Author: frederic

Traditionele Schepenbeurs Den Helder

11th November 2018 – Slightly ill, I decided to go Den Helder. It is one of the last nautical events this year. I was a bit disappointing, since I have the feeling it has become more of a antique shop then about people who are working with historical boats. 

In the afternoon, there was a lecture about the European Certificate for barges. Very interesting. 

On the way back, I knew it was game over. I was becoming more badly ill…

Watergeus – Back in Bruges

8th November 2018 – We left at 7 o’clock in the morning in Zelzate and arrived at 3 o’clock in the afternoon in Bruges. There was a small delay at the lock in Evergem and we had to sail behind a loaded barge in Bruges. The journey went fluently. I had my fingers between the ropes at the lock. Since one of them was already broken, there was no chance I could do anymore ropes. So the mother of the skipper got aboard in Bruges and helped me out. 

Arma – Survey

7th November 2018 – The surveyor arrived as they started cleaning the hull. So no survey was done today. We walked around the ship. I had some arguments with the surveyor. The Arma is a houseboat, where the engines will be removed. Every five years, they tow her to the yard. Nevertheless he was demanding certain strengths to be put in the ship.

Later that day, some friends arrived with their houseboat, accompanied with two small tugs. It was a group of people from the local Scouting group. I’ve rarely seen such a professional way of handling. They moored the ship nicely at the yard without hitting anything or making any damage. A nice job!

Watergeus – Back in the water

6th November 2018 – As usual, when they take me out of the water and when thy put me back in, I always feel nervous. Today was no difference.
They started pretty early and I tried watching the whole operation until I had to go aboard the ship. There was still another ship behind me in the water. The owner did a bit difficult about moving, so they had to tow him somewhere else.

The engine didn’t start at once, but after a second attempt, she did. Going down in the water was new to me on a slipway. Normally I always go to a yard where they pull you out on the length of the ship. Going into the water was done in a few seconds. It felt slightly like your ship was breaking. Smoke came from the rails. Once I was in the water, we moored her alongside a 110 meter ship. The owner gave me power and we had a coffee.

I tried catching some sleep. I woke up and heard an engine running. I had no power. The ship alongside me moved forward. It is so nice to sleep on a yard!

Arma – Out of the water

5th November 2018 – While I had to wait till tomorrow to be back in the water, they put my neighbour, the lovely steilsteven, in the water. In between taking pictures I continued putting another coat of tar on the Watergeus.

In the afternoon the people of the yard picked up the Arma with a tug. It took them around one hour to get the ship to the slipway and another hour to pull her out of the water. Everything went very slowly since it is a heavy ship.

Watergeus – Rainy day

1st November 2018 – A holiday, that would have been great if the weather was good and if the yard had finished my ship. There was nothing I could do. I mainly stayed on Tordino working for with some new content.

Watergeus – All night rain

27th October 2018 – When I woke up and went to the engine room, water was dripping from several places. I put three buckets trying to catch most of it.

While walking outside, one of our neighbours left, the tug. He had no metal work at all to be done and was looking happy. The other boat they started sparing tar to, was looking rusty on the sides. I wonder how that is possible.

I was cleaning my living room when I found out that some of my old blue prints were wet. The chimney pipe is leaking. It hasn’t leaked for years and now being on a slipway makes a difference.

Some friends came in the afternoon, was good to see some people and to have something to do. With this weather nothing can be done.

Watergeus – Another day of welding

26th October 2018 – Welding continued. At lunch time he finished. When I asked him about the joins between the rivets and the rivets around the welding, he suggested me silicone. Welding was to dangerous. But the silicone was included in the price.

I drove to Antwerp to get some grease for the shaft and a new belt for the automatic greaser. When I got back my anodes were taped and they were spraying tar to my neighbour while it was raining. Sometimes you just wonder if it can be taken seriously….

In the evening, I filled my manual grease pump and went to bed. To dark to cold and to rainy to anything else.

All the plans I made to do all these things in the evening, when you are tired, nothing happens. I will be glad I’m not here next week.

Watergeus – They started welding!

25th October 2018 – I got the price for the work on the ship in my mailbox. Half an hour later, they started welding without me even confirming his offer. After ten minutes of welding, and I was still sleeping, they stopped. A yacht had to come out of the water and the welder needed to help. One hour later, they started again on my ship and so it went on and off. I asked the welder what his plan was. I wanted to be there when they are welding. He answered me in a bit of a broken English: ‘Technically there is no chance of fire”. There is a small chance in life you win the Lottery. The same can be applied to fire and welding if you look through his eyes. 

At some point, two people were welding. One at the front, and one near the engine room where I was standby. It is not possible to take the situation seriously, but at the end of the evening, the first out of three plates was welded! Once he continues welding and doesn’t get interrupted, you see he can weld at a good speed.

During the day, my parents managed to get the bow of the ship painted. Late in the evening, I helped them putting some more tar to the sides of the ship. The only part that didn’t get any paint so far is the stern. I can only wait for the weather to be good.

Watergeus – No more rust on the Waterline

24th October 2018 – There are four houseboats at the yard, three on the slipway and one in a dock. Every morning we wake up around the same time and then we guess on who’s boat they will work. There was no welder yesterday.

This morning they started on the steilsteven again, but then the other houseboats have to wait again. The idea of finishing one ship and then starting on another one has clearly not come to their mind. What about getting more welders in?

So I finished starboard side and put a coat of primer on it. While my father did the sides of the ship with tar, me and my mother did a second coat of primer.

In the late evening, I cleared all the tar where they have to weld at some point. It was some advice I got from a skipper. If there is to much tar, they burn it away and if the plate is weak, they create holes.

Watergeus – Removing rust on the waterline

22nd October 2018 – While my parents removed the paint from the bow, I continued chipping rust from the waterline at the stern of the vessel. I did around 7 meters and both rudders. Once finished, I put a coat of primer on it. She starts to look like a red hull.

While chipping rust from the rudders, I made a hole. It has to be welded as well.

Am I happy about the Tercoo discs? Yes! They do their work as promised. In some areas where there is a lot of tar, they fail, but I think most methods would get stuck in it. For removing hard rust, I have the feeling you need to push a little harder, but this not good for the disc itself. If you have a flat surface and you want to remove paint quickly, Tercoo is good. If it is an area with a lot of pitting, sandblasting would be better.