the evening we started laying down the floor in the sleeping roof and building an inspection hatch for the bilges.

Inspection hatch in the sleeping room

And now opened

There was a storm coming, rather unexpected. My big entrance door, over a hundred kilogram, was blown out of its brackets It took me some time to get it back at a certain level that was acceptable. I'll have to repair it properly at some point, the next spring when there is no wind.

4th October 2008

The floor of the living room was finished. Some shelves on the bottom of the library had to be made, so we did this as well.

In the morning, my neighbour and I went to the scrapyard with pieces of our ship, 280kg's of metal, 2kg copper and 11kg aluminium! If I would have cleaned out my engine room and fore peak, it would have been doubled, but neither did I have the time or interest to clean them out...

5th October 2008

Mainly worked on the electricity and getting my stuff out of the boxes for my office space. I do now have power in the living room, as well as some lights!

In the office space, I started working with little pieces of wood to hide all the gaps between the panels. It takes a lot of time to do it nicely, but gives the finishing touch!

Detail shot with some shelves already having little pieces of wood on top of them

11th October 2008

In the morning I went looking for wood, screws and other stuff I needed to make it through the day. While my mother painted the remaining places in the office, my father and me built the roof in the sleeping room. People say it is easy building a roof with pine tongue & groove wood, well I found it reasonable hard.

Building the roof, taking more time then expected

The little lists being painted before placing them to hide the gaps between the sheets of multiplex

12th October 2008

We finished the roof of the sleeping room and started working on the one in the corridor. In the evening I painted the engine room, this time in white. Two years ago, the engine room was in such a bad condition, I quickly painted it with the first paint I found, dark blue with a mixture of gray. The engine room was looking nice, but way to dark. Since they are about the place some new tools in the engine room on Tuesday, I wanted to paint it while I still could.

14th October 2008

Around ten, the company came to place new batteries, charger and to replace the cables around the engine. It has been professionally done, with new starting cables, fuses between the batteries and the system, etc...

New batteries and fuse box

At the end of the evening, to be sure, we started the engine, and somehow I had expected it, the DAF wouldn't start! The man had a look and the start motor was oxidised, from standing still for a while. He cleaned it and the engine started beautifully, lovely to hear it running. It really made my day!

17th October 2008

Some furniture came over from my parents place to the ship.

Storing the sleeping room furniture in the kitchen

18th October 2008

Today we worked on several smaller items, such as the living room, putting some wooden supports in the roof. We also finished the roof of the corridor.

In the afternoon, we went shopping, buying some paint and some more lists for decoration.

19th October 2008

Since my hold is completely filled, there is nearly no space to walk around. At the entrance of the hold, the floor will be re-used wood of the cargo hold (azobe). It is the same wood used in my corridor and the office space. We cut it on size and placed it at the entrance. I have now intention to use all the stuff I have before buying some more. So I hope, my hold will look emptier.

The floor in front of the stair

Trying to keep it as clean as possible

24th October 2008

I went to have a look to a ship where I could remove all pieces I wanted from the back accommodation.

25th October 2008

We continued working on the electricity, so there is no light and power in the kitchen.

In the afternoon, I started working on the sleeping room, putting the finishing wood on the side. It is looking good.

26th October 2008

I had the chance to remove all pieces I wanted from the back accommodation of an inland vessel from 1926. Sadly the inside was redone in the 90's and they didn't use any quality stuff. While removing the new paneling to get to the roof, I noticed behind the walls and underneath the roof, there was another layer of wood, damaged to badly so no use in saving it. I saved some smaller lists and details for my own ship, also some furniture and cooking equipment.

In the afternoon, everything was loaded in a van and dropped on my ship. In the evening I started sorting out all the wood, making sure I could rebuild some frames, etc... I started sorting out the screws, but gave this up very quickly.

29th October 2008

Freezing cold! I woke up in the morning with 4°C. Now I know why insulation can be important, but also why the skippers left their fire on during the night!

30th October 2008


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