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(and old stuff - outdated)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 • November 2008

December 2008

Important (What I learned this month):
  1. .

6th December 2008

During the first part of the day I went looking for a kitchen, paint for the sleeping room and some Christmas decoration. The idea for a big tree in my mast will be an project for next year.

In the evening I went to a ship further in the row. They worked last weekend on the engine and so they did today. I was right on time to hear it running. You often notice quickly how people can change something when buying ship. In the beginning, a lot is changing, and I believe it is really heading the good direction for this ship!

7th December 2008

Continuing again in the hold, doing smaller jobs in the sleeping room, corridor and starting to think how to finish the living room. At least that was the idea for today.

In the morning I cleaned th hold, making sure I had several piles of old wood for some friends and neighbours. Once a while I remove the old pieces I no longer need.

In the afternoon, I worked on finishing a door list and putting some wooden @@ in the corridor.

During the evening I started looking for my Christmas decoration.

9th December 2008

On Friday we will sail with the Julie to the yard. The owners were talking to me today asking some simple questions. By talking and listening to them, I could perfectly see myself a few years ago when I had to go to the yard.

10th December 2008

In the evening, the engine was cleaned and filters being replaced. It was a small job taking a lot of time. The people are so motivated to sail there barge to the yard they worked late in the evening.

11th December 2008

In the evening we made a test drive. It took us 45 minutes to make a little trip of 800 meters. Th engine ran and good, but we are not sure what caused us to make it at such a speed. Even a traditional sleepspits, where horses or people were pulling the ship were quicker. The owner and skipper decided not to make the trip tomorrow and I fully support their choice.

The Julie heading towards Scheepsdaele bridge

13th December 2008

Completely worked on the port side of the ship's hold, finishing the wood around the windows of the kitchen and living room and mounting some boxes in the sleeping room for the windows as well. Also started painting the pine wood in the sleeping room.

The kitchen before we started

The kitchen by the end of they day

The port side of the living room

Sleeping room already partly painted in white primer. Notice the box of wood around the windows.

14th December 2008

Instead of working, I went to Ghent to visit some boat friends.

17th December 2008

As a yearly tradition, I went to England. Most of my friends have a boat in the Kew area near Brentford.

A few barges on a residential mooring

19th December 2008

Around Christmas, it is time to visit your friends, so I went to Sluiskil as well. As usual, nothing changes over there. It was like I left yesterday...

Christmas decoration in the back accommodation

20th December 2008

Mainly painted the sleeping room. In the afternoon, we finished the paneling of the kitchen, so all the walls are finished and the kitchen itself can be placed. I don't have ordered a kitchen yet, so this area is now used as a storage space for furniture and tools.

The result: a first coat of paint

The sleeping room is painted cream white, and the side paneling and door frame dark blue. While painting the first coat, it looked horrible, but after a while we got used to it, and now I start liking it. This isn't the first time I'm wrong in choosing colours and most likely it will happen again in the future.

21st December 2008

An old photo of the Watergeus popped up on a site.

The Watergeus as the Jantje. Photo must be before 1956 (copyright: Harry de Groot).

Engine room entrance

Entrance to the fore peak and anchor winch

There are so many things this picture can learn:

  • Engine room entrance was a hatch with a porthole, not a door like it is now
  • Ship still had it's kalfdekken
  • Ship had his mast (removed in 50's)
  • Entrance to the fore peak was by a small door, not a cabin as it is today
  • Back accommodation had three windows and a porthole, now only three bigger windows.
  • The anchor winch still seems to be the same today
  • Anchor crane has gone (is on my wish list)
  • Bollards at the wheelhouse have been replaced

Once aboard, I started checking for remains of some of these items.

27th December 2008

Sleeping room is finished. Somewhere next weekend all the furniture will be mounted and then I can actually start living in the hold, if I wish so.

The wooden frames for the windows in the corridor were made, just like the remaining piece of framework for the entrance of the hold. Again a busy day.

28th-29th-31tst December 2008

This is probably one of the coldest periods since I had the Watergeus. Ice on the water, frozen doors, temperatures of minus 6 °C, etc.... are just part of living on water I suppose. So far, I was able to keep the inside temperature of the back cabin at 12 to 14 °C.

Ice on the water

Ice on the water

Ice on the water

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