Author: frederic - page 2

Watergeus – Removing Ballast tank and lowering the heater

23rd December 2019 – In the morning we went to pick up a diesel heater for the Watergeus, a young model, perfect for my central heating.  Before we could lower it in the hold, I had to remove the old ballast tank. In 2007 we welded a ballast tank, but it had been used one time. Ii was taking so much space, we now removed it.


At lunch time, two additional friends came to unload the heater and lower it into the hold. Everything went well. Sadly enough at the last stage, lowering it into the hold, the rope broke and the heater felt down the hatch on the floor. So no heating in the next couple of weeks. No one to blame, a sad accident…


Watergeus – Cleaning the storage space

21st December 2019 – I’ve started cleaning out the storage space. It will be used for the central heating. The second part will become a clean room, probably for restoring my objects for the museum. This hold has been used since I own the boat for putting away tools and spare parts. You can imagine how much stuff was stored in this room. Even my old tins of paint from the start were still there. I filled up a van with rubbish…

The room is now empty and ready for cutting out the ballast tank.

At the yard

15th December 2019 – At five o’clock in the morning, they lowered the ship in the water. There was a lot of wind, but everything went well until we were halfway between the slipway and the pontoon of the yard. The beunkoeler (cooling unit of the engine and part of the hull of the ship). Sadly enough there was no more time left to dry-dock the ship again. The tide was getting out, so we had to wait until the evening to pull us back in.

During the day, we kept the pump going. There was nothing else to do. I took some pictures at the yard to keep myself busy….

In the evening we dry-docked the ship with assistance of a tug from the yard. Repairs will be for another day.



Tordino – All kind of jobs…

14th December 2019 – The bedroom was finished, the bathroom continued and in the hold, both beams were connected to each other. Another support was build.



Wooden support
Wooden support


Connecting wooden beams
Connecting wooden beams


Bathroom nearly finished
Bathroom nearly finished


Mounting the wooden beams
Mounting the wooden beams


A quick visit to the yard

10th December 2019 – I quickly went to see the Fabuleux Destin at the yard. I was to late to see the yard people working. I don’t know what it exaclty is with this yard, but it is one I like coming to.  I have been there so many times….

It was to dark to take any decent pictures….

Tordino – Painting and construction work in the hold

30th November 2019 – While my mother painted the bedroom and bathroom, I worked in the hold, making the frame for the ceiling. The middle section of the hold is the only part that is not insulated.

It took me some time to lift a five meter wooden beam three meters high. The second beam is now resting on the wheelhouse roof in the hold. Mounting this one will be for another weekend…

Tordino – Painting the bedroom II

24th November 2019 – The bedroom got it second coat of paint. I pulled a power cable through the engine room into the kitchen accommodation. The hatches were covered with leaves. I had no chance to clean them last month, so I did it now. It took me some time, but if now rains, it will be clean again.

Wheelhouses on barges

Wheelhouses used to be built in wood and were removable for passing under some lower bridges. These days they are built in aluminum and can be raised or lowered by a hydraulic system. A wheelhouse is very often the area where the skipper spent most of his time.

Outside pictures

Blended windows

In the early days many windows in a wheelhouse were blended or it was just a wooden panel instead of glass. This was for two reasons:

  • Windows could break when lowering the wheelhouse
  • Some skippers were afraid their vanished interior would be deteriorating quicker because of sun light coming in.

Nowadays this is no longer allowed since you must have an all-round view from the wheelhouse. This is also one of the rules in getting a CVO.

Inside pictures

Some inside pictures of the wheelhouses from Dutch Barges. Most of the pictures were used with permission from the broker website Fikkers.

A kitchen in a wheelhouse

While walking around in Amsterdam, I discovered that several people had their kitchen made in the wheelhouse. It is not such a crazy idea after all. If you don’t move your boat, the wheelhouse is a perfect place to see what is happening and what is nicer then cooking with a good view?

The old articles on converting a barge…

29th October 2019 – During the upgrade of the website, the old articles on converting a barge were removed. Many people asked me to put them back online. I’ve just created a new category in this website ‘converting a barge’. There you will find the articles from the early days of Living Afloat, when it all started in 2005.

When I publish the articles, I will try to update them.


Have Fun!