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(and old stuff - outdated)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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Buying a barge
Converting a barge
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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 • September 2009

September 2009

Important (What I learned this month):
  1. My anchors are heavier then expected

1st September 2009: Cleaning hold

Since a lot of new materials must be loaded in the hold, it was time to clean it out thoroughly.

3rd September 2009: Anchor

The preparations of Monday were still good, but I added a few extra ropes to the anchor in case one would break. Since the anchor is not 150kg but 300kg I didn't want to make any unnecessary risks.

Bad weather was not planned

WHen the crane came I was ready and in a short period the anchor was mounted. A good preparation was the key to this quick and successfully operation where many people doubt on it...

Last picture before the anchor was mounted

After the anchor was in position, we raised the little speed boat. This took us more time but went fluently as well. Thanks to the crane man for his experienced help!

4th September 2009: Floor

Today they delivered the floor for the kitchen and living room. Since every piece was over five meters in length it was a big job to get it aboard.

In the afternoon they called to tell me the heating system, pallets and heating elements would be delivered today instead of tomorrow. A bit surprised I had to make some more room in the living room. When the truck arrived I was even more surprised by the volume of pellets that had to enter the hold.

Pellets in the corridor, blocking the bathroom entrance

More pellets...

5th September 2009: Living room

We finished the woodwork kitchen and living room. Small gaps were closed and a few details touched up. Everything is now ready for painting.

The heater was probably the biggest piece that had to enter through the door, so we could now finish the entrance hall as well, without having to risk to break everything out.

6th September 2009: Floor and entrance

In the morning we finished the floor in the kitchen and in the afternoon the entrance of the ship. Besides the box on starboard side where the heating is coming, all the big woodwork is done. Another step closer to living in the hold.

I used softwood (Pine from Norway) as floor for the living room. Many people recommended me not to do so. There are several reasons why I did it anyway. It is cheap, four centimetres thick and it will be oiled. I wanted a floor that was not tongue and groove so I could easily remove it to get to the hull on the yard. Screw are holding the planks to the multiplex underneath it. By the time the four centimetres of wood will be gone, so am I. I don't mind it gets damaged on some points, since the floor in the office space, corridors and sleeping room is azobe. This floor came from a cargo hold and is also damaged.

7th September 2009: Central heating

Another major project is the central heating. The easiest part is the hold itself, everything is new and straight without metal bulkheads. The hardest part is the old back accommodation and the engine room.

8th September 2009: Central heating

While building the new central heating I ad the tools to remove the old pipes. All of the sudden, I had plenty of more space in the engine room. By the end of the evening the hold was finished and the heating in the storage area. I can now start to finish the remaining woodwork in the hold.

11th September 2009: Boxing the central heating pipes

In the morning I went visiting my neighbour at the yard. In the afternoon we boxed th pipes of the central heating.

Box behind the heating element

12th September 2009: Flooring part I

In the morning we started with the floor in the living room. A very hard job, but we made a lot of progress. By the end of the evening, we were half way.

13th September 2009: Flooring part II

Living room

In the morning I made the two remaining inspection holes and finished the floor in the corridor heading to the living room. In the late afternoon I started painting but give up very quickly. Three days of work is more then enough.

16th September 2009: Panels

On Friday, the gallery, a bit further on he Jana, is opening officially. Since I promised to help, and I had already done some stuff, I made a few small walls (panels) to hang up the paintings.

18th September 2009: Painting and opening

In the afternoon I painted some more of the living room. In between I helped with the final elements on the Jana.

The opening was a great success, many people came and everybody seemed satisfied.

19th September 2009: Details

A few more details in the living room had to be sorted out. Also two windows had to be framed in the bathroom.

The whole afternoon I painted the living room and corridor. The corridor is now finished.

Corridor finished, furniture is intended of the living room

At noon time one the paper boats was passing by. Yesterday every guest had to make a paper boat with a candle. Today one was still afloat.

A lost boat

20th September 2009: Wheelhouse, water tanks and hatches

The heating element in the wheelhouse is about to be replaced. The wooden panel behind it was rotten and falling apart. With the remaining wood I made a new one. It still needs to be vanished, but it is looking good. Since it is a 22mm multiplex sheet the heating element can hang on the plate, making it easier to clean the floor.

New plate, old plate and heating element

As the living room looked by the end of the evening.

On Tuesday I'll bring my furniture over from my parents place to the boat. Since they have to go through the hatch on the roof all hatches around it need to go. The hold was cleaned and all stuff no longer needed was stored away.

22nd September 2009: Furniture

In the evening all furniture came over from Ostend. It fitted in two cars and a jeep. It looks much smaller with the stuff in te hold. Another reason why I'm happy I painted the boat in light colours. All my furniture is dark wood.

23rd September 2009: Tar

My neighbours ship will be launched tomorrow so we helped her a little putting another coat on the hull. With three people, it took us less then two hours to go around the sides. A freshly tarred ship always looks nice. Just forgot my camera so no pictures...

24-25th September 2009: In bed

Working hard the last month has its consequences. I wasn't feeling well the last couple of days and now I'm in bed. Hope to be better soon!

26th September 2009: Sailing

We came back with the neighbours ship today. Getting up early was the hardest part, not feeling well didn't made it better. When we arrived at the yard they were ready to launch her in the water. Ten minutes later we left heading to Bruges. It was a nice trip, it felt like a small holiday to me...

Launching the Upendo

Kanaal Ghent-Terneuzen

27th September 2009: Painting

I continued painting the living room, over 150m2, and it needs at least to be painted three times, one coat of primer and two finishing coats of nice paint. It is a hard job. Since the finishing paint is a kind o broken white, it is hard to see the difference with the primer while painting. You need a lot of concentration.

28th September 2009: Central heating

The heating elements were connected, the system was filled with water and the heater was ran. It was another big step in the conversion project and most likely the one I will like most in winter time.

29th September 2009: Painting and cleaning

In the morning and a big part of the afternoon I painted the living room. A first coat of finishing paint on the sides. In the early evening I cleaned the engine room, removing all rubbish left from putting the pipes for the heater. I cleaned the bilges, some rust from the early days was still underneath the engine, I hovered all the plates, etc... She is looking nice and presentable again.

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Last updated on: Monday, 18 September, 2017 11:53 PM
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