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...
Photo Gallery

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(and old stuff - outdated)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
Photo Gallery
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.

History of the Luxe Motor Watergeus

The history of the Watergeus is divided in:

Name and owner changes

Cargo load
N° of registration
Jantje 01-10-1929 H. Sannema 27,03 x 5,27 130,174 m3 2 cyl. Climax 50hp G. 2912
Jantje 27-07-1956 Geert Hendrik Lever 27,03 x 5,27 130,174 m3 2 cyl. Climax 50hp
Johanna 30-07-1956 Geert Hendrik Lever 27,03 x 5,27 130,174 m3 2 cyl. Climax 50hp
Johanna 26-10-1961 Geert Hendrik Lever 38,89 x 5,29 249,161 m3 6 cyl. Deutz 617 116hp G. 10785
Jamei-D 07-12-1973 Jan Davids 38,89 x 5,29 249,161 m3 8 cyl. Deutz 150hp
Jamei-D 05-03-1975 Jan Davids 38,89 x 5,29 249,725 m3 8 cyl. Deutz 150hp G. 13160
Jamei-D 28-10-1981 Lubbert Davids 38,89 x 5,29 249,725 m3 8 cyl. Deutz 150hp  
Olivier 12-03-1990 Jenny Margaretha de Doelder 38,89 x 5,29 249,725 m3 8 cyl. Deutz 150hp  
Watergeus 29-05-1992 V.o.f. Terneuzen Watersupply Service 38,89 x 5,29      
Watergeus 07-04-2003 Dutch Barges Ltd. 38,89 x 5,29   Daf 1106 150hp  
Watergeus ? Litto West NV 38,89 x 5,29 Daf 1106 150hp
Watergeus 06-01-2006 Andy S. 38,89 x 5,29 Daf 1106 150hp
Watergeus 07-04-2006 Frederic Logghe 38,89 x 5,29 Daf 1106 150hp  
Watergeus 04-05-2006 Frederic Logghe 38,89 x 5,29 Daf 1106 150hp BR 38184B



The Watergeus was launched on 7th August 1929 at scheepswerf A. Apol in Wirdum, Groningen as the Jantje for H. Sannema from Groningen.

Scheepswerf Apol
Scheepswerf Apol in Wirdum

1940-1945: World War II

The following text is part of a Dutch report concerning the damage on the vessel.

"Ondergeteekende T, Tammes, scheepvaartkundig expert te Groningen als deskundige benoemd, door de Vereen. 'Oranje' Afd. 'Varia' te Groningen in opdracht van H.H. Gemachtigden der Regeering firma Jan ter Meulen & Co. Amster­dam, in overleg met den bijzonder gemachtigde, den Heer T.L. Melema, te Groningen, teneinde de schade op te nemen, te begrooten en vast te stellen aan het motorschip 'JANTJE' ontstaan door oorlogshandelingen op 15 April 1945 Eems­kanaal Groningen; verklaart dat hij zich ingevolge deze opdracht op 18 Juli 1945 aan boord van genoemd schip heeft be­geven, toen liggende Eemskanaal Groningen; door den schipper werd de volgende verklaring afgelegd; Ik lag met mijn schip Eemskanaal Groningen, en was beladen met ontplofbaarstaffen. Ammunitie, Ik was zelf niet aan boord, na de be­vrijding werd ik nog niet toe gelaten, den 29 April mocht ik weder aan boord gaan, en bleek dat de 'JANTJE' zwaar be­schoten was. Na aan boord een nauwkeurig onderzoek te hebben ingesteld werd de schade door ondergetekende, met inachtneming van de richtlijnen, van den Alg, Gemachtigde voor de Wederopbouw en Bouwnijverheid, afd. vaartuigen te Rotterdam begroot en vastgesteld op f 3225,50.

Aldus naar beste weten en kunnen opgemaakt te Groningen, 19 Juli 1945. T. Tammes:'

Period 1946-1990

Her wooden mast was removed in 1951. She was sold in 1956 to G.H. Lever from Groningen as the Johanna.

Some official documents mentioning the name Johanna
Olieafgifte olieafgifte

While removing the paint in 2007, the name GH Lever appeared in the front cabin.

GH. Lever was the owner of the boat from 1956 till 1961

The vessel was lengthened in 1961 at shipyard Poppe in Zwartsluis. An extra rudder was added in the back and the front cabin was built.

Sailing as the Jamei-D in 1980.
Photo: (c) Harry de Groot

She later sailed under the name Jamei-D for L. Davids Star from Groningen.

On 24th April 1970, the vessel was inspected by the Dutch Douane. There report stated "Eerste volledige onderzoek, Schip voldoet aan de eisen". This was signed by J. Greven from the Douane office in Groningen.

Period 1991-2002

Later, she carried the name Olivier.

In 1992 she was converted to a water supply vessel and renamed Watergeus. Her new owners were J.M. Hamelink Doelder from Terneuzen.

Just converted to water supply vessel, but still carrying the name Jamei-D.
Photo: (c) Harry de Groot

During her career as a water supply vessel, she was often seen on the canal Gent-Terneuzen. In the last period, before the company moved from Terneuzen to Breskens, the Watergeus was used as a static water supply. Her size was to big, it took 37 hours to fill her. So water was continuously put in the Watergeus, who had a big pump, powered by the old Deutz engine (previous main engine?), and filled the smaller boats Olivier and Schelde.

Period 2003-2005

She was removed from the Dutch register in 2002 and sold to D-Ship Verhuur BV from Terneuzen, who later sold her to a British business man, who planned to rebuild the vessel as a sailing boat for static use in London as a clothes shop. This plan didn't work out, the owner lost his vessel and the Watergeus was laid up in Sluiskil.

The boat, which would have been called ZOO holds the following jobs:

Removing the metal upper structure of the tanks (executed)
  • Removing all bulkheads (executed)
  • Removing pipes and pump (executed)
  • Rebuilding the metal roof
  • Rebuilding (enlarging) the wheelhouse
  • Adding two masts
  • Adding a false clipper bow
  • Fitting a whole new interior

The yard gave me the plans as a souvenir and for the archives of the boat. The idea was nice, but the boat wasn't suited for the job.

Period 2006 and after...

Andy, a friend of mine bought the boat in January 2006 and started converting her back to original (pre water supply vessel) configuration. In February the boat got a whole new wooden roof and she was painted the next month.

She was dry-docked on the 15th May 2006. She left the yard on the 2nd August 2006. After building a new metal den and roof, she sailed to her mooring in Bruges on 27th February 2007. It was there, where a metal roof was built in September 2007.

As she is moored in Bruges, photo taken in April 2007

The history continues in the conversion...

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Last updated on: Monday, 18 September, 2017 11:53 PM
(c) Frederic Logghe - Living 2004-2017
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