Category: Converting a Barge

Time is Money

23rd November 2020 – I always believe in the quote time is money. I have a limited time and maintaining three vessels, working on several project and having a fulltime job. I’ve noticed over the last couple of months, I’m always working in periods of several weeks. A few weeks on Tordino, a few weeks on the Stern. Just a thought…

Barges & their coal cabin

Many boats used to have a small cabin between the wheelhouse and the cargo hold. After the war most of these cabins were removed to create a bigger cargo hold. A few boats still have it, most of them house boats…

A coal cabin could be used as an entrance to the cargo hold. Then it remains on the boat and has a functional use when living on the boat.

The spits Marie-Galante has used it coal cabin as entrance to the cargo hold. The hold has been made higher, the same height as the coal cabin.


A coal cabin in detail

The following pictures were taken aboard the spits Reginald. This boat, built in 1927, is still sailing commercially.

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!