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(and old stuff - outdated)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
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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 • August 2009

August 2009

Important (What I learned this month):

1st August 2009: Kolenkaaifeesten

In the morning I helped setting up all the tables and the stage for the evening. At noon time my neighbour helped me with putting the official registration numbers on my ship. Looks much better now.

A couple of Dutch people living in our street came to sell their handmade stuff on the deck of the Watergeus.

In the evening there was a bbq and a band came to give a small performance.

2nd August 2009

A friend wanted to have a look at a ship in Ghent in the afternoon. I went to give my opinion. We ended up with some other friends for a chat. A relaxing day.

3rd August 2009

This evening we went looking for a speed boat. A friend of mine wanted a small ship and asked me to have a look. We had a great evening, returned with a boat and we shall try it out on Sunday.

5th August 2009: Talking

6th August 2009: new boat

At seven o'clock we started moving the boat by land from one ship to mine. I started myself, but it was way to heavy. Even with three people it was hard, so the other neighbours came out as well to help. Six people were needed in total to help!

7th August 2009: Towing a speedboat

In the afternoon I intended to explain and learn how to sail a speed boat to a friend who bought such a boat. When we drove the car and trailer into the water, it started to go wrong. The boat was stuck on the trailer. The wheels underneath the boat were stuck by the rust; After a few attempts, the ship was floating. We started the engine and she ran, for about 10 minutes.

We were stuck in the middle of a canal with only two little paddles and some small ends of rope. I made a large rope out if it and we started pulling the boat, each of us did some distance. We fitted underneath most bridges till we were stuck near a low bridge. No radio and no mobile phone aboard, we certainly were in need of help.... A yacht was coming behind us, so I Pushed our boat in front of it, into the middle of the canal. I asked for a tow and they towed us to my barge. They will stay for a few days and the small boat with broken outboard is now also near me. This makes a total of 5 boats on one mooring...

Being towed by the IJsvogel

The IJsvogel moored next to the Watergeus

8th August 2009

Our neighbour fixed the outboard. It was a simple problem, but I had no experience with outboards. Since it was late, we didn't made a test drive.

12th August 2009: Deck

I made up my mind and decided to paint my deck instead of oiling it. Still, I'll try to remove as much paint as possible. Since some rust was making pitting's, I had no other option then to start painting it. Around a square meter was cleaned and painted. If I do a few meters every few days, my deck might be finished before the end of the year.

13th august 2009: sailing

We made a small drive with the speedboat to see how she would run with her engine repaired. She made some speed, but most of all, we had a great evening. I learned him how to more along another ship as well.

14th august 2009: heating and planning

I made the planning for September. I planned with the best intentions, but I'm already sure to have another result. Items on the list wont have been done and others will.

15th August 2009: Bathroom

The bathroom was the area that had always been postponed for a later date. Since I still have intentions for living in the hold before the end of the year, I decided to finish this area. An air vent was mounted, and the remaining walls closed.

16th August 2009: Bathroom and sailing around

In the morning I continued working in the bathroom. In the afternoon I spent my time on three boats, my neighbour, the Watergeus and sailing around in the little speedboat.

Sailing underneath a bridge

At full speed on the canal

Taking pictures of barges

21st-28th August 2009: Groningen - On holiday

Not many updates, since I have been on holiday. I did visit the event Delfsail 2009, the area where my ship was build, several nautical musea, etc... More pictures and information will follow, but at this time I'm very busy.

Houseboats in Groningen

Delfsail 2009

28th August 2009: Thunder

A nice welcome was the bad weather in the evening. It was so heavy every thunder I felt my ship vibrating. The cover of my metal boat on the back accommodation didn't hold it. First all water ran into the back accommodation through a broken window and a little later my cover was blown away completely.

29th August 2009: Spending money again

The first thing I had to do was getting some stuff to work, such as a metal brush to clean the deck, rust free steel bolts for my hatches (the current ones are rusting away), paint brushes for the tar, ordering a floor for the living room and kitchen, paint for the floor and deck, etc...

30th August 2009: Inspection hole, two to go

Another inspection hole was built, two more to go and I can build my finishing floor. Since the remaining wood is stored where the holes need to be built, I can't do it right now.

31st August 2009: Table, anchor and deck

My second anchor is on the front deck. Thursday, a friend is coming with a crane. I moved the chain through it's gate and dropped it along the hull. I hope to put my anchor in position if the crane is long enough. I cut the anchor loose from the ship since it was welded a few years ago.

I built a small box for the heating element near the water tanks. Only a small wall was needed, but by the time I was finished it was also a work bench and storage space.

In the late evening, I cleaned another part of the deck. The idea of cleaning a square meter a day is not realizable.



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