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(and old stuff - outdated)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 • May 2012

May 2012

Thursday 24th May 2012

In the afternoon we moved the Hornblower of its mooring to the neighbour. The little yacht followed in the evening. The Watergeus is now free to move around.

Friday 25th May 2012

We left at 8 o'clock in the morning. The first part, approximately 1km had to be done backwards. The ship has no reverse since the propeller is partly above the water. The wind was blowing us to the wrong side. It took a lot of effort, time and man power to get her trough the first bridge.

Once turned in the big dock, we heard on the radio that the lock was broken. A hydraulic pipe burst and the oil was in the lock. We moored along a tanker for a while and then decided to put the ship in a corner near the lock. This is a lovely place to put a ship, totally surrounded by green.

In the afternoon when the lock was working, and my skipper went home, they asked me to move my ship. I called another skipper who helped me moving the boat. Once in the lock, the doors wouldn't close.

After two hours we were able to leave the lock and get a mooring near the mills. I didn't make the planning, I'm starting to worry. The first day is gone and I live only moved the boat 3 kilometres.

Saturday 26th May 2012

Driving your barges through Bruges is very annoying since it takes a lot of time with all those bridges. We left at 8.30 to be sure that, if something would go wrong, we have enough time to find a solution.

Sadly enough, something went wrong. Yesterday the lock, today a bridge. After several attempts it opened in the end. They want us to have a survey for the ship, but their own equipment is useless...

I moored along two friend, had a nice evening, a bbq and we talked for hours! At least, I had the feeling of being on a holiday!

Monday 28th May 2012

We left at six in the morning at Beernem. Three hours later, we arrived at the lock of Merelbeke. Another five hours later the Watergeus got on her destination, the yard in Rupelmonde.

Today is a holiday, so we moored alongside another vessel.

Passing the lock in Merelbeke

Tuesday 29th May 2012

At ten o'clock they started pulling up the first ship. One hour later, two tugs came to pull up the Watergeus. In no time, I was dry docked and they started cleaning the ship. At first sight, she looks in a reasonable good condition.

Wednesday 30th May 2012

When I woke up, people of the yard were measuring the propeller and the amount of space between the bus and the shaft. It was to much so they will have to put a new bus on the shaft.

At eleven o'clock I had a visit of the surveyor. It took us a few hours to go around the ship and check the thickness of the plates. Cleaning the metal with a slap tool is a very hard job. I didn't like it!

In the afternoon I heard the verdict. The ship was sound, but I had to double one plate and one rivet needs welding. So besides the propeller there are no other major costs. They will weld some anodes to the ship to prevent the boat from rusting quicker.

The yard wants to weld the plate tomorrow. I have two options, cutting open the floor or filling up the ship with water in the bilges. I choose to cut open the floor and do fire guarding myself.

My parents started painting the hull in the evening, when the temperature got just below 25°C.

Thursday 31st May 2012

fire guard and repairing and painting





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