Author: frederic - page 198

Watergeus – Creating a bulkhead

16th September 2006 – The Watergeus has always been used as a water supply vessel. The cargo hold was well protected with a white stuff, some kind of cement. Where the new watertight compartment will come, this stuff had to be removed. A job that took me all morning. It was so much dust that the area around me (including myself) was completely white. A bit of good advice, never do it without a mask. I still have difficulties breathing.

In the afternoon, we cut the first plate of the compartment, a job that took three hours. Nothing is straight on a boat…

Watergeus – Day 2

3th September 2006 – After a hard night we started working again. I didn’t sleep because of the loaded spits barge next to me. The boat was only connected to my boat and not to land… Ropes were loose and it was heavily loaded.

In the morning we created a first rib that should hold the plates. The ribs had to be rounded to keep curve the platform. We used metal strips and curved them ourselves.

Watergeus – Removing the first wood

2nd September 2006 – The plates for the new construction have arrived. It was quite hard getting them aboard my neighbour’s ship. He had already done the ribs and U-supports. Each plate had a weight of nearly 150kgs.

That same day, we broke down the first part of the original wooden construction. Breaking it down was a reasonable quick job. Once this was done, we all had a nice meal and started working again, now with the more heavier stuff, metal.

During that evening, the main rib and support for the flat roof had been welded. It was getting to dark to continue working, so we drunk another beer and went sleeping.

It is now a phase with no going back!

Watergeus – Anchor chain

27th August 2006 – I didn’t feel much better, but decided to do a hard job, one I’ll never do again. In my front storage space, there was a spare anchor chain. Since I want to move my anchor from the back to the front, I needed the chain to be placed on my winch. The spare chain was all rusty and rather looking like a spaghetti.

It took me three hours of continuous work to put the chain in place. My deck is now a big mess, full of scratches and rust. Whenever I have the time I will pour some oil on the chain.

Watergeus – Getting a Lister engine aboard

26th August 2006 – Today was a hard day in many ways. I was ill, the weather unstable and I had a Lister 2 cylinder to move from my home place in Ostend onto my boat.

We needed the crane boat of Rinus to get the Lister on the front deck. On that same moment, we also placed two water tanks aboard. They will be used as dirty water tanks. They were free, so I took them. I’m not sure where I’ll put them in the end, but they are useful anyway. In the worst case, I just use them as ballast tanks.

Andy bought a new boat. It is a spits barge from 1924 with GM engine. A typical barge. The accommodation was in front of the wheelhouse, and was in line with the den of the hold. Some more accommodation was added. Some part of the hold was converted, but most of it had to be redone. A nice ship in some ways. The bottom was replaced in 1992 with a 8mm plate.

On his deck he had a small garden. I took some of it and placed it on my deck. At least some green. A Dutch barge can always be recognized by flowers and a bike somebody once told me.

Watergeus – Painting engine room

12-13-14th August 2006 – I painted the engine room today. This was the last part, besides the cargo hold, that needed to be repainted. Next week, we’ll start rebuilding the roof and den, now in metal.

The new construction will be a flat deck at the wheelhouse, an entrance at about 1,45m and then the original sides for the hatches. These works will take around 2 months. During this period the boat will rather look sad, rain coming in and no roof, just like I found her in December 2005.

Watergeus – Floating again

2nd August 2006 – The Watergeus is finally floating again. Fully repaired, she was launched from De Schroef at 10:00am. I visited her a couple of hours later and she looked very good. I believe today is a very important day in the history of the Watergeus, or at least to me.

It is not buying the boat that is important, but the maintenance and the yard visits that make her special (and valuable)!

Watergeus – At the yard

21-22-23th July 2006 – A long weekend, three days of hard work with an average temperature of 42°C. Since Tuesday the rudders had been repainted. They look much better now!


The second part of the Technical room was painted. I put the metal floor back in that space. Since this area is clean now, I decided to move my engine spare parts from the engine room. Everything looks clean now, so it gives me a more comfortable feeling. I don’t like working in a messy engine room.

At the other end of the boat, the bilges were cleaned and painted. Next week, I put a floor in that area as well. It is to dangerous to walk on the ribs, one moment of not paying attention is enough to fall and break a leg.

Watergeus – Welding at the yard

11th July – I checked the repair works at the yard. They had started mounting some plates to the bottom of the ship. At noon, the yard called me. Since their was a risk of fire and the men of the yard saw smoke coming out of the boat, they wanted a key, so they could inspect the boat if their would be a fire risk…

Watergeus – Living at the yard

7-8-9th July 2006 – The boat was dry-docked on 4th July 2006 for repairs. She was still looking good. Since my neighbour was on holiday with his boat, I had plenty of time to work on my ship. I started cleaning the part of the cargo hold, closest to the engine room. This section was also covered with oil from her period pre December 2005.


After cleaning the bilges and the sides, the old electricity was removed and a new coat of paint was added. This part of the boat will become the Technical space with water tanks and generator.

Sleeping was again no option, so I worked all night. That’s the good thing about shore power, even when it is dark, you can continue to work. Some lights and music were enough for me to finish one corner.

Watergeus – Cleaning the bilges

1-2nd July 2006 – I didn’t work that much this weekend. I had some problems of a shoulder injury. The previous owner came by and it was to hot to work. At least, I cleaned the last parts of the engine room floor. It was a bit more then I thought, another 300 liters… Now you can eat from it!!!

I cleaned my deck, tidied up my ropes and started the engine. The best advice I could give to you: run your engine at leas every three months for an hour or more. That should keep her running for a long time!

The weather was so nice, I decided to take a swim around my ship. She looked so massive from the water. Sadly I don’t have a water prove camera.