Living afloat
The story of the Luxe Motor Watergeus, the Groningse snik Hornblower, the klipperaak Aquarel, the lemmeraak 'Op Hoop van Zegen' 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(and old stuff - outdated)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 Aquarel
The Aquarel is an authentic klipperaak from 1916 converted for exhibitions and with a permanent small museum of maritime artifacts.
MY Op Hoop van Zegen
Op Hoop van Zegen
The 'Op Hoop van Zegen' is a lemmeraak from 1916. She is being 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.
HomeLiving Afloat

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.. (more...)

Since I have worked on boats, many people helped me with information. Out of respect for them and because I was helped freely, I've decided to publish all information freely on this website! Another reason are the costs for buying and converting a boat. You better spend the money on your ship then on companies selling the information to you! If you have questions, feel free to ask them!

There are photo galleries of barges and their mooring, interior pictures, reports on journeys on a barge, a guide for recognizing Dutch barges, ...

Living Afloat tries to explain how to experience and enjoy the lifestyle of living on water! The information hasn't been updated since 2010. Regulations might have changed.

Main Articles

Besides some smaller articles, mentioned further on the page, here are the more important articles on living afloat. Do note that no legal information is given in these articles.

A few house boats in Ghent

This page contains photos and information of already converted barges and their look. Every single item of a conversions gets it own page:

Title Description
This section moved to another website, mainly in Dutch. Pictures have a great value on that side since they show details and full explanation!

Barges & their age

= planned =

When a barge has nearly no commercial life left, she gets scrapped or becomes a recreational vessel. This article shows a few of the oldest barges used as house boats. Only barges older then 100 years are mentioned in this article.
This section shows some pictures of barges and their mooring. Pictures are mainly taken in The Netherlands, Belgium and the United Kingdom.
This section is dedicated to the engine(room)s aboard barges. Often people remove the engine if the boat will be used for static use, such as a house boat. I don't recommend doing this. You don't win that much space and whenever the boats need to be moved, you need a tug or pusher.
You can learn a lot on how (not) to convert a barge, the way it must look is more a feeling or looking at some samples.
Living Afloat has an extensive collection of interior designs, some original, others completely refurbished. Vessels are added whenever I made a photo shoot of the inside.
Personally I like barges that have an original look from the outside. At the other hand, I must honestly say that I have seen conversions that were worth a lot. A completely different style but it works, it even looked great...
Barges & their wheelhouse
Wheelhouses used to be built in wood and were removable for passing some lower bridges. These days they are built in aluminium and can be raised or lowered by a hydraulic system. It is the area where the skipper spent most of his time.
Barge owners won't disagree on the fact how many paint is needed for their barge. A barge needs continuously maintenance and painting is a big part of it! This page shows some examples of typical paint schemes and some creative ideas.

Barges & their deck equipment (winches, cranes, ...)


Any barge has deck equipment. They make every day's use easier or they are needed for safe sailing. Examples of deck equipment are anchor winches, car cranes, cranes for lifeboats, masts, etc...

Barges & their rudders


Rudders are panels at the back or front of the boat which you can use to steer the boat and makes it move into a certain direction. Original rudders were in wood, later ones in metal. Modern ships have two or more rudders.

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...
Barges & their portholes (part of Convert your barge) To read this article: click here
Barges & their hatches (part of Convert your barge) To read this article: click here


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Last updated on: Tuesday, 20 September, 2016 11:00 PM
(c) Frederic Logghe - Living 2004-2017
We are not responsible for, and expressly disclaims all liability for, damages of any kind arising out of use, reference to, or reliance on any information contained within the site.