Author: frederic - page 178

Watergeus – Securing the hatches again

12th December 2007 – Was a very busy day for the lock in Bruges, four ships at once in the lock. hadn’t seen that much before. I noticed my hatches had moved again, so I made it even more tighter. The stronger I make it, the uglier it looks, but I prefer to still have my hatches next summer as well, so I’ve done an extra effort now.

Houseboat meeting

9th December 2007 – There was a meeting with all the people of the house boats in the dock. What I found interesting was to meet the new people who bought one of the original remaining sleepspitsen from Baasrode, a well known yard for spits barges in Belgium.

Varta – Hatches

5th December 2007 – A friend of mine wanted to try some hatches on her barge to see if it would work out. I knew before I started they were fine, but she wanted to try it anyway. A barge with hatches always looks nicer then one without…

Watergeus – Christmas decoration

1st December 2007 – Done several smaller jobs, like putting electricity in my new small office space, sorting out my tools and starting to clean the engine room. This job I just gave up after a few hours. It was cold and I didn’t have my hoover, so I just started doing it by hand and a small hand pump. I removed some 120 liters and quit doing it. I’ll see it another time…

A man, a little further in the dock, is cleaning his ship and I received some old ship tools, nice for decoration and a few are still useful for working today. It makes my ship again a bit more of museum (or to some people a rubbish field).

In the afternoon some more furniture arrived and went. I decided to remove the metal table in the old accommodation and replace it with a wooden one. In the cargo hold I put a metal box with tools.

I also decorated with some small Christmas stuff. It is early, but I just wanted to do it. If I remember last year, I were still working on the cargo hold and the new den, I believe I made some good progress this year!

By the end of the day I was broken, but hadn’t done a major job…

Watergeus – New exhaust

30th November 2007 – Quite unexpectedly they came today for replacing the exhaust. Last week they took the ring of the exhaust with them and now they had welded the new exhaust on this ring. This ring was bolted to the existing pipe and welded on the roof of the engine room. Two special made metal pieces were welded to hold the exhaust. In the early days the exhaust was only bolted to the roof, so it had to hold his own weight. This has changed now and will likely no longer cause it to break when it becomes rusty.

I’m happy with the result since it takes less space and the engine makes much less noise!

After the exhaust, it was time to replace the oil. The oil in the engine is at least five years old, so it was the perfect moment to change this and the oil filters. For the oil to change it needs to be thin. The oil was very thick, so the only solution was running the engine. I’m always proud with my engine, since it starts straight away, turning the key and it runs. Well my engine had not run for three months and it didn’t start. Batteries were flat. I always charged them so I had no idea. After checking everything I learned a new thing, filling batteries with water. Seems logic, but I didn’t know I had to refill my batteries with water. We added 15 liters of water in the two batteries. A few minutes later, the engine started. It ran for half an hour, then we switched it of, changed the oil and it ran again. So twice running the engine in an hour on the same batteries. A little bit of water can make a difference.

It is pretty simple to replace oil filters, but you just need to know it…

Ontario – Taking pictures

25th November 2007 – Not always working, so enjoying my new office and writing some articles for the website

In the morning I went taking pictures of a spits barge that used to be at the scrapyard, but came back to Bruges. I wrote about this ship a few months ago as well…

Watergeus – Changing the back accommodation (2)

24th November 2007 – Putting the carpet was a hard job that took nearly a whole morning. The floor was not plat and the tiles needed cutting in detail. I would not recommend using tiles in such an area. I would not even know what to put in such an area, so try to avoid them!

Around the noon I went shopping for some details for my office space and in the afternoon we placed the table. It is a top of an old office desk with three metal feet attached to it. It did not stand stable so It is well stitched to the wall as well. I’m not sure whether it will hold a week, so my computer is on the ground and only my screen stands on it.

While my mother painted some pieces on the outside that needed primer for the winter, a man came to fix my exhaust of the engine. He took a part with him so he can prepare everything at home. So my engine will run again before the end of the year!

In the late evening I brought some furniture aboard, only one piece could not enter the cargo hold? I thought with such a big door,everything would fit, but no, sadly enough this was not possible. The worst thing is that this piece of furniture does not even can be taken apart. It is all glued and nailed…

Watergeus – Changing the back accommodation

23th November 2007 – Since I need some more space for living in the old accommodation, I decided to make some adjustments. I’m planning on removing one bed and make a small office space in this area. At the other hand I always decided not to touch the original accommodation, since it is so original.

In the early morning we removed the mattress and other stuff that was piled on the bed. This proved I needed some more space. The bed was very solid made. I tried to keep as much paneling as possible for the future. In the old days nearly every sing bit was made of hard wood, wood that is often no longer available these days. After removing several pieces, I had to use a saw or breakdown the whole accommodation.

The free space made with removing the bed wasn’t that big. Since I have a Luxe Motor, the back goes up above the waterline. This means the very back is only 50cm off difference with the bottom metal plate and the gangway on top of it. So I had a flat space of Ω meter and the rest went up, impossible to put a decent desk or table.

After cleaning all the old stuff under the bed (even from previous owners) I painted the wood under the bed. Normally this wood won’t be visible, but I like it to be clean at least. I stopped working early since there was a party next door…

Watergeus – Small jobs

18th November 2007 – A fair bit of work has been done today. While my father continued removing old paint from the front cabin, I insulated the sleeping room of the old accommodation, added new wind protected strips to the door of the wheelhouse, cleaned some other stuff and removed a few of my flags. The Dutch flag and flag of Bruges were heavily damaged of the storm from two weeks ago. The Dutch one can be repaired, the one from Bruges is lost. It is sad, but they shouldn’t sell flags that can’t stand a bit of wind in souvenir shops…

I measured the inside of the old accommodation, since I would like to make some changes, like adding a small office space for me to work in the evening.

Watergeus – Two hatches gone

10th November 2007 – Arriving on the boat I noticed something was wrong. The hatches closed to the front were no longer in place. They had been bolted to each other and seven of them were moved. When I stepped aboard I straight away realized the wind had blown into my hatches. result, I lost two hatches, probably over board and seven other were moved. Last week there was a big storm and it must have caused this and some other trouble, like blowing away my bike…

The only thing I did that day was securing the hatches in every possible way, ropes, metal, etc… It is not nice, but it works and that is the main thing!

Cleanup in Sluiskil

4th November 2007 – I paid a visit to Sluiskil in the late afternoon and discovered a lot has changed. The local government has towed away a few vessels to scrap yards. Every ship that has no paperwork and causing a risk to environment needs to go.

Volendam and Enkhuizen

1st – 2nd – 3rd – 4th November 2007 – As I mentioned before, the best way to learn and do is to watch! Therefore I traveled around in the North of Holland in Volendam, Enkhuizen, etc… The last day I visited Rotterdam. Not only did I take plenty of pictures, I found many good ideas, colour scheme’s, etc…

In a few shops I bought accessories for my ship such as old publicity panels of Bols drinks, copper plates for doors, etc…

By talking to people, you hear their experience, their way of thinking and often they have tips and suggestions that can help you further.

Watergeus – Last bits of metal on the roof

29th October 2007 – Today the last bits were finished of the metal work outside. It has taken a long time, but finally I can say the roof is watertight and the Watergeus looks like I want her to look.

The hatches were cut up today so they would fit around the skylight. The last chimney was placed for the heater in the living room. he air vents from an old Kempenaar were placed and adjusted so they could rest on the hatches and still look straight. Handles and a fallback security system were placed on the skylight.


This means the end of a job started last year in September 2006. Starting with building a den, ending with the roof. There was a period where no metal work was involved, where I tired to solve the leaks of the hatches, but that was just a waiste of time and money. So if you would like something done properly, don’t try to mess around with fillers etc… Do it good, do it once.

Watergeus – Inviting friends

28th October 2007 – Today a big day, I invited a few friends for a drink aboard my ship. I always talk about my ship, but it was actually time to invite some of them and show what I were doing. I knew a day later she would be finished, but there was no option of doing it on a later date. Most reactions were positive, only not many people realized the size of the ship and what can be done with such a space.

Watergeus – Painting

27th October 2007 – Since tomorrow a few people are coming I want the boat to be looking as clean as possible. Not only did we repaint the wheelhouse with primer, the foot of the crane, the inside of the portholes and a few other items were painted. With all the light colours, the ship looks much bigger. I have a big ship again 😉