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(and old stuff - outdated)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 • April 2009

April 2009

Important (What I learned this month):
  1. Sailing is not easy!

1st April - 3th April 2009: Sailing courses

Three days I spent in Zierikzee to follow a 'maten' course. This course is the basic information you need to work on a charter ship in the Netherlands.

The ship Marinus in Zierikzee

Interior of the Marinus, very well maintained

Inauguration of the new tug Mustang in Zierikzee

It were three very intensive but also fascinating days. You learn a lot in three days.

3th April: Sailing

The last day of the course was a practical one. We went out sailing on the Oosterschelde aboard an IJselaak from 1911.

Fog was coming up quickly

Entering the harbour of Zierikzee

4th April 2009: Ceiling of the living room part one

We added some supports for the ceiling to hold. This was the hardest job. Adding the den tongue and groove wood was easy. By the end of the evening, half of it was done.

The ceiling in the living room

9th April 2009: Cutting metal

In the front technical area where the watertanks and pump is stored, there was a big sheet of metal. It was cut out of the roof when the big skylight was built. I stored it in the front when there were no walls in the hold. Now, two years later, I still had that plate and it had to get out of the boat.

It took me an hour to cut the sheet and put the pieces together. They were to heavy to get out by one person, but at least they now fitted through the small door of the front accommodation.

11th April 2009: Technical area

The area where the pump and watertanks are stored is called technical area #2. In a few weeks time, we will finally connect the tanks. There is no insulation in that room, so I decided to change this. We made the wall to the living area insulated and the roof. Since it was over 35°C in that room, we had to stop working after a while. Every hole we drilled in the metal was becoming harder and harder.

12th April 2009: Painting

It had been a nice week again, and I still hadn't painted anything on the outside. My friends in Ostend were painting their trawler again, my favourite fishing ship. I helped them a hand and the result is looking good. Salt water can make your ship look bad in no time.

13th April 2009: Cleaning a hold

My neighbour is preparing he ship for a yard visit. One of the jobs was to clean her hold since water needs to be pumped in as ballast. Since a lot of my stuff is stored in her hold, it had to be taken out. Once out, I still had to find the space myself. Not easy while converting a ship.

17th April 2009: Sailing back from the yard

Yesterday, The Julie was launched in the water and today we brought her back to Bruges. The hull was nicely painted, and if it wasn't for the the weather, it would have been a perfect day.

The park ship HMS Rame Head in the background

The Julie in the lock of Evergem

18th April 2009: Ceiling of the living room part two

Today we continued and finished the ceiling of the living room. Wit this done, you see no more metal, insulation or damp foil. It gives a more finishing touch.

19th April 2009: Technical area

Somewhere the coming wee we would connect the watertanks and pump. Therefore we wanted to finish the ceiling and walls of this reasonable big room. A metal plate had to be moved, a fuel tank and some other heavy stuff. After this had been gone, I could start building the walls. By the end of the evening one wall was done and two plates were mounted as ceiling. It was a bit disappointing that we could only get that far, but at least it looks tidy and it will be easier to work in this area now.

20th April 2009: Workbench

The workbench was lowered in the technical area. Since I have no strength in my right wrist, I built a system of little winches so I could lower the bench from the front cabin to the technical room. In the engine room, I had a ....

25th April 2009: Plumbing

Yesterday evening we started talking about possible ways to connect the different systems. Today it was the moment to start. It took us several hours to look for te pieces we needed and only an hour to connect them.

Pump and filter connected

26th April 2009: Floor in the spare sleeping room

The first step in creating a nice space in the fore peak is building a decent floor. The previous one were a few sheets of multiplex wood on rotten pine with wood worm. The old floor was removed a few months ago and the bilges were cleaned. The new floor is a solid construction and the base for the further conversion.

Building the floor

The bed in the fore peak, giving an impression on the size of the room

28th April 2009: Walls

Since we didn't have all the pieces for the water system, the tanks were connected to the pump and that's it for the plumbing today.

I started building the first wall in the forepeak. I tried a few possibilities and ideas since I want to have the maximum of space out of this small area. When it was dark I had to stop working, but at least half of a frame is standing.

29th April 2009: Filling the tanks

In the evening I started filling the tanks. Quickly I discovered a tank was leaking, so I shut it of from the rest. Another tank started leaking as well, so I stopped filling them. Since I learned a lot at my neighbour last year, I decided to stay while filling the tanks, so no harm was done when they started leaking. I still had dry bilges!


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