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(and old stuff - outdated)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
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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 • April 2011

April 2011

2nd April 2011: Plumbing

We did some plumbing in the engine room.

3rd April 2011: London

In December last year, I had no time to make a small trip to my friends in London. I went on a quick journey to London, leaving today in the early morning and coming back tuesday morning.

For the first time, I went a bit further then Brentford, making a nice walk along th Grand Union Canal. After about walking for twenty minutes, you could hardly imagine being in one of the world busiest city.

In the afternoon, I met a few people living on a barge. I had a nice chat with them.

The Admiraal Tromp in Brentford

An old coaster with a beautiful wooden wheelhouse

The yard in Brentford

4th April 2011: London part II

I went for a walk on the beach in Brentford. taking pictures between the barges, walking around at the old shipyard, etc... After having a chat on nearly every boat, we went back to Belgium in the late evening and arriving the next morning at three O'clock.

The klipper Ambulant

The parlevinker Rijo

The spits Lucky

A Thames Sailing Barge

5th April 2011: Kitchen finished

In the evening the kitchen was finally finished. I still need to paint the new pieces of wood and then this area is finished as well!

8th April 2011: A nice evening

With the boat people of Bruges we had a nice gathering on one of the boats. We watched a movie, had a drink and a laugh. It was a great evening!

9th April 2011: Plumbing

I had to empty the water from my water tanks in the back accommodation. New fittings have to be made, since the previous connections are rotten. They were last filled in June last year with 200 liters of water. Since there was no other option, I had to let them ran empty in the bilges. It gives you an impression of how your engine room would look when you have a whole of 2cm in your hull below the waterline...

Last week I bought some outdoor furniture, my girlfriend unpacked them and put them on deck. Both skylights in the back accommodation are back, the end of the conversion is very near!

10th April 2011: What else but painting...

I wanted to mount my curtains in the back accommodation. A small job that took nearly all morning, together with putting the door handles.

The afternoon was far more busier to me. I raised the little work boat that sank last Friday. A neighbour gave me a hand.

Sunken, after it got stuck underneath the wooden support

Raised and moored along the Watergeus again

The front deck was painted and a few little spots on the deck and upper structure. My father redid the railing on the back accommodation.

Front deck

Stern: box with the steering system

I continued working till it was dark. Some more pluming for the back accommodation was done as well. The stars were also mounted on the bow of the ship.

12th April 2011: Engine room

A small wall had to built for the water pipes running from the tanks to the pump. I made a wooden construction. It was painted together with the rest of the woodwork. The lighter the engine room looks, the nicer to work in!

13th April 2011: Ostend

No matter what planning I'm making, it is always ending up the wrong way. I had to do some more painting on the back accommodation of the Watergeus. A friend of mine, which I once helped before I had the Watergeus, just came back from dry dock in Ostend. I drove there to say hello...

15th April 2011: Aboard the Frantsis

The new owner was working on the engine, a perfect moment to use my camera and record the sound of the engine. The last eight years, I tried to capture as much as possible of engines with my old camera. The quality wasn't good, but at that time, there was no other option. My new camera has a High Definition record function.

16th April 2011: Engine room

20th April 2011: Mirror

It looks like a small job to hang a mirror on the wall of the bathroom. In the end it took me a long time!

Later that evening, I took some pictures of barges in Bruges.

21st April 2011: Antwerp

I visited a small houseboat in Antwerp. It is for sale, but with a broken engine, no interior and a few smashed windows. It was another project people started working on, but were never able to finish it. After a visit of more then two hours, I left it behind and visited a pub in Antwerp...

22nd April 2011: Towing, meeting and driving around

Yesterday evening, a good friend of mine called. They had towed his old tug to a new mooring in Ghent. In front of the Evergem lock, he was stuck in the mud. The towing company left him on his own. With a small yacht we tried getting him out. It took three hours, but he was freed and brought to the mooring.

In front of Evergem lock

Stuck in the mud

Stuck in the mud

Taking alongside

On her new mooring

In the afternoon, I had a meeting with the local Government concerning the houseboats and their mooring. The evening was divided in driving around to find a tug for my new boat, the Hornblower, and a meeting with our members.

23th April 2011: Plumbing and painting

There was one area on the hull that looked bad. After three ships being moored on that spot for a longer period, the paint was thin and dirty. I cleaned the hull and put a good coat of paint on the side.

Most of the plumbing was finished today, including drilling a hole in the side of the boat.

At five o'clock the bridges in Bruges were closed. A British yacht moored next to the Watergeus, the are planning to stay till after Easter.

26th April 2011: Escapade

I started removing most of the items from the Escapde that can be reused for the Hornblower. Once this job was finished, I filled up my car with tools, pumps, ropes and other useful items for Antwerp.




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