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(and old stuff - outdated)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 • July 2009

July 2009

Important (What I learned this month):
  1. Since my electrician did the work on a later date and he already requested all walls to be built, it is now a lot more work to undo all sockets, put pine wood behind and mount them back. Don't make the same mistake!
  2. I mentioned it before, but really do this: Make a room at a time, don't do repetitive work by finishing all the rooms at the same time. it is getting boring and you loose interest in finishing the whole project!

4th July 2009: Kitchen

Finished the wood work in the kitchen today. Another big job has been done. Nice to see quick progress.

In the evening I went taking some pictures of barges seen from the waterline...

A yacht built on the hull of a wooden trawler from 1956

And of a bridge that will be scrapped in a few months

5th July 2009: Storage space

Another storage system has been built, I have one more left to build in the engine room. I can now nicely sort out my thins of paint, tools, spare parts for the engine, portholes and other stuff.

9th July 2009: Cleaning up my tools

It was getting time again to clean and sort out my tools. I might be working on a big project in the near future so I made some time this evening.

10th July 2009: Wood delivery

Some more wood was delivered today so we could finish the bathroom, living room and entrance of the ship. What is left will be used for the spare room in te front of the ship.

11th July 2009: Bathroom

Imagine, you need to grain a hole in the metal side of an area with furniture. You can't stand on the toilet since it is only holding by it's water pipe, the hole has to be made above your head and you have less then 70cm of space around you.

Well it takes nearly three hours to make such a hole with the size of 10 by 10cm. When finished I was burned on hands, face and arms. But at least a hole was made and the air vent could be mounted!

Later that day I finished one wall in the bathroom and gave up working for today.

12th July 2009: Cactus festival

As a yearly tradition, only for one day this year, I went to the Cactus festival. Sadly enough Joss Stone didn't come, but it didn't spoil the evening!

14 - 19th July 2009: Sailing in Zierikzee

I spent six days sailing aboard an IJselaak, the Vrouwe Janinge on the Grevelingen in Zeeland. It was a very learning full time. I was very surprised to see and feel how hard it is to work in charter sailing. The first three days we sailed three hour trips with passengers, the other three days we had a German group of young people aboard. Two different experiences, both very interesting to me. I learned a lot and not only about sailing.

Monday: The first evening: Sightseeing in Zierikzee

Tuesday: We moored in Porte Zeeland on the second evening

Thursday: In the evening we arrived back at Brauwershaven

Friday: At lunch time were at a small island on the Grevelingen

Friday: A happy me with a great group of German people

21st July 2009: Bits of work

Still very tired, after Cactus festival, six days of sailing and yesterday evening a convert from Frank Boeien, I had to start working again. So I worked on the entrance of the ship and the box that will hide the pipes for the central heating.

22nd July 2009: Inspection hatch

I need a few inspection hatches in my floor. I build one in the living room to see how easily it will go. It took me two hours, but it is looking nice and the bilges were still dry!

23rd July 2009: Painting the boxes around the windows

On Saturday we will make the list around the windows. They are hardwood and will be vanished. The inside box of the windows is multiplex wood and had to be painted. All the boxes were painted and I continued cleaning the hold as well. We are making good progress again and it might still work to be living in the hold before the winter arrives.

Box around the window freshly painted

25th July 2009: Framing the windows

We built some of the frames around the windows. Since I wanted hardwood I bought some meranti. By the end of the day four windows were finished, anther ten to go...

Wooden frames around the windows in the kitchen

26th July 2009: Inspection holes

I used to call them hatches, but they are noting more then holes in three layers of floor construction. Now I realise I should have built them earlier. Three holes in the same amount of hours. Talking of slow progress...

Undoing some screws and opening the floor

After the first layer of wood and a layer of insulation have been removed

The hardest part: removing the other layer of wood

27th July 2009: Box on the starboard side

I built half of the box in the living room. THis will hide the water pipe and central heating pipes as well as a few smaller electricity cables.

Building the frame

Mounting the frame

I believe one of the reasons why I like a ship is the work that has to be done in the hold. Sun was coming in through the portholes, some music was playing and I could easily make a construction without being interrupted by others. When working like that you can make a lot of progress.

I want the box to be ready for this Saturday. There is an event on the quay and people have an exposition in my hold. I'm afraid somebody might step on the water pipe so I'm already covering it.

30th July 2009: Corridor and doors

While my mother helped me painting the doors, I worked on the corridor. After dismounting a switch for the light, I noticed I had a loose cable. A second later I noticed there was 220 on the cable. Fortunately the fuse switched off so I only had to feel it shortly.

31st July 2009: Finishing the remaining parts

Everywhere, in the living room, kitchen and corridor there always were some pieces that had to be finished, so we did today. The electrician came and also mounted a few extra sockets.


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