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(and old stuff - outdated)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 • August 2010

August 2010

What happened in August 2006?

1st August 2010: Barge visit

Once in a while; people ask me to join them to visit a barge they are interested in. Today I went to Antwerp to visit a spits barge. I was amazed to find such a traditional looking barge with so many original fittings. Whether the sale will go through, I don't know but at least I had a great day and have seen some nice barges!

2nd August 2010: Front cabin

The front cabin is nearly ready, once side needs to be finished. Once the wood work is done, I'll do the fittings for a sink and washing machine. Then the whole room needs painting. I'm still looking for a floor.

3rd August 2010: Antwerp Part II

We went back to Antwerp to visit the spits barge a second time and to finish the deal. A new barge will find it's way to become a houseboat.

6th August: Deck

7th August 2010: removing paint and front cabin

By the end of the month I would like to see the whole deck of the Watergeus painted. It has now taken over 4 months since I started the job. Sadly enough, in the afternoon the rain avoided me from working outside.

Since I'm still working on the back accommodation and front cabin, I knew what to do...

8th August Front cabin and deck

In the morning I started removing paint until it was raining. Te afternoon was entirely spent in working on the front cabin.

Interior picture of the front cabin

Interior picture of the front cabin

Paint removed on the front deck

Paint removed on the front deck

21st August 2010: On holiday

The first day of 7 days in the French Bourgogne region. The area has three rivers that can be used for cruising: Canal Nivernais, Yvonne and the canal Lateral de la Loire.

22nd August 2010:

23th August 2010: Yard

During the visit of Bourges, I found a small shipyard with one dry dock. Around the yard there are several houseboats and barges that will be converted. A few of them were already shortened as well. Besides a tjalk, there was one specific spits barge that got my attention. If anyone has more information, please contact me.

A spits barge with very nice curves

A large back accommodation

A very straight and sharp bow

24th August 2010:

25th August 2010: Decize

I visited a few locks, for one way or another, French locks interest me a lot. Many of them are still turned by hand.

Lock N° 16 in Decize

One yacht is waiting at lock N° 16 in Decize

In the afternoon I visited two very interesting museums. One of them was an old Toueur, the other a mine. The Toueur is a tugboat that pulled barges on the Loire. It had a fixed route and used chains to make its way on the river. Only five of them are still in existent in France.

In 1985, before restoration started

The toueur Ampere 5 is now a museum

Steering wheel, the whole boat was painted gray, even the bronze meters

The chain system, used to move the toueur

A little further down the road, there was a walenmajol (wooden spits barge). The visit of the mine, even noting nautical related,

26th August 2010: Boat trip

As a real tourist, I made a little boat trip in Briaire. Besides the spits barge, also point of depart, and a visit of a lock, there is actually nothing else worth mentioning.

French spits barge, completely welded

27th August 2010: 16 locks

While driving in the country side I noticed a little sign "16 écluses d’échelle". It were 16 locks spread over a distance of 4 tot 5 kilometres. Skippers need an hour and 15 minutes to pass them. Two girls were turning the lock, after a little chat I discovered one of them was the lock keeper.

One of the sixteen locks

Lock N° 2

The decorated lock...

A few locks further, they had a little barge. That lock was different from the others, it was nicely decorated, including the house attached to that lock. It had a style, something like the hippies in the 60's and an English cottage house.

29th August 2010: Sanding

The weather is no good for working outside, so I continued sanding down the back accommodation. All the vanish needs to go since I'm about to paint everything. Since my camera is broken I can't take any pictures from the work in progress.

31st August 2010: Back accommodation

Somewhere in May I sanded down the back accommodation and it still needed a good coat of primer. Since it was that long rust had touched the metal gain so I started all over again. Fortunately it went quicker this time.

>> September 2010

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